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#AskAMogulAnything:Hi!I’mJeanCase.I’mtheCEOoftheCaseFoundation.I'maphilanthropistandinvestoronamissiontoinvestinpeopleandideasthatcanchangetheworld.Askmeanything!YourquestionswillbeansweredLIVE3/14@3pmET.

Jean Case
Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
9mo Question

Your questions will be answered on Tuesday, March 14th at 3pm ET. To ask a question, click here to create a Mogul profile, then post a question in the comment section below!

Hi! I’m Jean Case. I’m a philanthropist and investor on a mission to invest in people and ideas that can change the world. I’ll be answering your questions LIVE from SXSW Interactive in Austin, TX, where we’re celebrating the Case Foundation’s 20th anniversary and encouraging others to “Get Into The Arena.”

I’m a passionate believer in all things digital and the amazing potential of technology to change the world for the better. The Case Foundation is recognized for our innovative efforts to address significant social challenges, harnessing the best impulses of entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and collaboration to drive exponential impact.

With our recent focus on inclusive entrepreneurship, the Foundation is working to level the playing field for ALL entrepreneurs—particularly women and entrepreneurs of color—in order to create stronger communities, close the opportunity gap and scale creative solutions to persistent problems. Our recent campaign, #FacesofFounders, is working to highlight the stories of diverse entrepreneurs across the country.

Before co-founding the Foundation with my husband, Steve, in 1997, I spent my career in the private sector as a senior executive in the early stages of America Online, Inc. (AOL), where I directed the marketing and branding effort that launched AOL, and spearheaded the communications strategy for taking the company public, and helped establish AOL as a household name.

I am also Chairman of the National Geographic Society Board of Trustees, a global nonprofit membership organization driven by a passionate belief in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world. My husband and I joined The Giving Pledge in 2010, where together we publicly reaffirmed our commitment to give away the majority of our wealth to fund worthy charitable causes.

A few fun facts about me: I have a black belt in Taekwondo and just returned from a trip to Antarctica with National Geographic!

Now's your chance to ask me anything! Please write your questions in the comments section below and I'll answer the questions live on Tuesday, March 14th at 3pm ET.

43 comments

  • Tiffany Pham
    Tiffany Pham Founder & CEO, Mogul
    9mo ago

    I so admire you Jean! And fun fact, I have a black belt in Taekwondo as well. When did you get your black belt, and what was the biggest thing you learned from training? What was the hardest belt for you to attain?

    I so admire you Jean! And fun fact, I have a black belt in Taekwondo as well. When did you get your black belt, and what was the biggest thing you learned from training? What was the hardest belt for you to attain?

    • Jean Case
      Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
      8mo ago

      Wow - congrats! It’s rare that I meet fellow black belts! Tiffany, first off, let me say thanks to you and your team for inviting me to answer questions on Mogul. To be honest, I pursued a black belt at the age of 43 specifically because it was something I didn’t think I could do. I know that sounds funny for the woman behind #BeFearless, but I had been through a leadership offsite experience where I made a commitment to go as far out of my comfort zone as I could, and this seemed like an obvious path. It took me 3 years but when I got my black belt, it became emblematic for me of the importance of reaching beyond normal limits, persevering, as well as a reminder that focus and commitment can achieve great things. The hardest belt? The brown belt by far - I knew I wasn’t performing up to the standard during my test and it was a discouraging moment that almost caused me to quit the pursuit of my black belt. I failed the test on my first try. But thankfully, after overcoming tears and self-doubt, and spending 10 days of intense training to build my confidence, I retook the test and passed. I wish more women could experience the empowering nature of martial arts and the exhilaration and self-confidence that comes with each passing belt!

      Wow - congrats! It’s rare that I meet fellow black belts! Tiffany, first off, let me say thanks to you and your team for inviting me to answer questions on Mogul. To be honest, I pursued a black belt at the age of 43 specifically because it was something I didn’t think I could do. I know that sounds funny for the woman behind #BeFearless, but I had been through a leadership offsite experience where I made a commitment to go as far out of my comfort zone as I could, and this seemed like an obvious path. It took me 3 years but when I got my black belt, it became emblematic for me of the importance of reaching beyond normal limits, persevering, as well as a reminder that focus and commitment can achieve great things. The hardest belt? The brown belt by far - I knew I wasn’t performing up to the standard during my test and it was a discouraging moment that almost caused me to quit the pursuit of my black belt. I failed the test on my first try. But thankfully, after overcoming tears and self-doubt, and spending 10 days of intense training to build my confidence, I retook the test and passed. I wish more women could experience the empowering nature of martial arts and the exhilaration and self-confidence that comes with each passing belt!

      • Tiffany Pham
        Tiffany Pham Founder & CEO, Mogul
        8mo ago

        I love this incredible story of resilience and determination! That's so amazing, Jean, and congratulations! Can't wait to compare notes and tips/tricks when we next see each other in person. :)

        I love this incredible story of resilience and determination! That's so amazing, Jean, and congratulations! Can't wait to compare notes and tips/tricks when we next see each other in person. :)

  • WMNCEO
    9mo ago

    How does a Black Female IT Entrepreneur possessing “Disruptive Technology” gain the support/endorsement to discuss financing with Philanthropists and/or Investor Networks?

    How does a Black Female IT Entrepreneur possessing “Disruptive Technology” gain the support/endorsement to discuss financing with Philanthropists and/or Investor Networks?

