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Q & A with Sergio

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What is your background?

Sergio outside looking at the camera

I grew up in Mexico in a modest middle class family.  My family and I moved to the United States when I was in middle school not knowing any English or anyone here. Growing up, I remember two things that mattered to me and my family: entrepreneurship and education. Those two allowed me to get to Stanford as a bright-eyed Freshman. Stanford opened my eyes to a whole new world of opportunities I would have never have had access to anywhere else. I owe a lot to Stanford and to the great community of educators.

Throughout my career, after graduating from Stanford, I have been part of several innovative educational, enterprise, and consumer technology companies like Adaptive Insights (sold to Workday), Udemy, eBay, and Kahoot!. I have also been active in several nonprofit organizations and schools which look to foster diversity and inclusion within STEM education.

I come to Stanford GSE with three relevant and complimentary backgrounds.  As a Stanford alumni, an entrepreneur in education technology, and as a parent of 3 children facing the new realities of their own education.

Why education?

I see no bigger mission than to help leverage the power of technology to improve education and job opportunities for everyone. Bringing the power of technology to everyone and enable human progress is a mission of mine at Roble Ventures.

We have reached an inflection point in our society that will require humans to learn differently and act more human than ever.

  1. Employment requirements are changing faster than ever -- this means computers can do a lot of the jobs humans could do
  2. However, humans have many advantages -- computers can’t have empathy, multi-sensory judgement, feelings, creativity, courage, adaptability. It is the challenge of our own educational system and our community to teach those qualities more than ever.
  3. Technology is changing the nature of work and work will change the nature of education

According to McKinsey study, "nearly 50% of all the work humans do will be able to be automated.” If past industrial revolutions give us any indication, we can predict there will be plenty of jobs.However, they will be different. According to a report by the Department of Labor, "65% of the jobs children my own kids age will be doing when they graduate from college have yet to be invented.” This begs the question, will the soft and hard skills needed also be different? Yes.

We need to create engaged, curious and productive humans, not robots... teach innately human skills like collaboration, empathy, creativity which are hard for computers and robots to do.

What are your areas of interest?

  1. Work productivity platforms
  2. Skills Development technologies
  3. Job-creating marketplaces

What is an EIR?

The mission of the Entrepreneur-In-Residence Program which I Co-Founded in 2017 along with the Stanford GSE leadership, is to expose the community to education innovations, technologies, and entrepreneurship outside of Stanford and enable collaboration. I want to help the broader GSE community foster new ideas and launch new projects with a focus on social impact and innovations in edtech and the future of work. I encourage everyone interested in entrepreneurship in these areas to reach out to me.

More on Sergio’s venture capital investment focus