Entrepreneurs-in-residence (EiRs) are quite possibly the best resource HBS has to offer the budding entrepreneur. With the patience of a FIN1 professor, the determination of an EC trying to get into Professor Malhotra’s Negotiation class, and knowledge equal to that of Dean Nitin Nohria himself, the EiRs come to HBS with one purpose: to help you succeed.
From firsthand experience, we at The Harbus can honestly and without hesitation tell you that they provide insightful and more importantly actionable advice to guide novice entrepreneurs past common pitfalls and to maximize the chance that he or she will return to HBS with a biography as impressive as the EiRs we have managed to attract this year. Because there are so many, and their biographies are so extensive, we have been forced to divide this segment into three parts. This third and last segment includes:
- Gwill York, co-founder of Lighthouse Capital Partners.
- Eric Paley, Managing Partner at Founder Collective;
- Eric Ries, creator of the Lean Startup Methodology;
- Diego Rodriguez, Partner at IDEO replica watches;
- Norman Selby, Senior Advisor at Perseus, L.L.C., a private equity firm, with experience in healthcare;
- Lauri Union, veteran of the building products manufacturing industry; and
Gwill E. York
Gwill York is co-founder of Lighthouse Capital Partners and has spent the last 23 years focused on venture debt. At Lighthouse, she is currently one of five Managing Directors who oversee investment and operating activities for the firm. She has led Lighthouse’s investments in companies such as Millennium Pharmaceuticals, StorageNetworks, DataSage, Corvis, Speechworks, Curis, and Sirocco Systems.
Prior to co-founding Lighthouse in June 1994, Ms. York was a senior vice president with Comdisco Ventures where she established, directed, and managed East Coast investment activities. While at Comdisco, she led its investments in over 50 companies, primarily in the biotechnology and communications equipment areas, including Human Genome Sciences, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Appex, Brooktrout Technologies, and Cascade Communications.
She is a Board Member of The New England Venture Capital Association, and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Harvard Business School. She is Chair of the Museum of Science’s Finance Committee, and the Treasurer of The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. She is on the Board of Trustees at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and on the Board of Fellows at the Harvard Medical School. She also serves on the Advisory Boards of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard University, the Harvard Medical School’s System Biology Department, and the Harvard Business School’s Rock Center for Entrepreneurship.
She holds an AB in economics from Harvard University and a MBA from Harvard Business School.
Eric Paley is a Managing Partner at Founder Collective, an early stage venture capital fund started by a team of entrepreneurs that launched companies and led them through successful exits. These founders focus on helping the next generation of great entrepreneurs build important and lasting businesses. Eric sits on the boards of Harvest Automation, The Trade Desk, and AdSafe Media.
Previously, Eric was the CEO and a co-founder of Brontes Technologies, which was acquired in 2006 by 3M. Investors in Brontes included David Frankel (Founder Collective), Bain Capital Ventures, Charles River Ventures and Flybridge Capital Partners.
Eric is an angel investor in a number of companies including Magazine Radar, OPOWER, TrialPay and Link Medicine and also served as a senior advisor to Flybridge Capital Partners. Eric was previously co-founder and CEO of Abstract Edge, a web application and marketing company in New York.
Eric graduated Magna Cum Laude from Dartmouth College and with High Distinction, as a Baker Scholar, from the Harvard Business School.
Eric Ries is the creator of the Lean Startup methodology and the author of the popular entrepreneurship blog Startup Lessons Learned. He previously co-founded and served as Chief Technology Officer of IMVU. In 2007, BusinessWeek named Ries one of the Best Young Entrepreneurs of Tech and in 2009 he was honored with a TechFellow award in the category of Engineering Leadership.
He serves on the advisory board of a number of technology startups, and has worked as a consultant to a number of startups, companies, and venture capital firms.