    • Jean Case
      Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
      8mo ago

      Good afternoon everyone. I’m Jean Case and I am so pleased to join you today on #AskAMogulAnything. I’m at SXSW and have had a phenomenal past few days watching attendees turn interest into action and learning from dynamic fearless social changemakers. I’m inspired by the many questions that came in from each of you over these past few days so let’s get started! Great question! There is power in networks. By building up networks and geographic hubs outside of Silicon Valley and across economic, gender and color lines, we can expand the opportunity for all entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to market. Unfortunately, networks have long favored Ivy league education white men. And they still do. In recent years only 10% of venture capital has gone to companies with a female founder. If you flip that, that means that 90% has gone to men! And only 1% has gone to companies with an African American founder. To learn more about the need for a more inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem in American and why I see this as an economic opportunity, you might enjoy viewing my recent TED talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGUdm1o3utE It turns out that the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs are women. In fact, women-owned firms are growing at a rate 1.5 times faster than the national average. And African American-owned firms, they’re growing at a rate of 34% compared to a 6% decline in non-minority firms. So they’re definitely out there and they are outperforming and there are a number of organizations and investors out there who are supporting and funding dynamic female founder of color. I encourage you to look to and use them as on ramps to networks, mentor and capital. While I do not know your specific company or location, I would urge you to check out groups like PowerMoves, whose mission is to increase the number of venture-backed minority-founded companies. Today only 13 African American women in the U.S. have received venture capital exceeding $1 million and four of them are PowerMoves alumni. There is a secret sauce there! Also look to ecosystem builders like Circular Board, an online accelerator for women entrepreneurs and CODE2040, working to create pathways to success in the innovation economy for African Americans and Latinos/as. And lastly, look at digitalundivided - led by Kathryn Finney - an organization committed to the success of Black and Latina women founders. These networks are designed to provide the connections and resources that entrepreneurs need to be successful and can be effective on-ramps into investment circles and later-stage accelerators that are producing many of today’s most successful startups. In addition to ecosystem builders, more and more investors are making specific commitments to support women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color. They see how it’s good for business and are setting aside specific funds for these entrepreneurs. Kapor Capital, the 500 Shades Fund out of 500 Startups and the Focus Fund out of JumpStart Inc are great investors to watch, connect with and learn from in this space. And in the crowdfunding space such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, women and people of color receive disproportionately more funding, so keep that in mind as a possible other channel. Whatever the “stream,” commit yourself to making a list of who you need to know and where you need to be to ensure you are in a good position to advance your interests. Before you know it, you may just find a community that will help to lift you up. And, when you succeed, I urge you to open your network to others so we can all be intentional about growing the more diverse networks we need to impact the entrepreneurial ecosystem in our country.

      Good afternoon everyone. I’m Jean Case and I am so pleased to join you today on #AskAMogulAnything. I’m at SXSW and have had a phenomenal past few days watching attendees turn interest into action and learning from dynamic fearless social changemakers. I’m inspired by the many questions that came in from each of you over these past few days so let’s get started! Great question! There is power in networks. By building up networks and geographic hubs outside of Silicon Valley and across economic, gender and color lines, we can expand the opportunity for all entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to market. Unfortunately, networks have long favored Ivy league education white men. And they still do. In recent years only 10% of venture capital has gone to companies with a female founder. If you flip that, that means that 90% has gone to men! And only 1% has gone to companies with an African American founder. To learn more about the need for a more inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem in American and why I see this as an economic opportunity, you might enjoy viewing my recent TED talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGUdm1o3utE It turns out that the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs are women. In fact, women-owned firms are growing at a rate 1.5 times faster than the national average. And African American-owned firms, they’re growing at a rate of 34% compared to a 6% decline in non-minority firms. So they’re definitely out there and they are outperforming and there are a number of organizations and investors out there who are supporting and funding dynamic female founder of color. I encourage you to look to and use them as on ramps to networks, mentor and capital. While I do not know your specific company or location, I would urge you to check out groups like PowerMoves, whose mission is to increase the number of venture-backed minority-founded companies. Today only 13 African American women in the U.S. have received venture capital exceeding $1 million and four of them are PowerMoves alumni. There is a secret sauce there! Also look to ecosystem builders like Circular Board, an online accelerator for women entrepreneurs and CODE2040, working to create pathways to success in the innovation economy for African Americans and Latinos/as. And lastly, look at digitalundivided - led by Kathryn Finney - an organization committed to the success of Black and Latina women founders. These networks are designed to provide the connections and resources that entrepreneurs need to be successful and can be effective on-ramps into investment circles and later-stage accelerators that are producing many of today’s most successful startups. In addition to ecosystem builders, more and more investors are making specific commitments to support women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color. They see how it’s good for business and are setting aside specific funds for these entrepreneurs. Kapor Capital, the 500 Shades Fund out of 500 Startups and the Focus Fund out of JumpStart Inc are great investors to watch, connect with and learn from in this space. And in the crowdfunding space such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, women and people of color receive disproportionately more funding, so keep that in mind as a possible other channel. Whatever the “stream,” commit yourself to making a list of who you need to know and where you need to be to ensure you are in a good position to advance your interests. Before you know it, you may just find a community that will help to lift you up. And, when you succeed, I urge you to open your network to others so we can all be intentional about growing the more diverse networks we need to impact the entrepreneurial ecosystem in our country.

