Inspiration and Momentum at the Haas Business of Healthcare Conference

Last Friday I rose at 6 a.m. feeling giddy. Instead of heading to campus, I left my house in North Berkeley for the BART station and San Francisco. Just underground and through a turnstile, I ran into Dan, one of my amazing MBA/MPH classmates.

We took the 25-minute BART ride together from Berkeley to Union Square to meet the rest of our team ahead of the Haas Business of Healthcare Conference. More than 40 students in the Haas Healthcare Association, our health hub at Berkeley-Haas, had been working together since fall to create this 8th annual daylong event.

Once at our conference site at Hotel Nikko, I checked in with our volunteer coordinator, Zoe, saw our conference leaders Chris, Manuel and Mary Claire, and ran into more of my MBA and MBA/MPH classmates as the first, then second wave of our 300+ attendees arrived. Minutes later the conference was in full swing with speakers, professionals, alumni, and entrepreneurs from VC, consulting, global health, health tech, biotech, pharma, devices, providers and services, and other fields.

Throughout the day, thought leaders in health took the main stage. We heard from incredible leaders like Dr. Robert Pearl, CEO of the Permanente Medical Group, Matthew Douglass, co-founder at Practice Fusion, and Amir Dan Rubin, president and CEO of Stanford Hospital & Clinics.


Stanford Hospital & Clinics CEO/President Amir Dan Rubin discussed the importance of effective care coordination and shared how his medical center implemented changes to achieve success. (Photo credit: Peter Brock)


Practice Fusion Co-founder Matthew Douglass closed out the day. (Photo credit: Peter Brock)


For the first time at our conference, nearly 20 entrepreneurs pitched their products in a back-to-back speed round and later met attendees at a high-energy health tech expo. An attendee turned to my co-president after the pitches and said he had never seen start-ups featured this way and how much he enjoyed it. We took this as a sign that we continue to challenge the status quo whenever we have the chance! Start-up health companies who joined us for the day included Augmedix, Lift Labs, Proteus Digital Health, ThriveOn and many others.

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Entrepreneurs shared their inspiring stories and products with student and professional attendees on the main stage and at a hands-on expo. (Photo credits: Peter Brock, Nate Keller)


Six breakout sessions helped grow excitement and momentum around targeted areas of health. Groups of attendees joined together to discuss Obamacare’s winners and losers, reverse innovation and global health, changing the culture of care delivery, funding life sciences, and big data. With a team of three 1st and 2nd year MBA students, I organized a session about transforming wellness and prevention through technology. It was exciting to look out to see a packed room and to bring great speakers and perspectives to my classmates and our attendees.


Adrian James, co-founder and president of digital healthcare company Omada Health, shared his company’s evidence-based, human-centered approach to designing tech products for prevention. (Photo credit: Nate Keller)


Speakers on our VC panel discussed finding, funding and delivering therapies of tomorrow. (Photo credit: Nate Keller)


The conference ended but we stayed another hour longer to connect with speakers, alumni, professionals, and each other at a reception at Hotel Nikko.

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Berkeley-Haas MBA students at our conference reception at Hotel Nikko in San Francisco. (Photo credit: Peter Brock)


My classmates did a fantastic job working together to organize every aspect of the conference start to finish. As I rode home with three classmates over the Bay Bridge, I realized I had learned just as much from all of them as I did from our esteemed speakers. The experience left me inspired to stay curious and keep following my own journey and reminded me why I decided to join this incredible program and community. It was a great day to be a Haasie!

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Our incredible 2014 conference leaders Chris, Mary Claire and Manuel. Some of the Haas Healthcare Association members on our organizing team celebrating a successful event! (Photo credit: Peter Brock, Nate Keller)

Contributed by Jessica Jarvis on March 8, 2014


One Semester Done Already!

I can’t believe how quickly this semester has flown by! As of last Monday I was on holiday, and have actually spent the last week up at Lake Tahoe with about 30 Haasies. We had a huge house just a few minutes from both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, the 2 resorts where our season passes worked. Unfortunately there wasn’t a lot of snow yet, but we had a great time. We generally spent the morning on the slopes, before relaxing at our house around the bonfire or in one of our 2 hot tubs! It was an excellent way to kick start the holidays.

Now everyone is heading off on treks all around the world (South East Asia, Brazil, Columbia … the list goes on), and I’m off to explore California – Christmas in LA with family, followed by surfing in San Diego, and snowboarding at Mammoth for New Year’s. What an amazing place!