He is the co-author of several books including The Black Art of Java Game Programming (Waite Group Press, 1996). While an undergraduate at Yale University, he co-founded Catalyst Recruiting. Although Catalyst folded with the dot-com crash, Ries continued his entrepreneurial career as a Senior Software Engineer at There.com, leading efforts in agile software development and user-generated content.
Diego Rodriguez is a partner at IDEO and a founding professor at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University (the d.school). He currently leads IDEO’s office in Palo Alto, where he works with colleagues and clients on venture design, organizational processes, and marketing.
Diego pioneered a new discipline called Business Design at IDEO, which has since become part of the firm’s core offering. At Stanford, Diego created a new paradigm for active learning with his class Creating Infectious Action, in which business, engineering, and social science students use design thinking to prototype “viral” offerings and services.
In 2010, Fortune named Diego as one of “The Smartest People in Tech.” His influential blog, metacool, is an opinion leader in business, technology, and innovation. Fast Company called the site “a must-read for anyone who wants to incorporate design thinking into their work.” Diego has received many accolades over the course of his career, including a Chicago Athenaeum Good Design Award, and he holds multiple patents. He serves on the boards of the d.school, Boulder Digital Works, and the Harvard Business School California Research Center.
Prior to joining IDEO, Diego was an R&D engineer at Hewlett-Packard and a marketer at Intuit. Diego earned bachelor’s degrees with honors in engineering and humanities from Stanford and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.
Norman C. Selby
Norman C. Selby has spent 30 years in the healthcare world in a variety of consulting, managerial, investment and Board roles. He is currently a Senior Advisor at Perseus, L.L.C., a private equity firm with offices in Washington, D.C. and New York; he led Perseus’s strategy and investments in healthcare from 2005 – 2011. He is also Executive Chairman of Real Endpoints llc, a start-up information and publishing company focused on the changing world of healthcare reimbursement.
Before joining Perseus, Mr. Selby was President and CEO of TransForm Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on innovation in the form and formulation of drug compounds that was acquired by Johnson & Johnson. He was also an Executive Vice President at Citigroup/Citicorp from 1997-2000.
Mr. Selby is Chairman of two Perseus portfolio companies: NanoBio Corporation and Physicians Interactive LLC. He is on the Supervisory Board of Merz Group GmbH, and is Chairman of its U.S. subsidiary. Mr. Selby is also a Board member of Metamark Genetics Inc, a cancer diagnostics company based in Cambridge, Mass, and was on the Board of Millennium Pharmaceuticals (MLNM) from 2000 – 2008. In addition, he was Chairman of Windhover Information, the leading B2B publishing and information company in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries, from 2004 until it was sold to Reed Elsevier in 2008.
Mr. Selby holds a B.A. in Architecture from Yale College and an M.B.A. with Distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.
Lauri is a veteran of the building products manufacturing industry. In 1992, Lauri took over Union Corrugating Company, a family business manufacturing metal building products. At that time, Union Corrugating was a $9MM revenue business on the verge of bankruptcy. During her 14 years as President and CEO of the company, Lauri turned the business around from an underperforming minor industry player to an industry leader in customer service and product quality.
Lauri’s objective was to create the best performing company in the industry. A critical part of that plan was to foster a company culture of honesty and fairness as a foundation for building the best employee team in the industry. With that vision, Lauri and her team built the business to over $110MM in revenue and with EBITDA margins substantially above industry norms. In 2004, Lauri sold Union Corrugating to a private equity firm, remained as CEO until 2006, and currently sits on the Board of the company.
Lauri began her career at Bain and Company, management consultants, where she worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies. She received a BA in Economics, Magna Cum Laude, from Princeton University as well a MBA from Harvard Business School.
Lauri lives in Brookline, MA with her husband and four children. She is currently a Managing Director at White Oak Investment Partners. Lauri is active in her local community of Brookline, MA as an elected member of Brookline Town Meeting. She is currently directing a pro-bono strategy project for Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston. You can read more about Lauri Union in the book “How She Does It”, by Margaret Heffernan and in two Union Corrugating cases published by the Harvard Business School.