Thousands of business men and women from across the world converged on Stanford University’s campus last week to network, pitch ideas and collaborate on concepts at the 7th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
Friday, the third and final day of the event, featured panels that included President Obama, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, AOL co-founder Steve Case, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and the cast members of HBO’s Silicon Valley.
Obama joked that during the 2008 presidential campaign his 20-something-year-old advisors suggested using “this new thing called MySpace.” No one laughed harder than Zuckerberg.
Steve Case emphasized the point that people don’t need to physically be in Silicon Valley to have success in tech.
“Silicon Valley is an idea,” he said.
As a refreshing comedic interlude, the cast of Silicon Valley shared stories, engaged in jokes with the audience and took selfies as they made their way to the stage.
Many of the summit’s panel participants were budding entrepreneurs from countries as far away as Jamaica, Thailand and Egypt. Many speakers detailed their successes as well as difficulties with government regulations and restrictions.
Zuckerberg noted that Facebook is helping entrepreneurs worldwide as the ubiquitous social media network helps people share their lives and life’s work.
“The biggest thing that I am personally focused on is connectivity,” Zuckerberg said.
In one of the more interesting breakout sessions throughout the event, Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, spoke with Mary Grove, the company’s head of entrepreneurship. Brin stressed that “luck is just a huge part of the equation,” and talent and a good product weren’t the only factors in Google becoming the most valuable company in the world.
All photos by Jamie Soja.