      • WMNCEO
        8mo ago

        Thank you so very much for your knowledge and information, Mrs. Case. With women like you in the world, I know I can make my IT dream a reality!!!

        Thank you so very much for your knowledge and information, Mrs. Case. With women like you in the world, I know I can make my IT dream a reality!!!

  • Elle Toussi
    Elle Toussi Journalist. Founder & CEO
    9mo ago

    What advice would you give a woman starting a nonprofit in regards to creating the right core team and finding the right board members? How do these roles play a role in gaining donors and funding from your perspective and what should be taken into consideration from your experience and perspective?

    What advice would you give a woman starting a nonprofit in regards to creating the right core team and finding the right board members? How do these roles play a role in gaining donors and funding from your perspective and what should be taken into consideration from your experience and perspective?

    • Jean Case
      Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
      8mo ago

      Elle, that is a great question. If you talk to founders of successful companies, they will tell you that the most important role for a leader is to focus on assembling a strong team. But they’ll also talk about the importance of aiming high — ensuring that you are passionate about hiring only the best and the brightest. This is important not only for nonprofits, but also for founders of startup and large businesses. Bringing in talented people who have passion and experience in addressing the social challenge you’re working to solve, and who understand how to build a company, is crucial. As you clearly understand, board members play an important role in the development of strong organizations. I recommend you seek to build a board that has an entrepreneurial spirit, one that will encourage and help you build a valuable network that can boost you and your organization, who will stand by you and support you as you take risks, and provide meaningful advice on how you personally need to develop as the demands of your role evolve. Boardsource (https://boardsource.org/) has excellent resources that you can look to as you build a board for your organization.

      Elle, that is a great question. If you talk to founders of successful companies, they will tell you that the most important role for a leader is to focus on assembling a strong team. But they’ll also talk about the importance of aiming high — ensuring that you are passionate about hiring only the best and the brightest. This is important not only for nonprofits, but also for founders of startup and large businesses. Bringing in talented people who have passion and experience in addressing the social challenge you’re working to solve, and who understand how to build a company, is crucial. As you clearly understand, board members play an important role in the development of strong organizations. I recommend you seek to build a board that has an entrepreneurial spirit, one that will encourage and help you build a valuable network that can boost you and your organization, who will stand by you and support you as you take risks, and provide meaningful advice on how you personally need to develop as the demands of your role evolve. Boardsource (https://boardsource.org/) has excellent resources that you can look to as you build a board for your organization.

  • Jax
    Jax
    8mo ago

    How do we practically and sustainably spur synergy in consumers to actively engage in helping companies choose slavery free suppliers in their supply chain, and reward companies for doing so.

    How do we practically and sustainably spur synergy in consumers to actively engage in helping companies choose slavery free suppliers in their supply chain, and reward companies for doing so.

    • Jean Case
      Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
      8mo ago

      Thanks for joining us live Jax. I think there is great power in being a conscious consumer. Companies know this and it can serve as an important motivation for responsible corporate practices. I’ve been pleased to see market-leading companies like Walmart and Patagonia show leadership in their supply chain practices, and we can’t underestimate the role of this kind of modeling from such a big brand. At the same time, across markets and sectors, we need more transparency to help consumers understand the practices behind the brands they support. With the growing economic power and social consciousness we are already seeing from millennials and women, I believe we’ll see an expansion of companies supporting new standards and even more transparent vehicles so they can proactively make their practices known to the consumer.

      Thanks for joining us live Jax. I think there is great power in being a conscious consumer. Companies know this and it can serve as an important motivation for responsible corporate practices. I’ve been pleased to see market-leading companies like Walmart and Patagonia show leadership in their supply chain practices, and we can’t underestimate the role of this kind of modeling from such a big brand. At the same time, across markets and sectors, we need more transparency to help consumers understand the practices behind the brands they support. With the growing economic power and social consciousness we are already seeing from millennials and women, I believe we’ll see an expansion of companies supporting new standards and even more transparent vehicles so they can proactively make their practices known to the consumer.

      • Jean Case
        Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
        8mo ago

        This is an important issue. One resource you should consider exploring is the Global Business Coalition Against Human Trafficking at www.gbcat.org I also learned a lot from this recent interview the Case Foundation did with Ayesha Barenblat of REMAKE and Jason McBriarty of the Levi Strauss Foundation. You can watch it https://www.facebook.com/casefoundation/videos/10154283514799723/

        This is an important issue. One resource you should consider exploring is the Global Business Coalition Against Human Trafficking at www.gbcat.org I also learned a lot from this recent interview the Case Foundation did with Ayesha Barenblat of REMAKE and Jason McBriarty of the Levi Strauss Foundation. You can watch it https://www.facebook.com/casefoundation/videos/10154283514799723/

        • Jax
          Jax
          8mo ago

          Thank you for this resource, Jean. We'll make it available to everyone on the Slavery Today Journal website. All the best to you!

          Thank you for this resource, Jean. We'll make it available to everyone on the Slavery Today Journal website. All the best to you!

      • Jax
        Jax
        8mo ago

        Thank you, I agree with these principles, Jean. Getting them to produce results has not been fruitful. While Nike, Apple and those you mention make worthy strides, legislation such as California' Transparency In Supply Chain act have failed mainly due to refusal to disclose, and consumers lack in understanding of the true cost of cheap. I'm appealing to your knowledge in how to spur actual engagement. Create a viral anti slavery movement that in turn becomes normal behavior. In production and consumerism. Blurring rhetoric is causing slavery to thrive.

