The Computer History Museum today announced the launch of the Exponential Center, the first museum institution devoted to capturing the legacy—and advancing the future—of entrepreneurship and innovation in Silicon Valley and around the world. The Exponential Center's work will focus on five key initiatives: collections and exhibitions, research and insights, education, live programming, and thought leadership.
”Entrepreneurs and computing go hand in hand. Across the world, people want to understand why that is, how it happens, what is special about the way it works in Silicon Valley, and how past entrepreneurship and innovation connects to the future,” said John Hollar, the Museum's president and CEO. “The Exponential Center is preserving history, making forward-looking connections, and inspiring next generation entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders.”
Marguerite Gong Hancock, inaugural executive director of the Exponential Center, further explains: “Innovation multiplied by entrepreneurship creates exponential impact and fundamentally changes how people work, live, and play. We have a unique opportunity to learn from pioneering people, companies, and communities in Silicon Valley and around the world. From here, in the heart of Silicon Valley, we can tell this world-wide story in new and compelling ways and help empower future changemakers.”
Launch festivities began on Thursday, June 2 with an evening gala and continued on Friday, June 3 with a lunch-time symposium.
With the theme of “1 to 1 Billion: Celebrating the Founders and Builders of the Digital Age,” more than 250 company founders, innovators, and entrepreneurs gathered for an invitation-only VIP gala on June 2. The gala recognized distinguished honorees Gordon Moore (Intel co-founder), Jay Last (Fairchild Semiconductor co-founder), Arthur Rock (Arthur Rock & Co.), Regis McKenna (Regis McKenna Inc.), Larry Sonsini (Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati chairman), and John Doerr (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers chairman). Special tributes honoring Intuit CEO Bill Campbell and Intel co-founder and CEO Andy Grove were given by Numenta CEO Donna Dubinsky and Breyer Capital CEO Jim Breyer.
The gala convened pioneering leaders who built legendary companies from key industry sectors over the past half century, including semiconductors, computing, software, the internet, social, mobile, and beyond as well as vital supporting institutions that have made entrepreneurial success possible. Those who attended the prestigious event represented founders, partners, and early team members involved in a total of more than 400 companies, including Fairchild, Intel, Google, Apple, Cisco, Microsoft, Motorola, Intuit, NVIDIA, SanDisk, Sunpower, 23andme, Intuitive Surgical, and Kiva. Managing partners and senior leaders also participated from leading institutions in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, such as Stanford and UC Berkeley, Draper Fisher Jurvestson, Khosla Ventures, NEA, Sequoia, Fenwick & West, Wilson Sonsini, and Joint Venture Silicon Valley.
Friday's public symposium offered a rich trio of 30-minute fireside chats. Speakers included Exponential honorees Doerr, Last, McKenna, and Moore (via video), in addition to MyFitnessPal co-founders, brothers Mike and Albert Lee. Sessions included: “Hard Work and Luck, Vision, and Surprisey,” featuring Jay Last in conversation with CHM's David Brock; “Two Sides of the Same Coin,” featuring Regis McKenna and the Museum's Marguerite Gong Hancock; and “From Bootstrapping to Acquisition and Beyond,” featuring John Doerr with digital health entrepreneurs Albert and Mike Lee.
The Exponential Center is part of a major strategic expansion of the Museum and is funded by a growing community of supporters, including Veritas Software founder Mark Leslie, pioneering venture capitalist Franklin “Pitch” Johnson, and Venrock veteran Ray Rothrock. To date, $2.7 million of early stage support has been raised from a circle of Silicon Valley veterans and thought leaders as part of a $10 million campaign for the first phase of the center's development and programs. The Exponential Center is spearheaded by Executive Director Marguerite Gong Hancock, who joined the Museum in 2014 after a distinguished two-decade career at Stanford where she gained worldwide reputation for leading research and developing education programs on entrepreneurship and innovation in high-tech regions around the globe.
During her short but impactful tenure at the Museum, Hancock has already begun to deliver on the new center's key initiatives. Over the past 18 months, with support from Museum staff and an advisory board that represents some of the leading innovators and investors in Silicon Valley, Hancock has led the center's team to conduct a series of oral histories of pioneering entrepreneurs and venture capitalists; led executive briefings for companies, government officials and university partners from more than 20 countries; and experimented with creating innovative digital content and presenting new formats of live programming that take a 360-degree view of landmark entrepreneurial stories.
Founding Advisors of the Exponential Center:
”Silicon Valley is more than a place; it is a concept of innovation, entrepreneurialism, and commercialization of technology,” remarked Founding Advisor Larry Sonsini. “The Exponential Center at the Computer History Museum will bring together not only the Valley's history but also its recipe of success and its impact on our future.”
Additional detail can be found at computerhistory.org/exponential.
The Computer History Museum is the world's leading institution exploring the history of computing, its ongoing impact and its future technological, social, and economic implications. CHM is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computer history, and is home to the largest international collection of computing artifacts in the world, encompassing computer hardware, software, documentation, ephemera, photographs and moving images. The Museum brings computer history to life through large-scale exhibits, an acclaimed speaker series, docent-led tours, and an award-winning education program. Visit our website: computerhistory.org
The Exponential Center at the Computer History Museum is capturing the legacy—and advancing the future—of entrepreneurship and innovation in Silicon Valley and around the world. The center explores the people, companies, and communities that are trans- forming the human experience through technology innovation, economic value creation, and social impact. The center's work focuses on five integrated initiatives: collections and exhibitions, research and insights, education, events, and thought leadership. Our mission: to inform, influence, and inspire the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders changing the world. Visit our website: computerhistory.org/exponential
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