CIE Entrepreneur Forum Speaker Series
2017-18 CIE Entrepreneur Forum
This series addresses topics of interest to SCU student entrepreneurs and provides students with an opportunity to experience "the startup story" directly from alumni living it each day. The intimate format is designed for a greater connection with the speaker and provides ample opportunity for Q&A. Registration is not required, all are welcome. We hope to see you soon.
All events take place at 7:30 pm in Lucas 107
April 16: Willie Traina,Traina Foods
Willie Traina graduated from Santa Clara University in 1986 with a degree in Finance. In 1994, he bought into his family dried fruit and restaurant businesses. Not being satisfied with just competing against the largest dried fruit companies, he changed the direction of the company and focused on the foodservice and industrial ingredient markets. The strategic placement of sun dried tomatoes into those markets made it the world’s largest supplier. If you eat a sun-dried tomato in a restaurant, it almost certainly came from Traina Foods in Patterson. Willie also recognized that consumers’ tastes were changing and developed processes to create natural and organic products. Environmental sustainability remains one of the company’s priorities- and by utilizing the sun and solar systems, it has become one of the world’s most energy efficient food manufacturing companies. Recently, a retail corporation was formed, and the company entered the market with its creation of sun dried tomato ketchups - Classic, Sriracha, Organic and Sicilian. This year the company is introducing BBQ sauces, mustards, and other retail items.
Willie and his brother are owners of the Fruit Yard complex, home to the valley’s number one independent restaurant and bar, along with an event center, gas station, store and other commercial development.
Willie has a residential development company which is currently developing over 700 home lots and a grammar school. In addition to farming apricots, cherries and almonds, other companies he owns and operates include: real estate brokerage firm, industrial property, home rental, and a flavored vodka company.
April 23: Tony Pollace, Armored Mobility
As a specialist in venture capital funding, Tony Pollace has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for promising ideas, finding investors for research technologies, medical imaging devices, robotic surgical equipment, eCommerce solutions, and renewable energy power plants. He has served as CEO or CFO for a number of these companies, including Litton Electron Devices, a Fortune 500 company. Currently he serves as Chairman and CEO of Armored Mobility Inc. (AMI), which designs, manufactures, and sells body and vehicle armor products for law enforcement, U.S. military, and state and federal agencies.
No stranger to the non-profit space, in 2006 Tony led the formation of the Digital Universe Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to creating a network of portals designed to provide high-quality information and services to the public. Under Tony's leadership, the Hemingway Foundation, the National Council for Science and the Environment, and high-net worth individuals invested $25 million in creating this "PBS of the Internet." In addition, Tony has served as executive director of the ManyOne Foundation, served on the Board of Trustees at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, and served on the board of the San Jose Jazz Society.
April 30: Bethany Mayer, Siris Capital Group
Bethany Mayer is currently an Executive Partner with Siris Capital Group LLC, a New York based private equity firm. Ms. Mayer is the former president and CEO of Ixia, a publicly traded $500M company and the market leader in test, visibility and security solutions. During her tenure at Ixia, Ms. Mayer drove the growth of the company in key new markets culminating in a successful sale of the company to Keysight Technologies Inc. in 2017. Ms. Mayer brings over 25 years of technology experience serving in executive roles in companies both large and small. Prior to Ixia, Mayer was senior vice president and general manager of HP’s $2.5B Networking business unit and the NFV business unit. In addition, Mayer served as senior vice president, marketing and alliances for Blue Coat Systems, and held leadership roles at Cisco Systems and Apple. Ms. Mayer is an independent board member of Sempra Energy and a board member of Pulse Secure Inc. Ms. Mayer holds a BS from Santa Clara University and an MBA from California State University, Monterey Bay.
May 7: Samson Yi, Panda Laundry Factory
Samson Yi is the founder of Panda Laundry Factory, a company focused on efficiency and being a cheaper alternative in clothes washing.
May 14: Greg Moore, Fit3D
CEO & Co-Founder, Fit3D
Greg Moore is a continuous adventure seeker at heart in both activity and career. Greg grew up all over the world as his father was active in the Air Force, which taught him the value of adaptability and being comfortable in new and challenging situations. After a very successful high school baseball and wrestling tenure, Greg was injured during his senior year in wrestling and had to forego many offered wrestling scholarships. He was fortunate enough, however, to attend UCSB's Computer Engineering program.
Greg graduated in 2004 and after starting a PhD program in Computer Science at UCSB, decided that the higher education life wasn't for him. He went to work at Sportvision where he invented PITCHf/x, HITf/x, and COMMANDf/x, which are MLB's pitch, hit ball, and catcher glove tracking technology which can be seen on every MLB broadcast and in the MLB GameDay application. He then took over the business unit and turned the business unit into a data and services unit and tripled revenue in 3 years. This dataset has completely revolutionized the way baseball is played, players are recruited, traded, and managed. During this time Greg attended and finished his MBA at Santa Clara University.
In 2010, Greg and team developed the business plan for Fit3D in Albert Bruno's MKTG 566 class. Greg then decided that the opportunity was too good to pass up and officially incorporated Fit3D in 2012 as a co-founder and CEO. Since then, Fit3D has raise $5.38M and has placed over 1,000 3D body scanners in more than 40 countries, which have been used to scan more than 400,000 people. Fit3D has the largest, most diverse, and fastest growing human body database in the world and is beginning to utilize that data to revolutionize industries like apparel, healthcare, design, and wellness.
Greg very much enjoys driving Fit3D towards continued success, helping other budding entrepreneurs, and spending time with his wife and 2 young boys with another on the way.
May 21: Stone Strickland, Shoevana
CEO & Co-Founder, Shoevana
Stone Strickland is the co-founder and CEO of Shoevana, an e-commerce company focused on single shoes for amputees. In addition, he works with two not-for-profits: one focused on bringing people with non-traditional backgrounds into tech and the other focused on underrepresented entrepreneurs. During his senior year, he started working for Tesla in their Santana Row store. He stayed there for nearly 4 years in various roles and helping them expand internationally. He spent a year setting up their Australian offices - his first foray into the 'startup' world. Upon return, an acquaintance tapped him to become the CEO of a new startup in the sharing economy space and it was too good to pass up! He stayed there for a year and a half building the team, product, and strategy before a virus put him in a medically induced coma for over a
month. Upon his re-emergence, he stepped back from the company to change his focus. He worked on internal projects at Palantir for a year as a way to ease back into work before spending the last six months of 2017 laying the groundwork for what he would step into. Now he gets to wake up every day and focus on the underdogs of the world.
The presence of a guest speaker on the campus of SCU does not necessarily imply approval or endorsement by the University of the views expressed by the guest speaker or by anyone else present at the event.