Prior to the holidays beginning, it was a busy few weeks for all of us. On top of working hard in our classes and studying for exams, other aspects of campus life did not slow down. Our ‘Golden Egg’ cohort competition came to an end, with my cohort (Go Gold!!) winning the competiti0n thanks to an extremely strong win in No-Shave November and the total number of service hours, and second place in the Walkoff – the final event that involved putting together skits in the theme of Haasily Ever After. Company and club events also continued – in just the final week of class I attended the GigaOm Net:Work Conference in the city as a volunteer (and got to meet all of the speakers from Bay Area tech companies such as Google and, and went to visit Facebook HQ in Palo Alto.

Semester then wrapped up with a masquerade ball in the city where everyone had an amazing night. It has been a wonderful first semester – I’ve learnt a lot, had heaps of fun and made lots of great friends. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone again in January.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


Are You Ready To >play?

Last Saturday was the 7th annual >play Digital Media Conference, a student run conference hosted at Haas that brings together over 500 business professionals, industry leaders and graduate students to discuss the most important trends in digital media and cast predictions for the future.

Let me step back to last Thursday, when >play actually kicked off with an amazing event at the headquarters of Couchsurfing in San Francisco – a great space with couches (obviously), but also swings, and cool murals on the wall. It was a great night with about 150 attendees – a mix of student volunteers, >play vips and friends of Couchsurfing – who all enjoyed the sushi, sake, tea, beer and wine.

Back to the conference on Saturday. I was blown away by how professionally run the conference was. There was definitely no indication that this was a purely student run event. My day began with a breakfast hosted by Groupon which was really informative and interesting given their upcoming IPO. After breakfast it was time for opening remarks from the Dean, Richard Lyons, followed by the morning keynote – Jeff Jordan who is a partner at Andreesen Horowitz, and a real Bay Area identity, sitting on a huge array of Boards, as well as being Chairman of the Board for Open Table.

The keynote took the form of an interview from Kara Swisher, and they both played off each other for a really enjoyable hour, in which they discussed topics from Steve Jobs (Jordan said: “He made science fiction a reality”), to how VCs make investment decisions (Swisher joked:”to me it’s like a bunch of teenage girls chasing Justin Bieber”).

After the keynote there were rocket-pitches from the companies showcasing their products in the expo including Kno, Yelp, Yahoo!, TubeMogul, Rakoko, Pulse,, Sifteo, Wallit, Snapette, OnLive and more. Other companies at >play were Sony Computer Entertainment, Microsoft, Rexly, localmind and many more. Between the rocket pitches and exploring the expo during the day I was fascinated with all of the exciting products and trends … although one of the more fun was playing with the XBox and the Kinect that Microsoft had set up.

Other highlights of the day included talks from Sony Computer Entertainment, and Kno, who are fundamentally shifting the textbook market, to a panel on Search vs. Discovery in which we heard about the need to balance tailored results with the problems of overpersonalization.

The day closed with a final keynote from Geoffrey Moore, a best selling author and chairman emeritus at TCG Advisors, who spoke about Crossing the Chasm vs Spinning Up The Web – the different strategies needed for B2B and B2C success in digital media, which was fascinating to hear.

All in all, it was an excellent day – I had a great time, and also learned a huge amount!

Water Entrepreneurs Workshop Impressions

My classmate and friend, Andrew Collier, recently put together an awesome event on entrepreneurship and sustainability issues in the water sector. He kindly agreed to write a few words as a guest blogger:

On Wednesday, September 21st, roughly 60 students gathered together for a Water Entrepreneurs Workshop to explore and discuss business challenges and opportunities in the wastewater sector.  The event was co-hosted by the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative (BERC) and Imagine H2O, and drew on the insights of six terrific panelists including Shilen Patel (Veolia, North America), Chris Morrison (Nalco), Bradley Mart (Fogbusters), Rachel Saperstein (Hydrovolts), Paul Straub (Claremont Creek Ventures), and Rachel Sheinbein (CMEA Capital).

As a first-year Haas student, I was excited to help plan this workshop.  I have an academic background in earth and atmospheric sciences and have been working in sustainability consulting for the past 3.5 years.  I was drawn to Haas because of its strong focus on social and environmental impact (BERC, Net Impact, Center for Responsible Business, Global Social Venture Competition, etc.).

