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Inaugural Tufts Entrepreneurship & Technology Summit held in Silicon Valley

AMPLIFY, the inaugural Tufts Entrepreneurship and Technology Summit took place last week in San Francisco. The event was hosted by the Tufts University community in celebration of alumni and their journeys in entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation worldwide.

Students and alumni joined AMPLIFY from all over the map, participating in an exciting opportunity to discuss major tech trends and innovations, learn from top-tier executives & venture capitalists, and expand their own personal networks. 

AMPLIFY speakers included a broad range of expert Tufts University alumni, bringing a variety of industry perspectives to the audience:

  • Ann-Elise Emerson & Daniel Emerson (E83, A83), Co-CEOs of Light & Motion, developing a focused lighting strategy built around LEDs with synergies across dive, bike, outdoor, on-camera & cinema lighting
  • Jim Friedland (A92), Director of Investor Relations at Alphabet, the parent company of Google
  • Jordan Kivelstadt (E04), Co-Founder & CEO of Free Flow Wines, a leader of the wine-on-tap category
  • Matt Murphy (E89), Partner at Menlo Ventures, focusing on multi-stage investments in AI-first SaaS and robotics
  • Scott Sanborn (A92), CEO of LendingClub, the largest provider of unsecured personal loans in America
  • Supriya Sanjay (A19), a Software Development Engineer at Amazon Robotics
  • Julie Schoenfeld (E79), Vice President of Autonomous Vehicles, Cruise Automation at General Motors
  • Deke Sharon (A91), serial entrepreneur, music producer, and producer of NBC Television's "The Sing-Off"
  • Steve Svajian (A99), Co-Founder and CEO of Anova, the world’s leading provider of smart kitchen appliances

Members of the Tufts Gordon Institute community and Tufts Entrepreneurship Center's Advisory Board also presented during the event, including:

  • Chuck Auster (A73), Founder & Partner of RunTide Capital Partners
  • Josh Goldman (A88), serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist and angel investor
  • Josh Kapelman (A12), Executive Vice President & Principal of Hilldun Corporation
  • Kevin Oye (E79), Executive Director of Tufts Gordon Institute & Director of the M.S. in Innovation & Management Program

Additionally, three of the winning teams from this year's $100k New Ventures Competition attended AMPLIFY, and were given the opportunity to present their ventures to the crowd. These teams included:

  • Dyne, a digital platform designed to enhance the sit-down dining experience by digitizing restaurant order and payment processes
  • HeroPatch, an innovative drug delivery patch that administers localized pain relief through microneedles
  • Kandula Hard Kombucha, a delicious and refreshing alcoholic tea
Team Hero Patch enjoys San Francisco

Reporting back on the AMPLIFY event experience, Lulu Li - a founding member of the HeroPatch team and of the Tufts Gordon Institute's M.S. in Innovation & Management Class of 2019 - shared her perspective on the speaker line-up:

"All the speakers were great, but there were two in particular that we really enjoyed and echoed a lot of the values and lessons of the MSIM program.

The first was the “Learning to Pivot, and Learning to Trust Your Brand: The Light and Motion Story” by Daniel Emerson, [who, in tandem with Ann-Elise,] talked about their successes and more importantly their failures in certain industry applications, and reiterated that if something doesn’t work it’s ok to pivot, and to, most importantly, just make better mistakes.

The second was the finale event, “Redefining Entrepreneurship: Turning Passion into Purpose” by Deke Sharon (the “Godfather of a cappella”), who gave a great presentation on innovation, creativity, teamwork, and passion. This one really resonated with us [on the Hero Patch team] because sometimes with engineering we can get caught up in the rigid protocols involved and forget about pursuing something that makes us happy, and the process is just as important as the final result."