Serial entrepreneur and engineering alum to deliver the 2024 Chambers Lecture, March 28

Ben Whittle, a serial entrepreneur, a full-stack software engineer, and 2015 mechanical engineering graduate of the Vanderbilt School of Engineering, will deliver the 2024 Chambers Lecture Thursday, March 28, at 4:15 p.m. in the Jacobs Believed in Me Auditorium (Room 134), Featheringill Hall. A reception will follow in Adams Atrium.

Entrepreneur Ben Whittle, BE’15

The lecture—Going from 0 to 10: How to evaluate your own startup ideas, design something users love, and land your first 10 paying customers—is open to the public.

“At the early stages of a startup, one of the most important skills a founder can have is the ability to ‘fail fast,’” Whittle said. “Doing this requires the ability to critically and objectively evaluate business ideas, identifying flaws, roadblocks, and dead ends as quickly as possible.”

“I’ll share a simple, but powerful, framework for evaluating startup ideas—to help easily determine which ideas to kill and which ones to pursue. You’ll learn how to turn a promising idea into a product that users love, all while acquiring your first 10 customers,” Whittle said.

While a junior at Vanderbilt, Whittle was the first candidate accepted into the new VU@EC program that was developed  in conjunction with the School of Engineering and the Center for Technology Transfer & Commercialization. The program places faculty, staff and students with innovative ideas and entrepreneurial aspirations in dedicated Vanderbilt space at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.

Whittle has spent the past decade working at various early-stage startups in Silicon Valley, serving in a variety of roles, including founding engineer, founder, and CEO. He’s raised venture capital from investors at prominent VC firms such as Andreessen Horowitz and Floodgate, as well as respected angel investors like Nat Friedman, the former CEO of GitHub. He also is a member of the StartX community, Stanford’s most exclusive startup accelerator, and has been a part of three startup acquisitions to-date. He recently moved back to Nashville where he runs a blockchain data infrastructure company named Spec.

The Chambers Family Entrepreneurial Lectureship in the Vanderbilt School of Engineering is a semi-annual lecture series is endowed by the Chambers Medical Foundation.