San Jose State University

Term: Fall 2012

View the complete list of events here

SVCE Speaker Event - November 7, 2012

Topic: The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups
Where: MLK Library, Room 225/229 San Jose State Main Campus
Time: 6-7:30 pm, Monday, November 7, 2012
Speakers: Dr. Randall Stross, Professor, San Jose State University; columnist, New York Times
Registration: Registration is closed for this event

Guest Speaker's Bio:

Dr. Randall Stross

Talat Hassan

Dr. Randall Stross

Randall Stross is a business historian who joined the College of Business’s faculty in 1986. Since then, he has published ten books, most of which explore present-day technology, business, and society.

Several books have centered on Silicon Valley startups. Steve Jobs & the NeXT Big Thing, published almost twenty years ago in 1993, examined a startup, NeXT, that struggled to survive. Jobs learned much during the twelve years at NeXT that would serve him well when he returned to Apple.

In early 2000, Prof. Stross published eBoys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalist At Work. It was based on two years of field work, embedded in the offices of Benchmark Capital and a number of its portfolio companies, including a small startup based in San Jose: eBay.

Like eBoys, The Launch Pad looks at new venture investing through the lens of investors and founders but this work is focused on Y Combinator, which invests in startups on a mass scale.

Prof. Stross has also written books about Microsoft, Google, and Thomas Edison.

Since 2004, he has written the biweekly “Digital Domain” column for the Sunday edition of the New York Times where he write about technology businesses.

He grew up in Topeka, Kansas, and Denver, Colorado, and holds degrees from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Stanford University.


SVCE Event Video - Dr. Randall Stross

  Past Events

SVCE Speaker Event - October 8, 2012

Topic: What’s different about making a difference?
Lessons from for-profit ventures for social ventures
Where: MLK Library, Room 225/229 San Jose State Main Campus
Time: 6-7:30 pm, Monday, October 8, 2012
Speakers: Talat Hasan, serial entrepreneur, General Partner, HiTek Ventures; Board Chair, India Community Center
Registration: Registration is Closed for this event.

What’s different about making a difference? Lessons from for-profit ventures for social ventures

Guest Speaker's Bio:

Talat Hasan

Talat Hassan

MS. TALAT F. HASAN, General Partner Hitek Venture Partners

Talat Hasan is one of the first women entrepreneurs and the first Indian American woman to found a technology company in Silicon Valley. In 1983, she co-founded Prometrix Corporation, which designed and marketed products for the semiconductor manufacturing industry.  In 1994 Prometrix was acquired by Tencor (a public company) which eventually led to the acquisition by KLA.  After leaving Tencor, she founded Sensys Instruments in 1996. As CEO she built a company that successfully launched a disruptive product for semiconductor process control.  The company was acquired by ThermaWave, a public company, in 2002, which was later acquired by KLA-Tencor. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, she spent several years as a research scientist in semiconductor technology at Philips Research Labs in Sunnyvale, CA.

Talat holds a B.A. Hons. in Physics from Oxford University and a B.Sc. in Physics from Aligarh Muslim University (India).  She has lived in the United States since 1977.

She currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Molecular Imprints, a nanotechnology company,  XStor, a Healthcare IT company in Silicon Valley, and CL Educate, a leading education company in India.   She has been an active high technology investor for the past 15 years, through Hitek Venture Partners.  Hitek has invested in over 30 startup companies, many of which she has personally advised and mentored.

Talat is currently the Chair Emeritus of India Community Center (, the first of its kind in the USA, located in Silicon Valley California.  ICC, which she co- founded in 2003 operates a 50,000 sq.ft. facility and serves over 6000 people a month and the 200,000 Indian American community of the Bay Area

Ms. Hasan currently serves on the US India Science and Technology Endowment Board (established by the governments of both countries) to provide funding for joint R&D and entrepreneurial activities.  She is on the advisory boards of Roshni (an NGO that works on education of under-privileged girls in India) and Maitri (a Domestic Violence support organization), is a charter member of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs), and a trustee of AIF (American India Foundation). She is also a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum.  Talat served on the board of Castilleja School (a 105 year old private school for girls) for several years, where she helped launch their Global Program for the 21st century.

With her husband, Talat has established the "Hasan Family Foundation" in US and the "Nurul Hasan Educational Foundation" in India (named after her late father, a former Education Minister of India).  The "Nurul Hasan Educational Foundation" in India provides scholarships for students from under-privileged sections of India at several major Indian Universities, as well as in High Schools and vocational schools in north India.  In addition, the Foundation has set up Digital Equalizer (DE) Centers in schools together with AIF.

She and her husband, Kamil, have endowed a chair in Indian classical music at the University of California in Santa Cruz through the "Hasan Family Foundation". The foundation is also actively involved in supporting the arts, education, and non-profits throughout the Bay Area.  Talat and Kamil are also very active in building political influence and awareness for the Indo-American community nation-wide.


SVCE Speaker Event - September 10, 2012

Topic: Customer Development: How to Fail Less
Where: MLK Library, Room 225/229 San Jose State Main Campus
Time: 6-7:30 pm, Monday, September 10, 2012
Speakers: Steve Blank, Serial Entrepreneur, Educator, Author.
Registration: Registration is Closed for this event.

Customer Development: How to Fail Less

Guest Speaker's Bio:

Steve Blank

Dr. Richard Swanson

A RETIRED EIGHT-TIME SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR, Steve’s insight that startups are not small versions of large companies is reshaping the way startups are built and how entrepreneurship is taught. His observation that large companies execute business models, but startups search for them, led him to realize that startups need their own tools, different than those used to manage existing companies.

Steve’s first tool for startups, the Customer Development methodology, spawned the Lean Startup movement. The fundamentals of Customer Development are detailed in Blank’s first book, The Four Steps to the Epiphany (2003), which together with his blog,, is considered required reading among entrepreneurs, investors and established companies throughout the world. His second book, The Startup Owner’s Manual, was published in March 2012. It is a step-by-step guide to building a successful company that incorporates the best practices, lessons and tips that have swept the startup world since The Four Steps was published.

Blank teaches Customer Development and entrepreneurship at Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley Haas Business School and Columbia University, and his Customer Development process is taught at Universities throughout the world. In 2011, he developed the Lean LaunchPad, a hands-on class that integrates Business Model design and Customer Development into practice through fast-paced, real-world customer interaction and business model iteration. In 2011, the National Science Foundation adopted Blank’s class for its Innovation Corps (I-Corps), training teams of the nation’s top scientists and engineers, to take their ideas out of the university lab and into the commercial marketplace. The San Jose Mercury News listed him as one of the 10 Influencers in Silicon Valley.

Steve arrived in Silicon Valley in 1978, as boom times began. He joined his first of eight startups including two semiconductor companies, Zilog and MIPS Computers; Convergent Technologies; a consulting stint for Pixar; a supercomputer firm, Ardent; peripheral supplier, SuperMac; a military intelligence systems supplier, ESL; Rocket Science Games. Steve co-founded startup number eight, E.piphany, in 1996.