Sean Parker co-founded four category defining Internet companies by the age of 28 – Napster, Plaxo, Facebook and the Causes application on Facebook – transforming the way people across the world interact and share information. He is currently the Chairman of Causes and a Managing Partner at Founder’s Fund, a venture capital firm based in San Francisco.
Together with Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz, Sean co-founded Facebook in June 2004. Sean served as the company’s first president, securing financing, assembling a world-class management team and spearheading the design of the site’s transformational “news feed,” ”share,” and “photos” features.
Sean recently established his fourth company, “Causes on Facebook,” where in the role of Chairman, he oversees the company’s mission to harness the power of emerging communication platforms to enable large-scale political and social change. Under Sean’s leadership, the Causes application has become the fastest growing consumer Internet application in history, reaching 50 million users in just two years.
Prior to founding Facebook and Causes, Sean co-founded Plaxo, where he served as President, pioneering the use of “viral optimization” to deploy the Plaxo client software to over 20 million desktops. Plaxo was acquired by Comcast in 2008.
Sean’s entrepreneurial career began at the age of 19, when he helped launch the revolutionary peer-to-peer file-sharing movement as co-founder of Napster.
Sean is also the co-creator of the “Series FF” stock concept, a pro-founder financial tool to facilitate liquidity for founders and better align interests between company founders and investors. In 2009 he launched (along with Michael Arrington of TechCrunch) the TechFellows program to honor excellence in technology entrepreneurship.
Sean has been a featured speaker at universities, conferences and panels across the world including the Aspen Ideas Festival, DLD, CES, Harvard School of Public Health and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He currently lives in San Francisco.
John Battelle, 45, is an entrepreneur, journalist, professor, and author who has founded or co-founded scores of online, conference, magazine, and other media businesses.
In addition to his work at Federated Media, one of the largest media companies on the Internet, Battelle continues to serve as the Executive Producer and Program Chair of the Web 2 Summit, as well as a partner with BoingBoing.net. Battelle also maintains Searchblog, an ongoing analysis site that covers the intersection of media, technology, and culture at www.battellemedia.com.
Previously, Battelle occupied the Bloomberg chair in Business Journalism for the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. He was Chairman and CEO of Standard Media International (SMI), publisher of The Industry Standard and TheStandard.com. Prior to that, he was a co-founding editor of Wired magazine and Wired Ventures.
In 2005 Battelle authored The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture (Penguin/Portfolio), an international bestseller published in more than 25 languages. He is at work on his second book, with the working title What We Hath Wrought: A History of the Internet’s Next 30 Years. He is an expert in the field of media and technology, and has appeared on many national and international news channels such as CBS, BBC, CNN, PBS, Discovery, CNBC, and dozens more.
Battelle was a founding Board member of the Online Publishers Association and currently sits on the board of the Interactive Advertising Bureau. He sits on various startup advisory boards and served for nearly a decade on the Board of his children’s school.
Battelle’s honors and awards include: “Global Leader for Tomorrow” and “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland; finalist rank in the “Entrepreneur of the Year” competition by Ernst & Young; “Innovator – One of Ten Best Marketers in the Business”by Advertising Age; and one of the “Most Important People on The Web” by PCWorld. Battelle holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a master’s degrees in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
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