8th Annual Symposium
June 10-12, 2019 in Lowell, Massachusetts

2017 Keynote Speakers

Jerry Engel

UC Berkeley

Jerry Engel is a leader in entrepreneurship education. After a successful career in Silicon Valley, he joined the University of California at Berkeley in 1991 to found the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. As an outsider to traditional academia, he has been a pioneer in creating a curriculum, developing faculty, and extending the educational experience beyond the classroom. The excellence of his educational innovations captured the attention of others including the Kauffman Foundation and Intel Corporation who partnered with him to disseminate curriculum and create various entrepreneurship faculty development programs, which he has conducted or supervised across the United States and over 20 counties around the world. An early believer in the power of international student engagement he pioneered the creation of the first global business plan competitions, and social venture competitions. Among the innovations of which he is most proud is the inclusion of practitioner faculty, in partnership with traditional academic faculty, in the creation of institutions capable of injecting new dimensions of experiential learning in entrepreneurship curricula. Continuing in that vein, as National Faculty Director of the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program, he has built a faculty which has trained over 500 teams of the United States' leading scientists. Internationally he is supervising similar programs, albeit on a smaller scale, in Asia and Europe.

A veteran of Silicon Valley, Engel is an adjunct professor at the Haas School of Business and instructs in both the School's MBA and Executive Education programs specializing in Entrepreneurship, New Venture Finance, Corporate Innovation, and Venture Capital. He is also co-founder and General Partner of Monitor Venture Partners, a venture capital firm investing in early stage technology ventures.

Professor Engel’s most recent research and publications focus on the nature of innovation processes in entrepreneurial firms, incumbent enterprises, communities and global networks. This interest culminated in the recent publication, in collaboration with 19 co-authors, of Global Clusters of Innovation by Edward Elgar publishing. Professor Engel is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the 2010 recipient of notable awards and recognitions including the NCIIA - Olympus Corporation Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award and the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Award for Outstanding Contributions to Advance the Discipline of Entrepreneurship.

Laurie Leshin

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Laurie Leshin is in her third year of service as the President of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), in Worcester, Massachusetts. She is committed to elevating WPI’s impact in communities worldwide, a theme developed in WPI’s strategic plan through effort to strengthen WPI’s already-distinctive undergraduate programs, while advancing graduate education and research. In a recognition of this focus, the Wall Street Journal recently named WPI as the #1 University in the nation for integrating excellent teaching with outstanding research.

Leshin brings to WPI over 20 years of experience as a leader in academia and government service, and an accomplished record as a space scientist. Prior to joining WPI, Leshin served as the Dean of the School of Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. While at Rensselaer, Leshin continued her work as a scientist for the Mars Curiosity Rover mission and was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Board for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Prior to joining Rensselaer, Leshin spent six years at NASA in several senior executive roles, including the deputy director of NASA’s future human spaceflight program. Before joining NASA, Leshin was the Dee and John Whiteman Dean’s Distinguished Professor of Geological Sciences at Arizona State University. While at ASU, Leshin was appointed by President Bush to serve on the Commission for the Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy.

Leshin received a B.S. in chemistry from ASU and a Ph.D. in geochemistry from the California Institute of Technology. She is married to Dr. Jon Morse, an astrophysicist who is chief executive officer of the BoldlyGo Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing space-based science and discovery.

Bob Metcalfe

University of Texas

Bob Metcalfe is Professor of Innovation in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the Murchison Chair of Free Enterprise.

Metcalfe was an Internet Pioneer starting in 1970 at MIT, Harvard, and Stanford. In 1973 he invented Ethernet at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. In 1979, he founded 3Com Corporation to help build out the Internet. Ethernet became the industry standard packet plumbing of the Internet. Today, more than a billion Ethernet ports ship each year, if you count Wi-Fi, which Bob does.

Various times at 3Com in Silicon Valley 1979-1990, Bob was Founder, Chairman, CEO, VP Sales and Marketing, General Manager of the Software, Workstation, and Hardware divisions, and when he left in 1990, VP Corporate Marketing. Founded on Sand Hill Road, 3Com raised venture capital starting in 1981, went public in 1984, had $5.7B in revenue in 1999, and in 2010 became part of HP.

Bob spent the 1990s as CEO, Publisher, and columnist at InfoWorld, and VP Technology at InfoWorld's billion-dollar parent IDG. Bob spent the 2000s as a General Partner of the billion-dollar venture capital company, Polaris Venture Partners, where he is now Emeritus Partner. In 2011, Bob became Professor of Innovation at The University of Texas at Austin, where his principle interest is in the startup ecosystems surrounding research universities. His mission is to help Austin become a better Silicon Valley.

Bob is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and in 2005 he received the National Medal of Technology for his “leadership in the invention, standardization, and commercialization of Ethernet."