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Liz Hamburg
Liz is CEO/President of the Taproot Foundation. She is passionate about making an impact in the world. Liz has over 20 years of experience starting up and growing innovative businesses both in the U.S. and international markets.
She is the founder of Upstart Ventures, where she was involved in the start up and growth of over 15 new businesses, including ApplyWise, an education technology company providing high school students with college planning tools. Liz was a member of the founding management team and director of the board of Vimpel Communications, one of the leading cellular operators in Russia and the first Russian company listed on the NYSE.
Liz was Chair of the New York board of the Women's Initiative for Self Employment and is a founding member of the advisory boards of the Brown University Entrepreneurs Program and the entrepreneur board of Venture for America and has served on the New York Advisory Board of Astia.
For ten years, Liz was co-host with her mother Joan Hamburg of Launchpad and NY Uncovered on WOR Radio.

Liz received an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a B.A. from Brown University. In 2010, she attended the Executive Education program in Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford Business School.
She is the 2011 winner of the Stevie Awards for Women in Business for best mentor/coach.
Liz has traveled extensively to over 35 countries and speaks Italian and Japanese with conversational knowledge of Spanish and Russian.

Entries by Liz Hamburg

Lessons From the Skoll World Forum

(0) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 6:07 PM

There's been a lot of talk lately of successful tech entrepreneurs taking over the Bay Area --focusing more on making gobs of money and not doing enough to give back to the community and address societies most critical problems.

Jeff Skoll is not one...

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Celebrating an Important Wedding Anniversary

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2014 | 2:01 PM

This week at the Taproot Foundation, we were celebrating "Matt O'Grady" day on June 19th, a Taproot holiday honoring the wedding anniversary of our former vice president of national expansion and Taproot pioneer, Matt O'Grady, who tied the knot with his partner in San Francisco six years ago.

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Where Has Respect and Dignity Gone

(34) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 1:09 PM

There's been a lot of talk lately of finding work filled with purpose and passion. So many people are switching careers, moving from for profit into nonprofit, reinventing themselves, becoming entrepreneurs, moving from career to fulltime motherhood and back into the workforce.

Joan Hamburg (who happens to be my mother)...

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Leaning in Rwandan Style

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2013 | 4:25 PM

I just returned from a two-week trip to Rwanda -- my first trip to Africa. I was there to work on a project for Indego Africa, a U.S. based social enterprise that's providing access to markets and education to women-owned businesses in Rwanda. Indego is working with almost...

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Making an Impact With Intentional Kindness in the New Year

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2012 | 5:57 PM

I was lucky enough to attend part of the Clinton Global Initiative last week in New York. An inspiring few days filled with an incredible group of international thought leaders from the public and private sector. The theme of this year's conference was "Designing for Impact." I, like...

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Bringing Affordable Solar Lighting to Millions

(14) Comments | Posted February 24, 2012 | 11:05 AM

Sometimes great technology companies are about creating things that people never even imagined that they needed or wanted -- look at Apple and Facebook. But sometimes, great technology companies are about taking a very simple product and making it affordable and available to people who wouldn't normally have access to...

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Am I Past My Entrepreneurial Prime?

(3) Comments | Posted June 2, 2011 | 3:33 PM

I made the mistake of attending the Tech Crunch Disrupt NYC conference on my birthday last week.

One of the morning presentations was by uber-angel investor Ron Conway and David Lee who runs SV Angel, giving the results of their survey of 500 of their portfolio companies....

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Micro-Enterprise: An Exciting Idea for Job Creation

(3) Comments | Posted February 4, 2011 | 11:43 AM

According a recent cover story in the New York Times Magazine, President Obama -- as he was preparing his State of the Union Address -- "was looking for bold ways to bring down unemployment."

NYT Magazine reported:

The ideas presented to him, though, seemed familiar and uninspired. "You...
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Why Aren't There More Women Starting High Growth Businesses?

(4) Comments | Posted June 16, 2010 | 11:23 AM

There are a lot of people trying to figure this out right now. There was an interesting conference called the We Own It Summit in New York. The Summit was put on by Astia, a venture accelerator targeting "exceptional startups" with women on their founding teams...

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Borrowing from Strangers

(0) Comments | Posted March 2, 2010 | 4:20 PM

The Internet has made it easy for people to go online to find everything from a date to a used car. Social networking has taken things one step further with people creating communities around shared interests.

Now the web is making it easier to borrow money from a community...

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Lessons from Bikram Yoga: A Lot of Hot Air for Free

(3) Comments | Posted December 11, 2009 | 11:52 AM

Hot yoga is hot. Bikram Yoga, the original "hot yoga," was developed by Indian yogi Bikram Choudhury. Today, there are over 4,000 of these yoga centers worldwide. But, guess what--according to Bikram, he hasn't gotten a cent from them!

Why? He never knew that he needed to trademark his name...

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Can AIG Pay Me a Bonus?

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2009 | 12:13 PM

I just got the bill to renew our corporate insurance policy. Normally, I pay it without a problem. I had always felt assured to know that, as a small business, we have the security of a giant, established company behind us. Yes, you guessed it. AIG is our insurance company.

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The American Dream is Not Dead Yet

(1) Comments | Posted March 16, 2009 | 2:34 PM

I'm tired of being depressed about the economy. So, I was particularly excited to hear that there are some businesses prospering in spite of (or actually because of) the economy. The American Dream is alive and well for some.

Maisha Bayan is one of them. She is co owner,...

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How Can I Get Stimulated?

(10) Comments | Posted February 19, 2009 | 2:33 PM

I'm a small business owner. It's a women-owned, education technology business. I've heard that the stimulus package has a lot of money going towards education, a lot of money to promote new uses of technology and a lot of money to support small business. Well, here I am!! But,...

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Small Business Embezzlement -- With the Economy Worsening, Watch Out!

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2008 | 4:47 PM

It's every business-owners nightmare -- one of your employees is stealing money from you. You never think it's going to happen to you -- especially in a small company, where you think that you're treating your employees like your family. But, it happens more than you think. Employee theft and...

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Is Vietnam the New Russia?

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2008 | 3:22 PM

I just returned from my friends' wedding in Vietnam. It was a multi-cultural extravaganza. The bride is Bulgarian, the groom American and they both live and work in Moscow. That's where I met them in the mid-90's when I was involved in helping to start up VimpelCom, one of the...

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A Million Dollar Business -- What Does it Take?

(1) Comments | Posted May 20, 2008 | 1:38 PM

I've been a "serial entrepreneur" since before the Internet boom made it fashionable (and even during the bust when many went running back to their corporate jobs!). I've been involved in the early stages of over 15 businesses, mostly in technology, telecom and digital media. I've started businesses in Japan,...

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