Deep Roots: Building a High-Performance, Diverse and Connected Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Tennessee
A Virtual Event Featuring Conversations with:
Steve Blank, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen,
& Russ Siegelman
With honorary participation by:

Randy Boyd
(President of the University of Tennessee)

Jeff Lyash
(CEO of TVA)

Thomas Zacharia
(Director of Oak Ridge National Labs)

Jonathan Sexton

Interviewed by:

William Malkes
Catherine Porth
McKeever Conwell
Date: Thursday November 12th, 3pm-6pm ET
Some of the most aspirational startup companies, disruptive technologies, and investment opportunities in the next decade are germinating in startup cities across the US beyond Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, and other entrepreneurial hubs — including right here in the Southeast.

Join us for a rare opportunity to engage with global tech luminaries on their lasting contribution to tech and entrepreneurship, including:

  • How to launch agile ventures, fail fast, and find success (from anywhere)
  • How volunteerism and giving back to your community creates greater inclusivity, access, and impact across tech ecosystems
  • How to align venture capital and entrepreneurial expertise with a practical approach to developing businesses and social ventures
  • Expert insights into YOUR questions

Steve Blank

Steve Blank is the Father of Modern Entrepreneurship. Credited with launching the Lean Startup movement, Steve is the author of The Four Steps to the Epiphany, The Startup Owner’s Manual and teaches at Stanford, Columbia, Berkeley and NYU. Steve created the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps , now the standard for science commercialization in the U.S. Steve’s courses at Stanford – Hacking for Defense and Hacking for Diplomacy – are changing the way the U.S. Defense and State departments are deploying innovation with speed and urgency. In 2013, Forbes listed Steve as one of the 30 most influential people in Tech.

Steve Blank entrepreneurship event

Laura ARrillaga-Andreessen

Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen is a founder, educator and best-selling author who empowers women to pursue leadership roles and encourages people to make an impact – in their communities, workplaces and society – by sharing their time, expertise, networks or resources. Laura is the founder and chairman of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS), the Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation ( and founder and chairman emeritus of the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2). For 20 years, Laura has developed and taught original courses on strategic philanthropy, women in leadership and inclusive leadership at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Laura’s New York Times Best Seller, Giving 2.0™: Transform Your Giving and Our World, encourages people of all backgrounds to give with greater intent and impact. Laura has been awarded the President's Volunteer Service Award from the Points of Light Foundation, the Jacqueline Kennedy Award for Women in Leadership in 2001 as well as Henry Crown Fellow post at the Aspen Institute. In 2011, she and husband venture capitalist Marc Andreessen received the Global Citizen Awards from the World Affairs Council. Laura holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, as well as an MA in Education, BA and MA in Art History, all from Stanford University.

Laura Arillaga Andreessen entrepreneurship eventLaura Arillaga Andreessen entrepreneurship event

Russ Siegelman

Russell Siegelman has spent over twenty years in business and technology as a manager, investor and director. Starting in 1996, Russell spent eleven years as a Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where he invested in consumer and technology related technologies and markets. Prior to KPCB, Russ Siegelman worked directly for Bill Gates at Microsoft, where he launched the Microsoft Network (MSN) and Slate project. Russ is the Chairman of the Board of the Global Innovation Fund, a $200M impact investment fund that backs social entrepreneurs around the world who address development challenges through innovations that have been shown to work. As a Lecturer at Stanford Business School he teaches Startup Garage, Product Launch, and Starting and Growing a Social Venture. He earned his BS from MIT in Physics and an MBA from Harvard University where he was a
Baker Scholar.

Russ Siegelman entrepreneurship event

Mahni Ghorashi

Mahni Ghorashi is a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur and investor. He's founded and help grow a number of ventures to exit in Silicon Valley, including Clear Labs, Bina (acquired Roche) , Trapit (acquired ScribbleLive), and LiteScape (acquired Dell). He's been interviewed  in the The New York Times, Fortune, Forbes, Wired, CNBC and CNN. Mahni attended MIT, Yale and the Juilliard School, and he has taught courses in entrepreneurship at MIT and Stanford Universities.

Laura Arillaga Andreessen entrepreneurship event
Sponsored by:
3686 Knoxville entrepreneurship

36|86 Festival is Launch Tennessee’s annual gathering that connects founders, investors, and ecosystem builders who drive innovation in Tennessee, the Southeast, and beyond. Featuring deeply personal sessions from national change-makers with plenty of opportunities to network and grow your business – 36|86 is shaping a better future for entrepreneurs.

To provide a sneak peek into the full 36|86 experience, we offer monthly 36|86 Now sessions, which are curated events that provide expert insights and virtual spaces to connect in the lead up to the annual 36|86 Festival in August.

To stay up-to-date with announcements and new opportunities to connect with and learn from the best in innovation, sign up for our newsletter

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Let’s come together for an evening featuring a variety of world-class speakers and Tennessee leaders to embrace volunteerism – the ethos of our state – in every sense of the word: networks, capital, experience, time and expertise. This year’s event will feature insights from a diverse collection of true pioneers in company and community building as well as Q&A opportunities. Deep Roots also provides a unique venue to network with people from varied backgrounds looking to create welcoming, accessible, sustainable, and thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems in their own cities.

Please join us to hear from these global thought-leaders on cultivating startup culture at the local level, growing entrepreneurial communities through mentorship, education, giving and diversity to create a more sustainable and connected Volunteer State.
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