        Thank you, I agree with these principles, Jean. Getting them to produce results has not been fruitful. While Nike, Apple and those you mention make worthy strides, legislation such as California' Transparency In Supply Chain act have failed mainly due to refusal to disclose, and consumers lack in understanding of the true cost of cheap. I'm appealing to your knowledge in how to spur actual engagement. Create a viral anti slavery movement that in turn becomes normal behavior. In production and consumerism. Blurring rhetoric is causing slavery to thrive.

  • Sasha Blemming
    9mo ago

    How did you become a philanthropist?

    How did you become a philanthropist?

    • Jean Case
      Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
      8mo ago

      We are long-time believers in the philosophy that to whom much is given, much is expected. Sasha, one of the greatest challenges for philanthropy today is the very term itself. Chances are that when asked, most people would associate the word with wealthy individuals writing big checks to charity. Yet, look up the word’s etymology, it simply means a ‘love of humanity’. I believe that democratizing philanthropy can be transformative. Our work has been focused on trying to assure that anyone, anywhere sees his/her own ability to get in the arena and change the world. Indeed, we have tried to illustrate how small acts and small donations taken together can do powerful things. One of our early campaigns, America’s Giving Challenge, sought to democratize philanthropy and leverage social media platforms. At the time, we were concerned that both donors and nonprofits weren’t fully prepared for the potential of the brand new world of social media, and we knew we needed a bold step to move people toward the online tools we knew could transform the future of online giving. In that campaign, hundreds of thousands of individuals joined us and made small contributions to causes they cared about….. and over $4 million was raised! We recognize the way that technology has empowered people and leveled the playing field to allow all voices to be heard, and we believe technology has proven its potential to empower anyone to become a philanthropist.

      We are long-time believers in the philosophy that to whom much is given, much is expected. Sasha, one of the greatest challenges for philanthropy today is the very term itself. Chances are that when asked, most people would associate the word with wealthy individuals writing big checks to charity. Yet, look up the word’s etymology, it simply means a ‘love of humanity’. I believe that democratizing philanthropy can be transformative. Our work has been focused on trying to assure that anyone, anywhere sees his/her own ability to get in the arena and change the world. Indeed, we have tried to illustrate how small acts and small donations taken together can do powerful things. One of our early campaigns, America’s Giving Challenge, sought to democratize philanthropy and leverage social media platforms. At the time, we were concerned that both donors and nonprofits weren’t fully prepared for the potential of the brand new world of social media, and we knew we needed a bold step to move people toward the online tools we knew could transform the future of online giving. In that campaign, hundreds of thousands of individuals joined us and made small contributions to causes they cared about….. and over $4 million was raised! We recognize the way that technology has empowered people and leveled the playing field to allow all voices to be heard, and we believe technology has proven its potential to empower anyone to become a philanthropist.

  • Bethany Heinrich
    Bethany Heinrich Mogul Influencer
    9mo ago

    You are such an inspiring individual and thank you for being here! What is your view on virtual reality? Are you excited for it and do you think it's going to be the next big thing? Do you have any concerns or hopes about where VR could head?

    You are such an inspiring individual and thank you for being here! What is your view on virtual reality? Are you excited for it and do you think it's going to be the next big thing? Do you have any concerns or hopes about where VR could head?

    • Jean Case
      Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
      8mo ago

      Bethany, we know that when people see issues in person, they engage in a more direct way. This is particularly true in the non-profit sector where travel increases engagement exponentially. I see VR as the next way to transport people and to allow them to experience situations that are outside their bubble. Our hope is that VR for good -- using virtual reality to shine a spotlight on causes that need social good support -- will be one of the prime benefits of the growth in VR. That’s why we partnered with Oculus in a VR at the Case Foundation lounge at #SXSW. Through this partnership, we provided a platform where Oculus promoted this content and invited attendees to watch videos from nonprofits like the Human Rights Campaign and Defy Ventures. We’ve seen hundreds of #SXSW attendees come through our lounge this week to experience these VR for good films and the look on their faces when they remove those goggles is sometimes overwhelming to watch - we see tears, we see joy, and sometimes they look overwhelmed by the story that they just experienced. The next step is to move these viewers to action. We also invited GoodWorld, the online giving platform that allows you to give through the simple use of a hashtag #donate to enable viewers to donate to one of those nonprofits after watching their VR. I strongly encourage organizations to use more new tools like VR in their own storytelling to engage consumers and donors.

      Bethany, we know that when people see issues in person, they engage in a more direct way. This is particularly true in the non-profit sector where travel increases engagement exponentially. I see VR as the next way to transport people and to allow them to experience situations that are outside their bubble. Our hope is that VR for good -- using virtual reality to shine a spotlight on causes that need social good support -- will be one of the prime benefits of the growth in VR. That’s why we partnered with Oculus in a VR at the Case Foundation lounge at #SXSW. Through this partnership, we provided a platform where Oculus promoted this content and invited attendees to watch videos from nonprofits like the Human Rights Campaign and Defy Ventures. We’ve seen hundreds of #SXSW attendees come through our lounge this week to experience these VR for good films and the look on their faces when they remove those goggles is sometimes overwhelming to watch - we see tears, we see joy, and sometimes they look overwhelmed by the story that they just experienced. The next step is to move these viewers to action. We also invited GoodWorld, the online giving platform that allows you to give through the simple use of a hashtag #donate to enable viewers to donate to one of those nonprofits after watching their VR. I strongly encourage organizations to use more new tools like VR in their own storytelling to engage consumers and donors.

