THE FORMAL BIO:
Robyn Ward is a 20-year veteran of the technology startup space. Via her coaching and consulting business, FounderForward, she helps founders with fundraising, strategic partnerships, and leadership development. Robyn also teaches Entrepreneurship at USC and is a champion of diversity and equality in the technology industry.
Prior to FounderForward, Robyn launched and ran the strategic investment arm of United Talent Agency. In her role as Head of New Media Ventures, she identified investment and incubation opportunities and worked closely with portfolio founders to help accelerate their growth. Before UTA, Robyn was a business development and operations executive who served on the early leadership teams of five venture-backed startups, including Docstoc (acquired by Intuit).
Robyn is an advisor to a handful of startups and a mentor to several LA tech accelerators. She also recently served as a consultant on Apples’s new show Planet of the Apps. Robyn has been named a Top Woman in LA Tech by DigitalLA and a Top LA Tech Ambassador by TechWeek.
A mentor to numerous female founders, Robyn is passionate about changing the ratio of women-led venture-backed companies. She speaks often on the topic and is involved with a number of women’s organizations and events. She currently sits on the Advisory Board of The Girls Lounge and Women Investing In Women. In addition, she works with a variety of organizations aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship and STEM education.
Robyn began her career as an investment banker with Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette. She holds a BS in Business, with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship, from the University of Southern California, where she serves on the Advisory Council to the Lloyd Grief Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.
When she’s not in start-up mode, she can be found traveling to far-flung places, staying fit, and sharing good wine with friends
THE “NOT SO FORMAL” BIO:
I was born and raised in the fabulous “Apple Pie Americana” Midwest town of Indianapolis, Indiana (Go Colts).
As a Hoosier (Larry Bird, Lou Holtz and Bobby Knight fan), I am a HUGE sports nut. I studied entrepreneurship at USC (where I now teach) and lived in NYC for over a decade until late 2008, when I moved back to the LA sunshine.
I have boundless energy for building businesses, which, to me, is the ultimate sport. I am also passionate about travel & adventure, rock n roll, red wine, and my dog Joanie.
QUOTES I DIG:
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”
– multiple athletes/coaches and a favorite of my dad (my softball, soccer and basketball coach ;))
“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”
– Lou Holtz
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right.”
– Henry Ford
“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.”
– Dolly Parton
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
– Abraham Lincoln
“I love Rock n Roll.”
– Joan Jett
“GET SHIT DONE.”