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Reed Hastings, Netflix: Stanford GSB 2014 Entrepreneurial Company of the Year

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Reed Hastings


GARTH SALONER: Good evening everyone and welcome. I’m Garth Saloner. I’m the dean of the Graduate School of Business. On behalf of the GSB I’d like to welcome you all to this event this evening.

This is the 37th Annual Encore Award Dinner. Each year the award is given to the entrepreneurial company of the year which demonstrates the spurt innovation and culture of the companies that have been springing up in Silicon Valley since the late 1970s. I’m delighted to congratulate Netflix and CEO Reed Hastings who’s MS 88 on being the recipient of the award this evening. Please join me in giving him a round of applause.

I’d like to give a special thanks to the encore selection committee for their work in selecting this year’s winner I’d also like to thank all of the sponsors for tonight’s event. In addition to welcoming many of our GSB alumni here this evening we have a number of engineering school alums and I welcome you to this event as well.

Entrepreneurship is thriving at Stanford University and including of course the Graduate School of Business. While we don’t have final numbers for the current year’s class and the class the year before, almost one in five of our graduates started their own company straight out of business school. So that’s for those of you who know what these trends look like a big increase from prior years and, and very much a, an upward trend over time.

In addition to that another, about quarter of the class took jobs in the technology sector. So if you put those together and then you add, finance jobs in tech, it’s almost 50 or 60% of the class, going into technology at the moment.

We have not seen, numbers like that since 1999. And I’m just saying you know, make of that what you will. We continue to innovate ourselves in entrepreneurship and I’d like to share with you just a couple of examples of things we’ve done recently to be entrepreneurial ourselves on the global front. Last week we launched a section of our course which is called start-up garage and, what differentiated the course this year is we offered it in a classroom that we have in the night management center which is a highly immersive classroom.

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Half of the classroom is here on the Stanford campus. The other half of the classroom, which you see through a screen in front of you is in Beijing. And, and the class was taught as a combined class of Stanford students and students from Peking University who were combining in multidisciplinary fashion around start-up ideas across two different continents. So that’s I think a sign of the times.

The other example I would give you is a, is a program we call Stanford Ignite. Stanford Ignite started as a program we used to call the Summer Internship Entrepreneurship for those of you who remember SIE. That was a program that we offered at the Business School for Graduate students at Stanford who were not in the business school. The idea being if you have something great in the lab, it might be a good idea to get a little bit of the management on the way out and we’ve now taken that program globally. And again that’s a program we’re able to offer globally because we beam our faculty out in most instances from the night management center into wherever they are and we started a program last week again in Beijing. We’ve had a program going for about a month in Santiago, Chile. We’ve been in Bangalore, India for several years. We’ve been in Paris for a few years. We will go to Sao Paulo and New York City next year. And so that’s another example of how we’re able to increase our reach in entrepreneurship thanks to the educational technology.

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