  • Sarah Fein
    9mo ago

    I love what you are doing. What can people do to get involved with your foundation?

    I love what you are doing. What can people do to get involved with your foundation?

    • Jean Case
      Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
      8mo ago

      I encourage you to Be Fearless Sarah and take this mantra to heart in your everyday life! We live it and breathe it here at the Case Foundation. There is a clear need for social innovators and leaders to make big bets on big social change. And don’t be afraid to go first. Keep looking around the corner to find the next good idea - because today's iPhone is tomorrow's Walkman. And truly make your failures in life matter. Failure teaches. Learn from it. And reach beyond your bubble and find new streams - people who bring different perspectives and backgrounds that can better inform your work and your mission. It’s comfortable to go it alone, but innovation happens at intersections. Reaching beyond your bubble is not collaboration for its own sake; it is a fundamental part of being fearless. It spreads risk, but more importantly, it spreads knowledge and deepens impact. I challenge you to share with us your own vision of what it means to take action on the issues and challenges that matter the most to you and your community. You can connect with the Case Foundation on twitter and Instagram @CaseFoundation. Tell us how you will “get in the arena”.

      I encourage you to Be Fearless Sarah and take this mantra to heart in your everyday life! We live it and breathe it here at the Case Foundation. There is a clear need for social innovators and leaders to make big bets on big social change. And don’t be afraid to go first. Keep looking around the corner to find the next good idea - because today's iPhone is tomorrow's Walkman. And truly make your failures in life matter. Failure teaches. Learn from it. And reach beyond your bubble and find new streams - people who bring different perspectives and backgrounds that can better inform your work and your mission. It’s comfortable to go it alone, but innovation happens at intersections. Reaching beyond your bubble is not collaboration for its own sake; it is a fundamental part of being fearless. It spreads risk, but more importantly, it spreads knowledge and deepens impact. I challenge you to share with us your own vision of what it means to take action on the issues and challenges that matter the most to you and your community. You can connect with the Case Foundation on twitter and Instagram @CaseFoundation. Tell us how you will “get in the arena”.

  • Rachel Borowicz
    Rachel Borowicz Software Engineer & Arts Philanthropist
    9mo ago

    What would you recommend to an entrepreneur who has a profitable company, who is being inundated by investment requests but could similarly scale the company further by declining these investments and continuing to fuel the company's growth through its profits. Do you think the latter approach is commendable?

    What would you recommend to an entrepreneur who has a profitable company, who is being inundated by investment requests but could similarly scale the company further by declining these investments and continuing to fuel the company's growth through its profits. Do you think the latter approach is commendable?

    • Jean Case
      Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
      8mo ago

      Rachel, it seems that you have a very specific situation and that a Board of Advisors would be well positioned to help you as you work through these multiple issues. At the same time, this is a great problem to have. The profitability you speak of and the ability to “fuel the company’s growth through its profits” gives you more options and is to be applauded. Without knowing more details, what I would advise is be careful not to limit your potential, or fear offering equity to others. While not all entrepreneurs want to build high-growth companies, many aspire to. If that’s you, listen carefully to the advice of mentors or your board in understanding the role that new outside investment can play in providing jet fuel for your young firm to accelerate its growth.

      Rachel, it seems that you have a very specific situation and that a Board of Advisors would be well positioned to help you as you work through these multiple issues. At the same time, this is a great problem to have. The profitability you speak of and the ability to “fuel the company’s growth through its profits” gives you more options and is to be applauded. Without knowing more details, what I would advise is be careful not to limit your potential, or fear offering equity to others. While not all entrepreneurs want to build high-growth companies, many aspire to. If that’s you, listen carefully to the advice of mentors or your board in understanding the role that new outside investment can play in providing jet fuel for your young firm to accelerate its growth.

  • Carmen Mackins
    Carmen Mackins PR & Writing Consultant
    9mo ago

    Twenty years is a long time! What has been your most memorable moment with the Case Foundation?

    Twenty years is a long time! What has been your most memorable moment with the Case Foundation?

    • Jean Case
      Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
      8mo ago

      There are many moments across our past 20-year history that resonate for both of us. Two longer-term efforts stick out as I write this: Our #BeFearless work. It has helped so many people, each in their own way and I truly believe that the 5 Principles: 1. Make big bets and make history; 2. Experiment early and often; 3. Make failure matter; 4. Reach beyond your bubble; and 5. Let urgency conquer fear capture much of the essence of the entrepreneurial spirit that we think is so important. You can learn more at http://casefoundation.org/befearless The second is Millennial Impact Project which is the most comprehensive and trusted study of the millennial generation (born 1980-2000) and their involvement with causes. We just released some new research on the attitudes of millennials during and just after the last election cycle and I urge you to take a look at themillennialimpact.com. These are just two of the initiatives that we have led in the last 20 years, but on a more personal note, I would highlight the incredible leaders we’ve had the privilege of meeting and the extraordinary people and places across the world that have been part of our work. From the incredible tech talent we witnessed in the West Bank, to the hopeful spirit of those struggling with poverty and disease in places like Ethiopia and India, to the remarkable adventurers and explorers working to spotlight our fragile planet in places like Nepal, Egypt and on our ocean floors. And I can’t forget to share the remarkable places that I have been across the globe with National Geographic - from our recent trip with Explorers to Antarctica, to Cuba, India, Botswana and Rwanda. It’s been a remarkable blessing for 20 years and we are grateful to the women and men who are out there everyday and whose stories we try to tell.

