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Innovator’s Edge: Stories from Silicon Valley and Beyond

On the evening of May 21, 2019, The Webb Schools hosted its first ever Innovator’s Edge event at the Techstars office in Los Angeles, Calif. The evening was an opportunity for students, educators and professionals in the field to listen, learn, connect and collaborate with leaders and visionaries related to today’s tech scene. Head of Schools Taylor Stockdale began the evening by introducing the panelists and saying a few words about Webb. Jeff Cripe ’08, CEO and Founder of Cargo, moderated the first portion of the panel discussion, calling upon his fellow innovators to share stories of their early days and how they have continued to thrive in the increasingly complex technology industry. Assistant Head of Schools Theresa Smith moderated the second portion of the panel discussion, where she asked student generated questions before opening the floor for some impromptu questions from the audience.

Each speaker brought a unique perspective to the conversation and their individual expertise in combination made for a robust and meaningful discussion. While each panelist had their own methodologies and keys to success, it was very clear that company culture and ethics are central to their success. For Sameer Dholakia ’91, CEO of Sendgrid, “The Four H’s” (Happy, Honest, Hungry and Humble) are at the core of the company’s values and he accredits The Webb Schools Honor Code for shaping his style of leadership.

Samantha Ainsley ’07, Senior Software Engineer and Technical Lead at Google, brought a strong female voice to the panel and noted that she is no stranger to being one of the few women in the room. According to Forbes, of the proprietary software jobs in the United States, only 28% are held by women and female executives only make up 11% of the total at Fortune 500 companies. “It’s not a numbers game, it’s a cultural change.” said Ainsley. She believes that hiring more women is only step one. Creating a culture that emphasizes equity and cooperation regardless of gender is the ultimate goal. Ainsley’s work speaks volumes as to why we desperately need more women in tech.

Cripe spoke about the founding of Cargo and how he originally got the company off the ground. He started by partnering with five drivers and giving each a box of snacks, gum, water and some cellphone/iPod accessories and a credit card swiper to take payment through their mobile device. Based on the data that he collected from this test group, he saw massive potential in the business on a large scale and is now well on his way to being a global distributor, with products stocked in vehicles throughout the United States and most recently in Brazil. “Starting a business is like jumping off a cliff and trying to build an airplane before you hit the ground” said Cripe, encouraging any entrepreneur to get their product or idea out into the world and collect tangible data that you can then use to generate funding.

Following the panel discussion, attendees had an opportunity to network and chat with our panelists. A big thank-you to all our speakers for sharing their stories with the Webb community and inspiring our students.

Innovator’s Edge Panelists:
 
Samantha Ainsley ’07
Senior Software Engineer and Technical Lead at Google
 
Colin Carrier
Co-founder and CEO of Stealth
Ex-CSO at Twitch
 
Jeff Cripe ’08
CEO and Founder of Cargo
 
Sameer Dholakia ’91
CEO of SendGrid
 
Elie Seidman
CEO of Tinder


 
Webb Event: Innovator's Edge Tech Panel in LA
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Alumni News

List of 4 news stories.

  • 2019 Alumni Award Recipients

    One of the best ways to fully appreciate a Webb education is to look at the lives and achievements of our alumni. Each year, we honor a group of alumni for their accomplishments since graduation and pay tribute to their continued commitment to the mission and success of Webb. These awards recognize distinguished graduates who reflect the character and leadership qualities developed at Webb.
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    "Are you a feminist?"

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  • Summertime at the Alf Museum

    Summer is a busy time at the Alf museum. During the first half of June, a small crew comprised of museum staff and Bob Stoddard ’15 closed out the Cripe Site in southern Utah. This quarry was discovered by Jeff Cripe ’08 back in 2005 and has been the museum’s main dig site ever since. 
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Archive

Webb News

List of 4 news stories.

  • Many Thanks for Your Support!

    Thank you to the 1,500 alumni, parents, past parents, grandparents and friends who enabled Webb to end the 2018-19 Webb Fund year successfully on June 30. Your generosity helped The Webb Fund to raise over $1.9 million, plus additional support for endowment and capital improvements, bringing total gifts to $7.9 million, including 13 new estate gifts, which has become an ever-increasing and important part of our advancement program. Over 799 alumni, spanning nine decades, participated with gifts received from nearly every class between 1937 and 2018. Thank you for your contributions!
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  • Honor and Moral Courage

    Christopher Michno
    Mention the word “honor” in a crowded room and you are likely to suffer quizzical glances followed by silence. Honor, to many, seems an awkward, unfashionable, even antiquated concept—something to contemplated in private or through the scrim of heroic fiction, like the blood feuds of the Capulets and Montagues, or the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons.
     
    Yet, Head of Schools Taylor Stockdale contends, there is something important to be gleaned from the discussion of honor, something that has been missing from our cultural climate, broadly, and in education for some time—a focus on moral clarity, of discerning, very simply, right from wrong. Stockdale insists such clarity is possible even though it doesn’t always come naturally. “You have to work at it,” but the benefits, he adds, is that moral clarity allows you to make good decisions.
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  • 22-1/2 Minutes with Blake Johnson ’95

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  • CASE Circle of Excellence Award: Gold Winner


    The Webb Schools is one of only two educational institutions (schools and colleges/universities) in the United States to be awarded the Council for the Advancement of Education (CASE) Circle of Excellence Award Gold for emerging fundraising programs in 2019.
     
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