Founding Partner and CEO
Steve Poizner is a highly successful high tech entrepreneur with over two decades of starting and running technology companies in Silicon Valley. Poizner founded and served as CEO of Strategic Mapping Inc., a software company that developed a program to display geographic data on digital maps. He then founded SnapTrack, Inc., which pioneered technology that put GPS receivers into cell phones.
Poizner turned his focus to education and public service, co-founding EdVoice, an educational non-profit organization dedicated to improving public schools and serving the interests of K-12 children in California. He also served as a volunteer teacher in San Jose’s Mount Pleasant High School teaching 12th grade American Government. In 2003, Poizner co-founded the California Charter Schools Association. Poizner was later elected statewide and served as California’s Insurance Commissioner from January of 2007 through January of 2011.
Sherry Lansing Foundation
The Sherry Lansing Foundation (SLF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to cancer research, health, and public education. Among the foundation’s initiatives is the EnCorps Teachers Program, founded by Lansing to retrain retirees from the technology sector to serve as California public middle and high school science and math teachers. Another SLF initiative is PrimeTime LAUSD, a partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District, designed to engage retirees in improving the state of public education through targeted volunteerism. Lansing is also a founder of Stand Up To Cancer, an initiative which funds “dream teams” of multi-institutional groups of scientists who work collaboratively to develop new treatments quickly in order to save lives. To learn more about the Sherry Lansing Foundation click here.
UCLA Extension is the continuing and professional education division of the University of California at Los Angeles. UCLA Extension offers a broad spectrum of courses and certificates for professionals in business, management, engineering, information systems, entertainment studies, public policy, public health, the humanities and many other fields. UCLA Extension is a completely self-supporting enterprise, receiving no state or campus funds. Excelling in its quality, innovation, and impact, UCLA Extension is considered one of the top programs of its type in the U.S. As one of the early adopters of online learning for continuing education, nearly one-fourth of the 90,000 annual enrolled students are receiving their education online through UCLA Extension programs and conferences. To learn more about UCLA Extension click here.
Creative Artists Agency
Creative Artists Agency (CAA) is the world’s leading entertainment and sports agency, representing many of the most successful professionals working in film, television, music, video games, theatre, and the Internet, and provides a range of strategic marketing and consulting services to corporate clients. CAA is also a leader in sports, representing more than 650 of the world’s top athletes in football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, tennis, and golf, and works in the areas of broadcast rights, corporate marketing initiatives, licensing, and sports properties for sales/sponsorship opportunities.
Board of Directors
Granite Ventures has been helping early-stage technology companies build solid foundations for success since 1992. Granite has managed over $1 billion in venture capital and has invested in more than 100 private companies. They partner with promising and successful entrepreneurs to create businesses that have a competitive edge, and help those businesses achieve category leadership. To learn more about Granite Ventures click here.
Board of Directors
For more than 30 years, InterWest has partnered with exceptional entrepreneurs to build winning technology and life sciences companies. With more than 200 years of combined operating and investing experience, the firm’s investing team has raised $2.8B, completed more than 70 IPOs, and participated in nearly 60 upside acquisitions. As the firm invests InterWest X, a $650M fund, the InterWest team continues to believe that providing capital is just the beginning of a long-term collaboration with entrepreneurs to turn their vision into a thriving company. To learn more about InterWest Partners click here.
VP of Engineering
As VP of Engineering at Empowered, Dave says his most important professional skill is listening. “It’s simply astounding what we can learn from others in a given day, how that can shape our thinking, and what can spring from letting that happen by just listening carefully,” he says. This helpful skill transcends boundaries and applies to any position in any company.
Before coming to Empowered, Dave served as the Chief Technology Officer for Western Governors University, where he created and led game-changing initiatives to solve some of the most complex problems facing online education. Prior to that, Dave was CTO/CIO for an advanced medical laboratory, and VP of Engineering for a very early social networking startup. Equipped with over twenty years of experience in application design, software engineering, and senior leadership in technology, Dave is now building a bleeding-edge technology program at Empowered. Dave holds a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Clarkson University.
Dave enjoys being at Empowered because he works with “highly creative, motivated, smart and experienced people who genuinely want nothing more than to find the best way to help our customers succeed at one of modern life’s greatest challenges. Every day (even the long ones) is a joy.”