      There are many moments across our past 20-year history that resonate for both of us. Two longer-term efforts stick out as I write this: Our #BeFearless work. It has helped so many people, each in their own way and I truly believe that the 5 Principles: 1. Make big bets and make history; 2. Experiment early and often; 3. Make failure matter; 4. Reach beyond your bubble; and 5. Let urgency conquer fear capture much of the essence of the entrepreneurial spirit that we think is so important. You can learn more at http://casefoundation.org/befearless The second is Millennial Impact Project which is the most comprehensive and trusted study of the millennial generation (born 1980-2000) and their involvement with causes. We just released some new research on the attitudes of millennials during and just after the last election cycle and I urge you to take a look at themillennialimpact.com. These are just two of the initiatives that we have led in the last 20 years, but on a more personal note, I would highlight the incredible leaders we’ve had the privilege of meeting and the extraordinary people and places across the world that have been part of our work. From the incredible tech talent we witnessed in the West Bank, to the hopeful spirit of those struggling with poverty and disease in places like Ethiopia and India, to the remarkable adventurers and explorers working to spotlight our fragile planet in places like Nepal, Egypt and on our ocean floors. And I can’t forget to share the remarkable places that I have been across the globe with National Geographic - from our recent trip with Explorers to Antarctica, to Cuba, India, Botswana and Rwanda. It’s been a remarkable blessing for 20 years and we are grateful to the women and men who are out there everyday and whose stories we try to tell.

  • Juli
    Juli 🙀
    9mo ago

    What qualities do you look for in a person when it comes to investing in their ideas/talents?

    What qualities do you look for in a person when it comes to investing in their ideas/talents?

    • Jean Case
      Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
      8mo ago

      There is an ongoing debate in investor circles about whether you invest in the idea or the person. For me Juli, it is usually the person that trumps the idea. Don’t get me wrong, our Case Foundation mantra is “we invest in people and ideas that can change the world” — and we do! But we do look for qualities such as resilience (ability to overcome setbacks/failures), risk-taking, creative, curious, open to new ideas (not overly fixated on “one way” to do things), doggedness, and a collaborator. If there is one thing that entrepreneurs sometimes undervalue, it is the power of partnerships to boost them and what they do. And, of course, anyone taking forward a great idea needs to have a passion burning inside to see it through.

      There is an ongoing debate in investor circles about whether you invest in the idea or the person. For me Juli, it is usually the person that trumps the idea. Don’t get me wrong, our Case Foundation mantra is “we invest in people and ideas that can change the world” — and we do! But we do look for qualities such as resilience (ability to overcome setbacks/failures), risk-taking, creative, curious, open to new ideas (not overly fixated on “one way” to do things), doggedness, and a collaborator. If there is one thing that entrepreneurs sometimes undervalue, it is the power of partnerships to boost them and what they do. And, of course, anyone taking forward a great idea needs to have a passion burning inside to see it through.

      • Juli
        Juli 🙀
        8mo ago

        Thank you so much for your answer Jean! It is very helpful! :)

        Thank you so much for your answer Jean! It is very helpful! :)

  • Juli
    [deleted]
    9mo ago

    [deleted]

    [deleted]

  • namisha
    namisha Inquisitive, Avid Reader, Food Lover, Amateur Chef, Digital Sensei
    8mo ago

    What do you think is more important: The right entrepreneur or the right idea?

    What do you think is more important: The right entrepreneur or the right idea?

    • Jean Case
      Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
      8mo ago

      Namisha, since I already addressed what we look for in the entrepreneur, let me address what we like to see in the ideas. We love innovative, new ideas that have the potential to address significant challenges/opportunities in the market. The bigger the addressable market for an idea, the better! And the more transformative or disruptive, the better! We are quite excited by the new innovations we are seeing from more inclusive sectors — women, people of color, people from non-obvious places — who have lived different problems and now are building great new companies to address them.

      Namisha, since I already addressed what we look for in the entrepreneur, let me address what we like to see in the ideas. We love innovative, new ideas that have the potential to address significant challenges/opportunities in the market. The bigger the addressable market for an idea, the better! And the more transformative or disruptive, the better! We are quite excited by the new innovations we are seeing from more inclusive sectors — women, people of color, people from non-obvious places — who have lived different problems and now are building great new companies to address them.

  • Jean Case
    [deleted]
    8mo ago

    [deleted]

    [deleted]

  • Jax
    [deleted]
    8mo ago

    [deleted]

    [deleted]

  • Leah 94
    8mo ago

    Do you think it's possible to have it all in terms of love and career? How do you balance work and personal life?

    Do you think it's possible to have it all in terms of love and career? How do you balance work and personal life?

    • Jean Case
      Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
      8mo ago

      Ah, this is a common question I get because the challenge of trying to “do it all” is so real for many women. I’ll be honest — I think you can do it all, but sometimes it is hard to do it all at the same time. :) I think a firm focus on “what matters most” at each stage of life is critical — almost a “true north” — that you won’t compromise and that should play a role in setting priorities literally day to day. I also am optimistic about some new models emerging for how we work that can benefit women dramatically. Job sharing, telecommuting, emergence of more tech and more tools that enable more efficient ways to do our work, etc. All of these can be beneficial. In all honesty, I still have days where I struggle with the feeling that I need to be two places at one time and it’s never felt perfect. Women hold a very special place in this world and should be celebrated for the extraordinary way they keep so many balls in the air — often with style and grace. My hope for the coming generations is that it becomes an easier lift.

