Q&A with Silicon Foundry’s Principal

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Janina Lieser is a Principal at Silicon Foundry working closely with Members including Invesco, NatWest, and Standard Chartered. Before joining Silicon Foundry, Janina led Product & Marketing at Grasshopper Bank, the first digital commercial bank in the US serving startups, VCs, and private equity firms. Prior to that, she worked across different FinTech startups and financial services organizations in London, San Francisco, and now New York.

Tell us about your career path — what are the key experiences that led you to Silicon Foundry?

My first job paved the way for me. I was running Cisco’s European customer reference program, which involved identifying early adopters and writing case studies for the sales and marketing teams that demonstrated how Cisco technologies were transforming businesses. I was fascinated by the impact technology could have on customer, employee, and partner experiences, and ultimately an organization’s revenue. That role helped me understand I wanted to be in a position that was responsible for creating those innovations and driving change. The roles that followed spanned across both corporates (RBS, Deloitte) and startups (Monitise, Pivotus Ventures, Grasshopper Bank), often as a middle(wo)man building bridges between different groups of stakeholders. I have worked in product, marketing, and customer success, which has allowed me to see the whole product development process from the incubation of an idea, to building and scaling it, marketing and selling, and then implementation and service. I was drawn to Foundry because of the impressive and varied member base, broad connectivity to the startup ecosystem, and high impact work we do with both. …


Q&A with Alison Mountford, Founder & Chef

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Alison Mountford is the Founder of Ends+Stems — a meal planning and grocery management app that helps reduce household food waste. She’s been a chef and entrepreneur in San Francisco for 17 years and founded one of the first meal delivery companies (which sold in 2015). Alison is proud to have worked with more startups, businesses, and impactful individuals than she can count.

As Foundry’s private event caterer for 6+ years, you (sadly) mark the beginning of the pandemic with two canceled events at the Silicon Foundry Hub. …


Q&A with Mark Silva, Founder & CEO of KITE

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KITE is the leading SaaS platform for enterprises, consultants, accelerators and investors to collect, aggregate, manage and share their partner data. With KITE, these groups work more efficiently and transparently, accelerate smarter decisions, and increase the number of partnerships and outcomes.

KITE Founder and CEO, Mark Silva, has founded multiple companies connecting the world’s biggest and best enterprises with emerging, disruptive technologies. He is an active board director, advisor, investor and speaker at the intersection of enterprise+startups on stages such as TechCrunch Disrupt, CES, MWC and SXSW.

What was the origin story and early vision you had for KITE?

Corporate leaders were regularly visiting Silicon Valley and meeting startups via personal introductions or at events, but they would go back to their home offices and take no action. This became known among founders, accelerators and VCs as the “petting zoo” effect. Our founders’ backgrounds include building Crunchbase, global consultancies and venture roles, and corporate accelerators. We saw a huge problem and broken system at the intersection of venture, tech, consulting, enterprise, media and events that resulted in massive inefficiencies, missed opportunities and few outcomes. We knew there had to be a better way, with software doing the heavy lifting. …


Silicon Foundry’s expanding network of Corporate Members are driving transformation at some of the world’s most respected global brands — from leaders in mobility, mining and telecom, to beauty, retail, energy, financial services and beyond.

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Masaki Hilaga is the Co-Founder and CEO of Morpho, a developer of image processing technologies based on his work as a researcher at the University of Tokyo. Founded in 2004, Morpho’s technology has been used in over 3 billion devices worldwide. The company was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2011 and has subsequently begun expanding its business to international markets.

Tell us a little about Morpho and yourself.

