Tapping Into America's Secret Sauce: Entrepreneurs
During this session, Steve Case, one of America’s most iconic entrepreneurs, and Tim O’Shaughnessy, CEO and co-founder of LivingSocial, will explore the role entrepreneurship plays in launching some of the world’s fastest growing businesses. As LivingSocial’s first investor, Steve (and his investment firm, Revolution) was one of the earliest believers in the transformative power of local commerce. Tim will share his experience working with early investors and building one of today’s most promising new companies, as well as his vision for how LivingSocial is poised to bring local commerce to a new level. And looking more broadly, Steve will talk about his efforts to support entrepreneurs through his investments at Revolution, as chair of the Startup America Partnership and a member of the President’, and what we can all do to tap into “America’s secret sauce” to ensure that the US continues to be a leader in innovation and growth.
Steve Case is one of America’s best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and a pioneer in making the Internet part of everyday life.
Steve co-founded America Online (AOL) in 1985, when the Internet was in its infancy. Under Steve’s leadership as Chairman and CEO, AOL became the world’s largest and most valuable Internet company. AOL helped drive the worldwide adoption of a medium that has transformed business and society. AOL’s early focus on ease of use and social media set the stage for its rapid growth, and at its peak nearly half of Internet users in the United States used AOL. In 1992, AOL became the first Internet company to go public, and was the best performing stock of the 1990s, with a 11,616% return. At the peak of the Internet boom, Steve negotiated what remains the largest merger in business history, bringing together AOL and Time Warner in a transaction that gave AOL shareholders a majority stake in the combined company. To facilitate the merger, Steve agreed to step down as CEO when the merger closed in 2001. He served as Chairman of the Board of the combined company (then known as AOL Time Warner) until 2003.
Steve then went back to his entrepreneurial roots, and in recent years has partnered with more than a dozen entrepreneurs as an investor and mentor. Steve created Revolution in 2005 to oversee his rapidly expanding investments. Revolution now has four divisions: Revolution Growth, which invests in high-growth consumer companies (including Zipcar, LivingSocial, and Exclusive Resorts); Revolution Ventures, which backs early-stage technology companies (including Vinfolio, Snagfilms, and UberMedia); Revolution Health, which invests in health and wellness businesses (including SparkPeople, Extend Health and Brainscope); and Revolution Places, which develops real estate and hospitality businesses (including Grove Farm and Maui Land & Pineapple in Hawaii, Cacique in Costa Rica, and Miraval in Arizona). The success of AOL, coupled with Steve’s post-AOL track record building businesses through Revolution, led CNBC to call Steve “one of the nation’s greatest entrepreneurs.”
Steve is also Chairman of the Case Foundation, a private family foundation he established in 1997 with his wife Jean. Built on the principles of leadership, collaboration and entrepreneurship, the Case Foundation seeks to tap the power of the Internet, new technologies and entrepreneurial approaches to help strengthen the social sector. The Case Foundation has invested in hundreds of organizations, initiatives and partnerships in the U.S. and around the globe. Steve and Jean joined The Giving Pledge, started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010, and publicly reaffirmed their commitment to give away the majority of their wealth to fund worthy charitable causes.
Steve was born and raised in Hawaii and retains active ties to his home state, but has lived in the Washington D.C. area for more than 25 years. He was a leading voice in shaping government policy regarding the Internet, including bridging the digital divide, making the Internet a safe place for children, and nurturing civic engagement. Later, he was a member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on Transformational Diplomacy. Currently, Steve is a member of President Obama’s Council on Job’s and Competitiveness; Chairman of the Startup America Partnership, and co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Both efforts are aimed at celebrating and accelerating entrepreneurship. He is also co-chair of The Democracy Project, an initiative of the Bipartisan Policy Center to bring bipartisan and diverse voices together to help enhance the ability of government to grapple with the nation’s challenges.
Tim sets and communicates LivingSocial's core strategy, and oversees our growth as the next great consumer brand. Before LivingSocial, Tim led the consumer products team at Revolution Health and managed product launches at AOL. Tim graduated from Georgetown University with degrees in Marketing and Operations & Information Management.