3:45-4:30 pm:  Demo and Poster Session
4:30 pm:  Showcase Talks

This event showcases entrepreneurship at CMU–cutting-edge research and innovations from students, alumni, faculty and staff–while bringing together the investment community, regional business leaders, and CMU alumni.

Join David, Peter and Michael, as they share their experiences and advice for fellow alumni entrepreneurs.

After graduation, the three founded, grew the company into one of the most popular fantasy sports sites on the Internet, and eventually sold it to CBS Sportsline. Ready for another challenge, they founded, a popular social network that they sold to Naspers in 2010. Their third project, Glip, Inc., a modern team conversation platform, sold to RingCentral in 2015. It’s a fascinating story of friendship, entrepreneurship andinnovation.

The James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Leadership Series provides a forum for the Carnegie Mellon University community and its entrepreneurial network partners to explore issues central to entrepreneurial leadership. Speakers include successful entrepreneurs, investors and innovators who are focused on emerging and growing market sectors that are important for competitiveness in the global economy.

Please   join in for another stimulating program showcasing exciting talent and ideas, university research, innovations, companies and connections.

A reception will follow in the Connan Room.

Please register.

This and other Olympus Show & Tells are made possible by the generous support of K&L Gates.

Benchmark’s Eric Vishria will discuss the case for working at a startup, finding the right culture for you and translating big ideas into tangible successes. As a General Partner at one of the top VCs in Silicon Valley today, with early investments in Snapchat, Uber, Twitter, New Relic, Hortonworks, Zendesk and more - Eric will also share insights into entrepreneurial success, and what it takes to thrive in a competitive market.

Eric focuses on early-stage startups, especially infrastructure and enterprise software. He serves on the boards of Confluent, Bugsnag and Amplitude.He wserved as co-founder and CEO of RockMelt, which was acquired by Yahoo! in 2013. At Yahoo!, he served as Vice President of Digital Magazines & Verticals.

Eric holds a B.S. from Stanford University in Mathematical & Computational Science, with a minor in Human Biology.


Learn about the legal issues associated with raising capital through friends and family, seed and series A, B, C, etc. Discuss the following:

  •  Structuring the investments to maximize growth
  • Opportunities available due to the new JOBS Act
  • Crowdsourcing and proposed SEC regulation
  • Funding from incubators/accelerators, government and foundations

Learn an iterative and interactive framework to manage the process of building your startup's technology solution. Master specific tips for implementing this framework in your venture and hear case studies from local Pittsburgh companies who have taken advantage of these techniques.

*Bring Your Own Lunch

If you’re going to start a company, mapping out your financial projections will be an important part of that process. Understanding how to incorporate assumptions and to discuss key terms such as burn rate, cash runway and EBITDA will allow you to more confidently support your projections to investors and fellow team members. Learn the basics and gain insight.

NSF I-Corps Site Teams Required to Attend


Got an idea for a startup but need to find co-founders or teammates? Worked on a business startup as part of a class project and want to pursue it afterwards – with or without some of your classmates? Want to join a student startup team and know what to expect or ask for?

Learn successful techniques to help your team create a solid foundation that can help your startup thrive, attract funding and avoid problems in the future.


Have lots of ideas but don’t know which one to pursue?

Get some simple ‘first steps’ to help narrow down the list and determine which are good uses of your time.

Bring Your Own LunchRSVP


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