Morpho actually began when I was a PhD student at the University of Tokyo studying computer graphics and computer vision. I worked as an engineer for about a year and a half after I finished the PhD program, but couldn’t shake the feeling that I wanted to do something myself. It was around that time when I met Chiaki Konagai (Morpho’s co-founder), who had already achieved a career as a director of a public-listed company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. …


Q&A with Corporate Innovators Huddle (CIH)

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Established in 2012 “by corporate innovators for corporate innovators,” the Corporate Innovators Huddle (CIH) provides a forum to share information and best practices on innovation at large corporations. Participation is designed for current leaders of corporate innovation and venture capital at large companies. The CIH is a loose affiliation of corporate innovators and corporate venture capitalists representing hundreds of companies from across geographies and sectors. Participants’ roles range from corporate venture capital, internal venture, R&D, strategy, and M&A. The CIH is a California-based non-profit with activities organized by members on a voluntary basis.

What is the origin story of the Corporate Innovators Huddle and who are the leaders of the group today?


Q&A with Silicon Foundry’s Associate

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Before joining Silicon Foundry, Isabelle was a strategy consultant at BTS, a firm focused on helping businesses across the technology, energy, biotech, and commercial sectors execute impactful and lasting strategies. Before this, she worked in product at Netflix, where she concentrated on creating and implementing solutions, operations in compliance with emerging privacy regulations, and as a lobbyist for tech companies in D.C. She is a California native and graduate of Wellesley College, from which she received a BA in Political Science with a concentration in Technology Policy & Internet Law at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Tell us about your career path — what are the key experiences that led you to Silicon Foundry?


At Silicon Foundry, it’s our job to stay connected with top founders, investors, and experts across industries. The TL;DR series distills top-of-mind interests, intel and ideas gleaned from our conversations with these thought leaders.

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Edny Inui trained as a behavioral neuroscientist with a PhD from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Chicago. She serves as an early-stage investor at Portfolia and focuses on life sciences business development at Pacific Inui Consulting.

  • COVID has accelerated interest in biotech, but that’s not necessarily the full picture. M&A activity, which drives the value of early-stage assets, slowed early in the pandemic’s virtual environment, resulting in a lower number of transactions and value per deal. Recent deals (e.g., …

By Elsa Givan and Liz Keen, Silicon Foundry

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2020 is an inflection point for tackling critical global challenges. There are two options: go it together, or go it alone. From our perspective, the answer is clear — collaboration is the new competitive advantage, particularly at the intersection of public and private.

Journey to a tipping point

Our world today has been shaped by billions of micro and macro decisions. Some of those decisions, like the pursuit of moonshot ideas in the twentieth century — from putting a man on the moon to accelerating polio vaccine trials — set a precedent for generational innovation. …


Q&A with Carey Ransom, Founder & President of Operate

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Carey Ransom is the Founder and President of Operate, a venture studio that invests in and helps founders build high-growth software companies. After 20 years of starting, leading and growing multiple companies, Carey and his team now partner with founders to produce winning companies through their studio in Southern California. With a combination of collaboration, coaching, community and capital, Operate helps founders focus on the key things that matter and in their areas of genius, while supplementing the team in the other areas of need. …


Q&A with Silicon Foundry’s Analyst

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Alexia Fite is an analyst at Silicon Foundry, where she works with Delta, Deutsche Telekom, Estee Lauder, UPS, and Whirlpool. She holds a BA in Computer Science & Psychology from Yale University and spent a year and a half working at a New Haven-based family office. In her free time, she loves playing tennis and refining her newly acquired quarantine skill: making bubble tea.

Tell us about your career path — what are the key experiences that led you to Silicon Foundry?

As a junior in college, I was fortunate to work part-time at a family office. Before my internship, I didn’t even know what venture capital was. I had an amazing mentor and boss, however, and in my year and a half at Pritzker Vlock Family Office, I got a crash course in sourcing, evaluating and supporting startups. The experience inspired me to pursue VC-related opportunities post-graduation. When I learned about Silicon Foundry, it felt like the perfect fit because of the firm’s positioning at the nexus of startup, venture and corporate ecosystems. …

About

Silicon Foundry

Silicon Foundry is an innovation advisory platform that builds bridges between leading multi-national corporations and global startup ecosystems.

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