      Ah, this is a common question I get because the challenge of trying to “do it all” is so real for many women. I’ll be honest — I think you can do it all, but sometimes it is hard to do it all at the same time. :) I think a firm focus on “what matters most” at each stage of life is critical — almost a “true north” — that you won’t compromise and that should play a role in setting priorities literally day to day. I also am optimistic about some new models emerging for how we work that can benefit women dramatically. Job sharing, telecommuting, emergence of more tech and more tools that enable more efficient ways to do our work, etc. All of these can be beneficial. In all honesty, I still have days where I struggle with the feeling that I need to be two places at one time and it’s never felt perfect. Women hold a very special place in this world and should be celebrated for the extraordinary way they keep so many balls in the air — often with style and grace. My hope for the coming generations is that it becomes an easier lift.

  • Erin Eddy 5
    8mo ago

    Dear Jean, Many thanks for making time to answer questions today! Would you consider urging CEOs and founders to #BeFearless with urgent support for women's equality? Without equal rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, sex discrimination remains optional here on US soil. On behalf of women and #HeForShe gents across the country, we're hopeful America's entrepreneurs and leaders will emulate the World Bank's recent commitment to HEFORSHE.org, and also support Senator Cardin's #SJR5 & Representative Speier's #HJR53 to lift the unjust deadline imposed on the Equal Rights Amendment. Sincere thanks for your steadfast, fearless leadership! Onward, @ErinEddy Founder, GIRLS MATTER

    Dear Jean, Many thanks for making time to answer questions today! Would you consider urging CEOs and founders to #BeFearless with urgent support for women's equality? Without equal rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, sex discrimination remains optional here on US soil. On behalf of women and #HeForShe gents across the country, we're hopeful America's entrepreneurs and leaders will emulate the World Bank's recent commitment to HEFORSHE.org, and also support Senator Cardin's #SJR5 & Representative Speier's #HJR53 to lift the unjust deadline imposed on the Equal Rights Amendment. Sincere thanks for your steadfast, fearless leadership! Onward, @ErinEddy Founder, GIRLS MATTER

    • Jean Case
      Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
      8mo ago

      I have worked for decades to empower all sectors of society, especially women and those that haven’t enjoyed the same access to opportunity as others. Our current work in inclusive entrepreneurship and our #FacesOfFounders campaign is our latest focus area and through the campaign we boldly claim that ANYONE, ANYWHERE should have a fair shot at the American Dream. But this work follows decades of other campaigns where we seek to democratize access to opportunity, including our earliest work addressing the digital divide. We salute public sector leaders who are champions and activists when it comes to leveling the playing field for women, and all sectors who have been underserved.

      I have worked for decades to empower all sectors of society, especially women and those that haven’t enjoyed the same access to opportunity as others. Our current work in inclusive entrepreneurship and our #FacesOfFounders campaign is our latest focus area and through the campaign we boldly claim that ANYONE, ANYWHERE should have a fair shot at the American Dream. But this work follows decades of other campaigns where we seek to democratize access to opportunity, including our earliest work addressing the digital divide. We salute public sector leaders who are champions and activists when it comes to leveling the playing field for women, and all sectors who have been underserved.

      • Jean Case
        Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
        8mo ago

        To check out our #FacesofFounders work, visit FacesofFounders.org

        To check out our #FacesofFounders work, visit FacesofFounders.org

  • Erin Eddy 5
    8mo ago

    Dear Jean, Many thanks for making time to answer questions today! Would you consider urging CEOs and founders to #BeFearless with urgent support for women's equality? Without equal rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, sex discrimination remains optional here on US soil. On behalf of women and #HeForShe gents across the country, we're hopeful America's entrepreneurs and leaders will emulate the World Bank's recent commitment to HEFORSHE.org, and also support Senator Cardin's #SJR5 & Representative Speier's #HJR53 to lift the unjust deadline imposed on the Equal Rights Amendment. Sincere thanks for your steadfast, fearless leadership! Onward, @ErinEddy Founder, GIRLS MATTER

    Dear Jean, Many thanks for making time to answer questions today! Would you consider urging CEOs and founders to #BeFearless with urgent support for women's equality? Without equal rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, sex discrimination remains optional here on US soil. On behalf of women and #HeForShe gents across the country, we're hopeful America's entrepreneurs and leaders will emulate the World Bank's recent commitment to HEFORSHE.org, and also support Senator Cardin's #SJR5 & Representative Speier's #HJR53 to lift the unjust deadline imposed on the Equal Rights Amendment. Sincere thanks for your steadfast, fearless leadership! Onward, @ErinEddy Founder, GIRLS MATTER

  • stephanie.yang
    8mo ago

    Hi Jean! I would love to hear more about your trip to Antarctica with National Geographic, and how that has maybe impacted or continue to push your effforts, especially as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, to protect the environment. How do you think entrepreneurship plays a role in this, if at all? Thank you!

    Hi Jean! I would love to hear more about your trip to Antarctica with National Geographic, and how that has maybe impacted or continue to push your effforts, especially as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, to protect the environment. How do you think entrepreneurship plays a role in this, if at all? Thank you!