One goal that I have for my time at Haas is to emphasize the importance of water issues within the BERC community by building bridges to outside organizations like Imagine H2O.  Since BERC has a far-reaching network that includes students, alumni, faculty, and industry professionals, it provides a terrific platform to enable this sort of cross-collaboration.  The workshop served as one tool to facilitate knowledge sharing and problem solving amongst students, corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors.

Andrew, this was a great workshop and I learned a lot. Thank you!

2 Weeks Of Classes

Fall A classes finally started last week. The actual classroom experience doesn’t take up too much time in the MBA life, but there’s a lot of preparation involved; readings, cases…A very pleasant surprise came in the form of a subject called “Leadership Communication” in which we will be training our soft skills in general, and communication skills in particular, through speeches and improvisation exercises. The first class was a blast.

Club fair was also held this week, over the course of 2 lunchtimes.  It was an opportunity to talk to representatives from all the clubs present at Haas, and to better decide which ones to sign up for. Which, in my case, turned out to be a lot…

The one area I’m mostly focused on is Cleantech, and the Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative (BERC, is a very active club and spans across many other schools and institutions in campus. They held their Annual Lecture this week, which gave us the opportunity to listen to Samir Kaul (Founding General Partner at Khosla Ventures) and Chris Somerville (UC Berkeley – EBI Director) in conversation about the current clean energy and technology landscape. According to them, Cleantech is one of the best fields in which to invest given its potential, its market size and demand and and the rising issue of energy dependability. Small companies, like the ones Khosla Ventures and many other firms manage and invest on, can also easily have more than one successful technology or idea within a brief period of time, unlike other sectors like Healthcare or IT. Even though infrastructure (scale) and consumer behaviour remain the main hurdles in Cleantech, and will continue to be so for years to come, small companies can innovate, and are innovating , at a very fast pace and will be able to provide the technology to bigger companies which have already got the scale, supply chain…in place. Or as I like to summarize it: Cleantech – it’s bound to happen.

Another culinary note to end this post: some of my recent out-of-class activities have included another great San Francisco’s Mission taco and pub crawl, brunch excursion to Sausalito, soaking in the sun at Russian River and hiking at Briones Reservoir. After the hike, we grabbed a fried chicken sandwich from famous Oakland spot Bakesale Betty’s- delicious!

Haasies Head to Ross for the Net Impact 2010 Conference

The following post is authored by Patrick Schneider (FTMBA 2012), the incoming co-president of Net Impact.

Last weekend was a great one for the Haas Net Impact Chapter, as we all bundled up for the annual Net Impact Conference at the Ross School of Business in Michigan (it’s colder there!) We had a contingent of about 25 students, which I was really impressed with, considering the distance that we had to travel and our small class size of 240 per class! Everyone flew out at different times, and I think my group had one of the toughest itineraries. Our flight left at 5:30 . . . . am! Which meant that we woke up (if we went to sleep at all!) around 2:30am in order to make it to the airport on time. Of course, the flight went quickly because we were all asleep. This got us into Ann Arbor in time for the kick-off, which was great, and then we spent a relaxing evening hanging out with each other, meeting some alums who had come to the conference as members of professional chapters, and then getting some rest for the days ahead!

The next couple of days were a blur of enlightening sessions, networking with students from other schools and professionals, and some social time with all of these people who had come from around the world to celebrate the fact that never before has the gap between doing good and doing well been so small (thank you for that gem, Dean Lyons!) Several sessions really had an impact, but my favorite was a panel with the Executive Directors of First Book and KaBOOM! on how to scale nonprofits to maximize social good. Really had some insightful things to say, and got me interested in their organizations!

We had drinks Friday evening with the Net Impact chapter from MIT, and it was great to get to know these individuals from across the country! Obviously the social impact sector (in light of the larger business world) is a bit smaller, so I think it’s really important for everyone in this field to pull together, share ideas, and work with each other to maximize the impact we’re having in the world. I’m excited about continuing these connections beyond the conference! Also at this event, Patrick Schneider (that’s me!) and Dana Ledyard were announced as the Net Impact Co-Presidents for next year, and we’re so excited about continuing the great work that’s been done with Net Impact at Haas.

Unfortunately, it was time to return on Sunday, and we were all sad to leave, partly because of the great connections we’d made, but also because of the piles of Finance and Accounting homework waiting for us at home (and on the plane!) But it was a great experience, and we can’t wait to renew those ties at the 2011 Net Impact conference in Portland, OR!

—Eve A.