Southeast Alum and Silicon Valley Entrepreneur Headlining Global Entrepreneurship Week Nov. 15 at Southeast

Students at Southeast Missouri State University and members of the Southeast community will join millions of people around the world to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) with a Common Hour program hosted by the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on Nov. 15 on the Southeast campus.

The program will be held from noon to 1:15 p.m. in Glenn Auditorium of Robert A. Dempster Hall, and will feature guest speaker Anders Tjernlund, co-founder and chief operating officer at SwiftStack, Inc., and presentations from the finalists in this year’s Southeast Innovation Challenge.

“We are thrilled to have one of our successful entrepreneurial alums Anders Tjernlund visit with us during Global Entrepreneurship Week,” said Dr. Judy Wiles, interim dean of the Harrison College of Business and director of the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “He recently co-founded a highly visionary company, and his experiences in entrepreneurship and international business will provide guidance and inspiration to our students.”

Catapult Speakers Series Presents Anders Tjernlund

Tjernlund, a 1990 Southeast alumnus with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, will speak about his experiences as an entrepreneur for international businesses as well as in Silicon Valley.

Tjernlund is a co-founder and chief operating officer at SwiftStack, Inc., a cloud storage software company based in San Francisco, California. Named a “Visionary” in 2017 by the industry analyst firm Gartner Group, SwiftStack is used by leading media, life sciences, technology and web companies to store and manage their most critical data. SwiftStack’s customers are some of the most well-known Fortune 500 companies and brands on the web, including  Ancestry.com, Burton Snowboards, Cisco Systems, Dreamworks Animation, eBay, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, PayPal, Verizon and more.

Originally from Sweden, Tjernlund started his career at the European offices of Hewlett-Packard Co. He holds an MBA from the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to SwiftStack, he was an entrepreneur-in-residence at a leading venture capital firm in Silicon Valley and held executive positions at several publicly traded and venture-backed companies in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Southeast Innovation Challenge

The program also will feature presentations resulting from the second annual Southeast Innovation Challenge which invited both undergraduate and graduate students to form multi-disciplinary teams of two to three people to research and propose an innovative program, initiative or service to improve the student experience in a meaningful way. Each team then submitted an executive summary to be reviewed and scored by a panel of judges based on how impactful, innovative and feasible the idea was.

The judges included:

  • Trent Ball, Southeast Missouri State University assistant vice president for academic diversity and outreach
  • Katie Foshee, Southeast Missouri State University assistant director of Admissions
  • Gary Kellmann, president of Inventors Association of St. Louis
  • Jakob Pallesen, Southeast Missouri State University Small Business and Technology Development Center business counselor
  • Dan Presson, Southeast Missouri State University employer relations coordinator

Of the 22 participating teams, the three top-scoring teams were selected to present during the Common Hour program. The audience will vote to select a People’s Choice winner, and prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place at the end of the program.

This event is open to the public.