As a kick off to the upcoming Startup Experience workshop, Ross Baird spoke at an Upper School Assembly. The venture capitalist, author, and teacher discussed the power that the boys have to be entrepreneurs who both generate profit and make the world a better place. Baird conveyed that too many Americans who start businesses artificially separate their charitable work from their day job of making a profit. He then shared how his investment firm Village Capital seeks to find and support entrepreneurs who wish to do both at once.
After the assembly, Baird met for Q&A and discussion with all the participants in the Startup Experience, an intensive two-day workshop during which teams of students will take a product or service from concept through development, culminating with a business pitch to a team of alumni businessmen and venture capitalists.
About Ross Baird: Baird is the founder and CEO of Village Capital, a unique investment firm that finds, supports, and invests in entrepreneurs solving real-world problems globally. Since 2009, Village Capital has supported over 600 ventures worldwide through its peer review model. To date, Village Capital entrepreneurs have created over 11,000 jobs and served over 5 million customers. Before launching Village Capital, Baird worked with First Light Ventures, a seed fund focused on impact investments. Ross has helped develop education-related start-up ventures: the Indian School Finance Company in Hyderabad, India, the National College Advising Corps in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and two ventures using technology to promote civic participation. He holds a MPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a BA from the University of Virginia, where he was a Truman Scholar and a Jefferson Scholar.
Baird's book, The Innovation Blind Spot: Why We Back the Wrong Ideas―and What to Do About It, was recently published. It is available from Amazon. With a foreword from AOL co-founder Steve Case, Ross outlines what's wrong with our innovation economy--and how to fix it.