    • Jean Case
      Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
      8mo ago

      In many ways, going to Antarctica was life-changing. I wrote several blogs during my trip to share some of my thoughts and perspectives and the links can be found below. I didn’t expect to come away with lessons in life and leadership from the experience, but I really did! Out here at SXSW the passion ignited in Antarctica has continued. We’ve held sessions on the role of entrepreneurship and technology in bringing innovations to science and explorations. We’ve spotlighted extraordinary National Geographic Explorers who are in the field making a difference everyday. And, we’ve taken the opportunity to talk about our expansion of grants as we fundamentally believe there’s never been a more important time to address the needs of our fragile planet. As I discussed in the blog entitled, When Mission Is Your Business, I believe the power of the entrepreneurial spirit can change the world. That’s why I highlighted Lindblad Expeditions, for instance, and interviewed David Lang here at SXSW, a young entrepreneur whose company, OpenROV, is helping to democratize ocean exploration.

      In many ways, going to Antarctica was life-changing. I wrote several blogs during my trip to share some of my thoughts and perspectives and the links can be found below. I didn’t expect to come away with lessons in life and leadership from the experience, but I really did! Out here at SXSW the passion ignited in Antarctica has continued. We’ve held sessions on the role of entrepreneurship and technology in bringing innovations to science and explorations. We’ve spotlighted extraordinary National Geographic Explorers who are in the field making a difference everyday. And, we’ve taken the opportunity to talk about our expansion of grants as we fundamentally believe there’s never been a more important time to address the needs of our fragile planet. As I discussed in the blog entitled, When Mission Is Your Business, I believe the power of the entrepreneurial spirit can change the world. That’s why I highlighted Lindblad Expeditions, for instance, and interviewed David Lang here at SXSW, a young entrepreneur whose company, OpenROV, is helping to democratize ocean exploration.

      • Jean Case
        Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
        8mo ago

        Here are the links to the blogs I mentioned: What Traveling to Antarctica Teaches: 7 Lessons in Life and Leadership https://medium.com/@jeancase/what-traveling-to-antarctica-teaches-7-lessons-in-life-and-leadership-7a7e992d76e4#.mq7a1dmvz When the Mission is Your Business: https://medium.com/@jeancase/when-the-mission-is-your-business-faeb29afc04d#.rrsmhrn0r

        Here are the links to the blogs I mentioned: What Traveling to Antarctica Teaches: 7 Lessons in Life and Leadership https://medium.com/@jeancase/what-traveling-to-antarctica-teaches-7-lessons-in-life-and-leadership-7a7e992d76e4#.mq7a1dmvz When the Mission is Your Business: https://medium.com/@jeancase/when-the-mission-is-your-business-faeb29afc04d#.rrsmhrn0r

        • stephanie.yang
          8mo ago

          Thank you so much for your thoughtful answers Jean! I will definitely give those articles a read.

          Thank you so much for your thoughtful answers Jean! I will definitely give those articles a read.

  • stephanie.yang
    [deleted]
    8mo ago

    [deleted]

    [deleted]

  • Jean Case
    Jean Case CEO of the Case Foundation
    8mo ago

    WOW. That went by fast. Thank you everyone for joining me this afternoon. I encourage you all to #BeFearless as you seek to make meaningful change in the world. It was an honor to share with each of you today. I would love to hear from you all how you plan to take action on the issues and challenges that matter the most to you and your community #GetIntheArena.

    WOW. That went by fast. Thank you everyone for joining me this afternoon. I encourage you all to #BeFearless as you seek to make meaningful change in the world. It was an honor to share with each of you today. I would love to hear from you all how you plan to take action on the issues and challenges that matter the most to you and your community #GetIntheArena.

    • Jax
      Jax
      8mo ago

      Searching for answers to the existing problems and new questions that need asking, every single day. Some days it's at a huge conference, some days it's a tweet or a note. But something, every day. If I'm going to fall, I'm falling forward. #livingfearless doesn't mean fear doesn't affect us, it means it doesn't stop us. #GetIntheArena

      Searching for answers to the existing problems and new questions that need asking, every single day. Some days it's at a huge conference, some days it's a tweet or a note. But something, every day. If I'm going to fall, I'm falling forward. #livingfearless doesn't mean fear doesn't affect us, it means it doesn't stop us. #GetIntheArena

  • Jean Case
    [deleted]
    8mo ago

    [deleted]

    [deleted]

  • Jean Case
    [deleted]
    8mo ago

    [deleted]

    [deleted]

  • vrpecnik
    8mo ago

    How do you feel about mentorship?

    How do you feel about mentorship?

  • cire
    8mo ago

    Hi Jean, I lead a biomaterial medical device startup taking on the largest unmet needs in women's health, battling ovarian cancer and bettering perinatal surgery. My question is in regards to recruiting women. I don't want to suggest women are less comfortable with risk but we have had difficulties convincing star grads to take that leap. Suggestions?

    Hi Jean, I lead a biomaterial medical device startup taking on the largest unmet needs in women's health, battling ovarian cancer and bettering perinatal surgery. My question is in regards to recruiting women. I don't want to suggest women are less comfortable with risk but we have had difficulties convincing star grads to take that leap. Suggestions?

  • Heather Wolf 33
    8mo ago

    How do you decide who you are going to mentor?

    How do you decide who you are going to mentor?


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Jean Case
CEO of the Case Foundation

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