Jason Robins is Chief Executive Officer of DraftKings, the innovative sports-tech entertainment platform that is changing the way consumers around the world engage with and consume sports. Robins co-founded DraftKings in 2012 and oversees all of the company’s strategy and operations, while also driving funding and partnerships.
Robins has quickly built a reputation for expanding DraftKings’ reach across numerous platforms through wide-ranging, forward-thinking partnerships. Under his leadership, DraftKings became the first DFS company to sign a league partnership, with Major League Baseball (MLB) in 2013. Since then, the company has signed three additional league-wide partnerships, including the National Hockey League (NHL) and NASCAR. DraftKings is also the exclusive partner of 12 National Football League (NFL) teams, seven National Basketball League (NBA) teams, 27 MLB teams and seven NHL teams.
He has also spearheaded DraftKings’ partnerships with major media outlets, including ESPN, FOX Sports and Bleacher Report; marquee facilities like Madison Square Garden, STAPLES Center, AT&T Stadium and Gillette Stadium; and charitable events with golf icon Tiger Woods and NBA Champion Shane Battier.
Robins’ work has been recognized by the media and his peers, both nationally and locally in the Boston region. Among his recent accolades, he was named to Fortune’s 2015 “40 Under 40” list of the most influential people in business in September 2015, appearing on that issue’s cover. Additional honors in 2015 include being named to Sports Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list and receiving the Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award for New England. Under his leadership, DraftKings has been named the Best Fantasy Sports Provider by iGaming North America (2015) and is a two-time winner of Bostinno’s 50 On Fire Award (2014, 2015).
Robins attended Duke University, where he received his degree in Economics and Computer Science. He resides with his wife and sons in the Boston area.
A world-renowned expert in robotics and automotive technology, Karl Iagnemma is CEO of nuTonomy Inc., the leading developer of state-of-the-art software systems for self-driving cars, which he co-founded in 2013.
He was previously a Principal Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where since 2006 he directed the Robotic Mobility Group. Karl’s research findings have been applied to passenger vehicle safety systems, robotic surgery, and Mars surface exploration, among other domains. Karl has conducted collaborative research with many private companies and federal government agencies, including Ford Motor Company, Nissan Motor Company, the NASA Mars Program Office, DARPA, the U.S. Army, and Samsung Electronics.He holds a B.S. from the University of Michigan, where he graduated summa cum laude, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. Karl is also a published author of fiction whose work has been translated into eight languages. He is the author of the 2007 novel, The Expeditions, and a collection of short stories, On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction.
Linden is co-founder and CEO of IFTTT, a platform that helps your products and services work better together. With a background in engineering and design, Linden is passionate about wild ideas of all kinds.
Sid Misra (HBS ’13) is founder and CEO of Perceptive Automata. He leads a team of neuroscience, cognitive science, and computer vision experts who created the next-generation behavior and neuroscience-driven AI enabling autonomous vehicles to negotiate human interactions. They are developing critical technology for the large-scale rollout of self-driving cars into densely populated cities. Sid spent most of his pre-MBA career building telecommunications and internet startups. After business school, he wrote 7 HBS cases with Professors Joe Lassiter and Bill Sahlman prior to beginning an Entrepreneur-In-Residence position as a Blavatnik Fellow at Harvard that led to his current venture. Sid also has a BS in Electrical Engineering and a BA in Economics from Columbia University.
Founder & CEO
Justin McLeod is founder and CEO of Hinge, the relationship app that helps you discover new people through friends. He grew up in Louisville, KY and studied at Colgate University. After a few years in management consulting, Justin attended Harvard Business School and decided to follow his passion for connecting people. He founded Hinge in February 2011 and launched the previous version of the app, legacy Hinge, in February 2013. As a romantic and protagonist of a real life love story, Justin was upset by the negative swipe culture free dating apps had created. So in October 2016, he relaunched Hinge as the first members-only community for relationship-seeking millennials.
David Askaryan is passionate about creating visceral experiences through art, science, and technology as a way to catalyze growth and evolution. Using VR, he’s exploring methods of generating out-of-body experiences for people that will transform their perspective. This renewed perspective can be applied to therapeutic, consumer, and enterprise solutions. David is a product manager at Bridgewater Associates, where he is piloting the use of VR in various experimental use cases. He holds an MBA from Harvard and a BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Florida.
LIGHTNING TALKS: DEMYSTIFYING TECHNOLOGY
HOSTED BY HBS CODE CLUB
Additive manufacturing and potential of 3D printing
For all of the hype around 3D printing, the technology has yet to make the leap from small batch to fully scaled manufacturing. Come explore the cutting edge research that will make the original vision for 3D printing a reality, including a walk-through of recent work at the MIT Media Lab.
Jifei Ou (MIT PhD’18) is a researcher at MIT whose work in 3D printing ranges from patented polymers to pasta. He has worked extensively in the manufacturing ecosystem of Shenzhen, in addition to past experience at Autodesk.
Building next-gen cloud storage…with blockchains?
Bitcoins and blockchains are all the rage, but few projects have delivered any working code or real-world applications. Learn how Sia developed a breakthrough decentralized cloud storage network using a combination of blockchain tech, smart contracts, payment channels, and erasure coding. As blockchains becomes more prevalent in today’s digital economy, understand what makes their use so powerful for the next wave of innovation.
Zach Herbert is currently VP of Operations at Sia, after taking a leave of absence from HBS post RC year. Zach is a mechanical engineer by training, and previously worked as a senior technical analyst at Altisource Labs.
The use of Machine Learning algorithms has proliferated over the past decade. But while some predictions can seem like magic, getting there is anything but. It’s downright un-sexy: data cleaning, feature extraction and outlier removal (among other things). Even doing all of that doesn’t guarantee a model will accurately map to reality, especially when abstracted from domain expertise and business logic. In this talk, learn how to interrogate algorithms that business operators increasingly rely on.
Adam Behrens (MBA ’18) has worked as a software engineer building machine learning models at Neurable (mind-control VR) and Analytical Space (satellites). Adam previously worked in data analytics at Deloitte Consulting, and holds a masters in analytic philosophy from LSE.
What separates BuzzFeed from traditional media giants like the Wall Street Journal? It’s no longer breaking news or in-depth exposes, but something arguably much harder to get right: metrics, data pipelines, and smart tools for image based content. Come prepared for thoughts on the media landscape, #fakenews and some gif-heavy slides.
Anita Mehrotra (MBA ’18) has held numerous data scientist roles, including Buzzfeed, the Technology Labs at Accenture, and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Information. Anita is a computational scientist and mathematician by training, and holds an SM from Harvard IACS-SEAS.