GEOFF YANG: Hi everybody Welcome. I want to welcome everybody here in the audience and everybody online to the 2015 Encore Award presentation. I’m Geoff Yang and I’m the chair to the selection committee. And on behalf of the Graduate School of Business, we are very grateful for your coming to this evening to honor this year’s winner, the Alibaba Group.
The Peninsula Chapter of the Stanford Business School Alumni Association created the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1977 to recognize the entrepreneurial spirit of companies springing up in Silicon Valley in the late 70’s. The first honor was given to the CEO of Rome Corporation, Ken Ashman, in 1977 after five years of honoring CEOs of innovative company, the award was changed to the Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award, and since then 37 companies have received this award. Apple actually won it twice, first in 1981 and then second time in 2005.
And tonight Alibaba Group will be the 38th recipient award winner and the first international winner of the award, so congratulations.
I’d actually like to take a moment to recognize some of the past winners of this award who are in the audience tonight or around campus. Jerry Yang of course who was going to be speaking tonight. The founder of our 9th — Founder of Yahoo, winner 1998; Chuck Schwab, founder of Charles Schwab and Company, winner in 1999; Reed Hoffman, founder of the 2012 winner LinkedIn, and Reed Hastings, Founder of Netflix, last year’s winner. Thank you.
Before we get started I just want to thank a few people for supporting this event, in addition to all of you who have come here tonight, and that is Catalyst Partners, Benchmark Capital, Evercore Partners, General Atlantic, Red Point Ventures and Sierra Ventures. Thank you for your support.