Silicon Valley snapshots of Betawork, Zipcar, and Groupon.
Spotting the Next Big Tech: John Borthwick, CEO, Betaworks. Car Talk: How Zipcar Reinvented Urban Transit: Scott Griffith, Former CEO, Zipcar. What's Next for Entrepreneurs: Ted Leonsis, Co-CEO, Groupon; Owner, Washington Wizards & Washington Capitals. Moderated by Megan Garber, Staff Writer, The Atlantic.
John Borthwick is Founder & CEO of betaworks. Prior to launching betaworks, John was CEO of Fotolog. Before Fotolog John was SVP of Technology and Alliances at Time Warner Inc.
Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was formerly an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab, where she wrote about innovations in the media.
Scott served as Chairman and Chief Executive officer from 2003-2013, solidifying Zipcar as the world's leading car sharing network, growing the company organically and through several acquisitions, taking the company public in 2011, and then negotiating the sale of Zipcar to Avis Budget Group in 2013.
Along the way, Scott was at the forefront of the evolution of car sharing, fostering its emergence as a new transportation category over the last decade. Griffith’s operational and brand leadership allowed the company to help reduce congestion, ease parking demands and lower communities' overall carbon footprints. He spearheaded groundbreaking partnerships with several top global brands, the world's largest automakers, and countless transit agencies, universities and influential city and state governments that transformed Zipcar and the transportation industry alike.
Griffith was one of Huffington Post's 2010 Game-Changers in Transportation, Corporate Responsibility Magazine's 2010 Social Entrepreneur CEO of the Year and one of BusinessWeek's Best Leaders of 2006.
Prior to Zipcar, Griffith held senior level positions at The Boeing Company; Information America, an Atlanta-based provider of online public record information; and The Parthenon Group, a boutique business strategy and investment firm. Griffith earned his Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He also serves on the board of directors for both the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and The Alliance for Business Leadership.
Ted Leonsis is the founder, chairman, majority owner and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns and operates the Washington Capitals (NHL), Washington Wizards (NBA), Washington Mystics (WNBA) and Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C. The partnership also operates Kettler Capitals Iceplex (the Washington Capitals’ training facility and front office headquarters) and the George Mason University Patriot Center.
The company was formed in June 2010, serves a thriving regional sports community and is the only privately held company in a top 10 market to own and operate three professional sports teams and its arena. Mr. Leonsis has owned the Washington Capitals since the spring of 1999, and in that timeframe the team has won six Southeast Division titles, a Presidents’ Trophy and has recorded more than 100 consecutive sellouts at Verizon Center.
Mr. Leonsis serves on the board of governors for the NBA and NHL as well as the executive committee of the NHL.
During his almost 14-year career at AOL, Mr. Leonsis served as president of American Online Services Company, president of AOL Studios, president of AOL Web Properties, vice chairman and president of AOL Core Services, vice chairman and president of AOL Audience Business and vice chairman emeritus. The company recorded its greatest levels of innovation and growth under his leadership, and in May 2010 AOL named a central office tower The Leonsis Creative Center in his honor. Mr. Leonsis retired from active management of AOL in 2006.
Mr. Leonsis is now a partner in the newly created “speed-up capital” Revolution Growth Fund II. In a 25-year period he has personally made investments and owned equity in numerous companies, including Groupon, Google, AOL, Revolution Money, AddThis, Preview Travel (Travelocity), GridPoint, Mahalo, MobilePosse, ObjectVideo, SB Nation, TidalTV, Zedge, Triporati, Personal, I-Village, Proxicom, ePals, SnagFilms and MediaBank. Most recently he led the Revolution Growth investments in FedBid, Resonate Networks and Echo360.
Mr. Leonsis created and produced the award-winning film Nanking. The film premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and was awarded the Documentary Editors Award. The film went on to win the Peabody Award and the Emmy Award. The film was distributed theatrically, appeared on HBO and is one of the most viewed documentaries of all time because of its wide distribution in theater and on television throughout China. Mr. Leonsis also produced the documentary film Kicking It, which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and aired on ESPN. He also produced A Fighting Chance, which aired on ESPN in 2010.
Mr. Leonsis has two films in development, When I Die, a film about young adults currently serving prison sentences of life without parole and The Liberation, a new film about reclaiming lives off the mean streets of Washington, DC.
Mr. Leonsis is the founder, chairman and largest shareholder in SnagFilms, the web’s leading online distribution channel for documentary and independent films. SnagFilms also owns and operates indieWIRE.com, the leading site for news and information about independent and documentary films. SnagFilms has more than 4,000 films in its digital library, and its iPad app is a top 10 entrant in the entertainment category.
SnagFilms is available on 167 platforms and its films are available through more than 200,000 affiliate partnerships and on more than 1 billion pages around the web.
Mr. Leonsis is an investor, a member of the board of directors and co-CEO of Groupon. He also serves on the board of directors at AddThis, where he served as chairman; American Express, where he heads the technology and innovation committee; Rosetta Stone; and Alcatel-Lucent, where he is on the technology committee. Mr. Leonsis also is on the board of directors of Georgetown University, his alma mater. He also serves on the charity boards of DC CAP (District of Columbia College Access Program) and CSF – DC (College Success Foundation – District of Columbia).
Through the Leonsis Foundation, his sports teams, SnagFilms and his family’s personal giving, more than 400 charities were served and supported during the last 12 months. Highlighted charities and causes include Best Buddies, DC Central Kitchen, See Forever Foundation, Venture Philanthropy Partners, Street Soccer USA, YouthAIDS, GlobalGiving.org, DC CAP, D.C. College Success Foundation, Potomac School, Georgetown University, Children’s Hospital, Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association, Salvation Army Angle Tree, Alliance for Lupus Research, Serve DC, Fort Dupont Ice Arena and Ice Hockey Club, USO of Metropolitan Washington, Capital Area Food Bank, Flashes of Hope, Inova Health System Foundation, UNICEF, obesity prevention and numerous local schools, cancer research and awareness programs.
Mr. Leonsis has authored numerous books, including Blue Magic: The People, Power and Politics Behind the IBM PC and The Business of Happiness: 6 Secrets to Extraordinary Success in Work and Life.
Former Zipcar CEO Scott Griffith explains how the convergence of technology, data, and automobiles have revolutionized the transportation industry in a way the world hasn't seen since the days of Henry Ford.