Terps Mean Business in California

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Event Description

The Convergence of Business and Engineering
Monday, April 23 • 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
La Valencia Hotel, La Jolla, CA

Today’s managers need to understand technology and engineers need more business savvy to function successfully on projects. The University of Maryland presents an intimate discussion with the Deans of the Robert H. Smith School of Business and the A. James Clark School of Engineering. Join Dr. G. “Anand” Anandalingam and Dr. Darryll Pines as they discuss the natural intersection of business and engineering.

From the Ground Up: Startups Becoming Successful in Business
Tuesday, April 24 • 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. 
Stanford Park Hotel, Menlo Park, CA

Each year, thousands of businesses are created, but few succeed. Come hear a panel of Terp entrepreneurs and venture capitalists discuss their paths in creating companies that have managed to carve a niche and make a profit in business.

Bill Youstra,
Venture Partner, Kohlberg Venutres

Featured panelists:
Rajeev Batra
, Partner, Mayfield Fund
Alex Mehr, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Zoosk Inc.
Gary Swart, CEO, oDesk Inc.

ThoughtLeadership@Smith: Digital Innovations, Social Media, and Online Analytics
Friday, April 27 • 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
oDesk Offices, Redwood City, CA


This panel includes practitioners and Smith School faculty who will discuss how firms can obtain insights from their online presence and their presence on social networks. Learn how companies use these platforms to understand consumer behavior, to identify influentials, and to harness the power of word-of-mouth in order to keep customers engaged, and to predict sales. Come for the discussion and stay for the networking reception from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Moderator: Gary Swart

Gary is the CEO of oDesk, the world’s largest online workplace, enabling businesses to instantly hire, manage and pay a flexible online workforce.  He has a passion for helping small businesses succeed with more than 18 years of experience in the enterprise software market. Before oDesk, as the VP of Worldwide Sales for Intellibank, he was responsible for building the sales organization, but Gary's enthusiasm for small businesses was born during his tenure as a Business Unit Executive for IBM's Rational Software Product Group, where he led Small and Medium Business sales for the Americas. Gary came to Rational through its merger with Pure Software, where he held sales, management and leadership positions.

Gary holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland.

Featured Panelists:

Jaleh Bisharat
Jaleh is Vice President of Marketing at oDesk. She is a seasoned marketing executive with experience growing companies from inception into vibrant brands that inspire passion in their customers. Previously, Jaleh was the Vice President of Marketing at several innovative companies including OpenTable, Jawbone and Amazon.com. She has also served on the Board of Directors at OpenTable and Homestead Technologies. She received Advertising Age’s Marketing 100 Award and was also named one of Ad Age’s “Power 50“.

She holds a B.A. in Government from Harvard-Radcliffe and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Bill Lan
Bill leads the Health Insurance Pod within Google’s Integrated Solutions Team. He brings over 16 years experience working with advertisers in travel, retail, automotive, finance, technology and insurance.

He began his career utilizing predictive modeling for database marketing advertisers with Equifax. He’s also been a consultant for a systems integrator, focusing on integration of marketing systems and technology consulting. Bill also brought direct response principles to some of the internet’s first advertisers at the early search engine Excite.com. Most recently, Bill spent the last 6 years with the digital agency Efficient Frontier where he was the VP of Account Development and GM of Asia Pacific. There he ran global account teams that covered $210M dollars in annual marketing spend. Working with clients, he helped develop their digital strategies across Search, Display, Social and Analytics. Bill holds an Economics degree from the University of Chicago.

Jim Oliver
Jim is Senior Vice President of Advanced Analytics at Universal McCann. Universal McCann is a media-marketing consultancy firm. The firm's services include communications and media planning and campaign development. Its clients include General Motors, Cathay Pacific, Coca-Cola, Motorola, and L’Oreal.

Jim has 20 years experience in Marketing analytics, Business analytics, Predictive modeling, Database Marketing, CRM (Customer Relationship Management), Marketing ROI, Customer lifetime value, and Segmentation. Using his knowledge and experience, Jim employs advanced analytics and technology to deliver scalable, high-performance marketing and deep business insights.

Jim received holds a Ph.D. in Information Technology from The Wharton School at the University of Pennslyvania, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington.

Ravi Narasimhan
Ravi is Product Manager (Revenue Engineering) at Twitter where he focuses on solutions for long-tail marketers and self serve advertising platforms. Prior to joining Twitter, Ravi held senior product roles at Fox Audience Network (FAN) - News Corp's digital marketing business unit. During his time at FAN, Ravi pioneered the use of fine-grained audience segments built entirely on social media data (MySpace), and leveraging them for performance marketers. He also played an instrumental role in launching MyAds, a self-serve ads platform for small businesses to advertise on MySpace and other Fox digital assets.

Ravi was also a founding team member of Strategic Data Corp (SDC), which created the first sophisticated digital ad optimization and serving system before being acquired by News Corp. in 2007. Via the acquisition, Ravi joined FAN to build the company's core ad serving and optimization system, which grew to serve over 7 billion impressions a day across 2,000 publishers.

Ravi holds an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA, and M.S. in Engineering from the University of Houston.

Smith School Faculty

Dr. Il-Horn Hann
Professor Hann is Associate Professor of Information System and Co-Director of DIGITS (Center for Digital Innovation, Technology and Strategy at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.

His research interest is in the intersection of IT and markets; recent projects include price competition in electronic markets, pricing in Name-Your-Own-Price markets, and online privacy. Another research interest of his is open source software. Il-Horn's papers have been published in Management Science, Journal of MIS, and Communication of the ACM. He has served on the editorial board of Information Systems Research and is currently on the editorial board of Management Science.

He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Siva Viswanathan
Professor Viswanathan is Associate Professor of Information Systems and Co-Director of DIGITS (Center for Digital Innovation, Technology and Strategy) at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Siva’s research focuses on emerging issues related to online firms and markets, and on analyzing the competitive and strategic implications of new information and communication technologies. His current research examines the growth of online information intermediaries, and their potential to disrupt traditional business models and transform the competitive landscape in sectors such as auto-retailing, financial services, and advertising, among others. Siva’s research has appeared in top academic journals including Management Science, Information Systems Research, Journal of Marketing, and Decision Support Systems. He is also an active participant in international conferences and industry forums.

He received his Ph.D. and M.Phil. in Information Systems from New York University, an MBA in Finance and General Management from Indian Institute of Management (India) and B.S. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Annamalai University (India).

Center for Digital Innovation, Technology and Strategy (DIGITS): 
DIGITS is an academic research center with collaboration from industry and government affiliates. We analyze the impact of digital innovations on business functions, firm strategy and policy across a number of industry verticals. Research in DIGITS focuses on the transformational impacts of digital technologies on a number of industry verticals as well as their implications for business strategy and policy.

Latest Research: Social Media and Social Network Analytics

Researchers in DIGITS are involved in the study of online social media and their economic impacts on businesses, consumers, and governments. In addition, online social networks and how firms and retailers can leverage these digital platforms for strategic objectives.
Contact Information
Office of Alumni Relations
Date & Location
Date: 4/23/2012 to 4/27/2012
Location: California

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