Mark Coopersmith

Mark Coopersmith is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Fortune 500 executive, investor, educator, and author. He has spent more than three decades founding, investing in and building high growth businesses ranging from Silicon Valley startups to global enterprises. He draws on those experiences teaching and in keynote talks and programs at UC Berkeley and around the world. For the past 20 years, Mark has taught entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership at UC Berkeley and around the world.  Mark is known for linking theories and frameworks from his work at Cal with real-world examples, tools and techniques, and intensive hands-on activities. These are the types of insights contained in his best-selling book –co-authored with John Danner - “The Other ‘F’ Word: How Smart Leaders, Teams, and Entrepreneurs Put Failure to Work.”

Mark’s entrepreneurship students and teams have launched more than 100 ventures in sectors as varied as machine learning and AI, web services, consumer electronics, medical devices, education, cancer research and fashion. Mark is also an active startup investor, and a limited partner in five early-stage venture capital funds, and a founding member of UC Berkeley’s SkyDeck Accelerator.

As an executive and entrepreneur, Mark has founded and led businesses ranging from corporate startups to global divisions for companies such as Sony, has built successful new ventures (his e-commerce company WebOrder is now owned by Alphabet’s Google), and sits on a number of boards. He’s led executive programs with leaders at Google, IDEO, IBM, Salesforce, Genentech, Disney, Airbus, Wells Fargo Bank, Daimler Benz, and Samsung, along with numerous conferences and keynote speeches. Mark is quoted in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Economist; and on media outlets ranging from CNN to Fox News to NPR. Mark earned his BA and MBA degrees at UC Berkeley. He lives in Marin County with his college sweetheart, with whom he has two children, and enjoys mountain biking, skiing, tennis and cooking.


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Word is already spreading internally about your great talk yesterday. It really was exceptional: you engaged the audience so well, you had so many relevant examples of companies that did or didn’t put failure to work, and above all the topic resonated so well as we seek to drive more and faster innovation, knowing it may require taking more risks. It was the perfect combination of great examples and actionable content! —Head of Strategy and Business Development: Samsung


Thank you getting our annual leadership conference off to a terrific start with your entertaining and insightful keynote address. It set the stage perfectly for our theme of ‘explore,’ and challenged all of us to look at the many types of innovation impacting our firms and our clients. And we also got to see some some really cool stuff! — Chairman, Global Financial Services Group


Mark’s speech was superb–full of energy, enthusiasm, and wit.  The audience loved it, and was on the verge of cheering at every sentence. — Consul General of France


Our people were blown away. Mark delivered the content at exactly the right level.  He ‘got’ our industry, ‘got’ what our people do, and got them really engaged all day. Mark delivered, and then some. — General Manager, Asteron Insurance


I have been flooded this morning with compliments on the event.  People were so engaged, and I honestly think we could have fielded questions for another hour!!! —Head of Innovation, RocketSpace (startup and corporate accelerator)