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Keynote Speaker Gary Swart

Gary Swart

Leadership and Entrepreneur Keynote Speaker, Venture Capitalist, LinkedIn influencer, and Former CEO of Odesk

  • Speaker's U.S. Fee Range
    $20,001 - $30,000 i
  • Languages Spoken
    English
  • Travels From
    California, USA

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Gary Swart, In Brief:

Gary Swart is a leadership and entrepreneur keynote speaker, venture capitalist, LinkedIn influencer, and former CEO of Odesk. While serving as CEO of oDEsk, the world’s largest online marketplace, he guided the company through periods of great change, growth, and a successful merger with Elance. He is currently a venture partner at Polaris Partners, a venerable venture capital firm that invests in exceptional technology and healthcare companies across all stages of their life cycles. He regularly shares his views on LinkedIn with his 100,000 followers.

Why Gary Swart?

  • Gary is a thought leader in entrepreneurship; how best to hire and manage teams; and the future of work, including online work. He is passionate about helping businesses thrive, fueled by his extensive experience working with startups and small businesses that use oDesk, as well as by mentoring entrepreneurs and business school students.
  • Gary has been described as inspirational, charismatic, down to earth, passionate, energetic, fascinating, enlightening, and gives “invaluable entrepreneurial and business insights”.

Full Keynote Speaker Bio:

Gary Swart is a veteran Silicon Valley executive and venture capital investor. He is credited with building the world’s largest online marketplace oDesk, which grew to more than eight million freelancers and one million clients under his leadership. He guided the company through periods of great change and hockey stick growth, and then through a successful merger with Elance in April of 2014, all the while serving as a champion for entrepreneurship and workplace innovation.

In 2014, Gary sought to leverage his operational experience and passion for growing startups and joined Polaris Partners as a Venture Partner. Polaris is a venerable venture capital firm that invests in exceptional technology and healthcare companies across all stages of their lifecycles. At the firm, Gary leads the Silicon Valley technology practice where he mentors business leaders at innovative companies working to change the way we live and work. He is a LinkedIn Influencer and regularly shares his commentary via the social network.

Gary has held numerous leadership positions at technology organizations including Intellibank where he was VP of Worldwide Sales responsible for building the direct and indirect sales organization and channel development. Prior to Intellibank, he was a Business Unit Executive for IBM’s Rational Software Product Group, which he joined following the acquisition of Rational by IBM. Gary also served in numerous leadership and management positions at Pure Software early in his career.

Gary has held a seat at the table of some of the most innovative and fastest-growing companies in Silicon Valley. He has translated these experiences into an inspirational, forward-thinking, and collaborative approach to building and motivating young business minds. Gary’s messages draw on his three decades as a business leader and entrepreneur, offering strategic and practical methodologies for success in a dynamic, ever-changing business ecosystem.

Testimonials 6

  • Your presentation was the best and most useful that I can remember. Most of our speakers are good, and most provide hooks that I can use to teach entrepreneurial behavior and best practices, but your presentation was SPECTACULAR. Thank you so much for reviewing your personal motivation and the goals that led to your role with oDesk. Thanks for talking about fast experimentation, and the other details about the founding, emergence, and growth of oDesk. It was all absolutely totally perfect for teaching business model / business plan creation and analysis.

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  • I wanted to reach out and personally thank you for joining our Unleashed Talent event last week.  You were the perfect kick-off speaker, setting the tone for the event wonderfully.  I loved how in depth you got, especially with each audience question; I feel like attendees really could walk away with some important information.

    Unleashed Talent Event

  • Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to speak at Amplify last night. I go to a lot of these talks and I found yours to be the most insightful discussion yet.

    Amplify Event

  • First of all, it needs to be pointed out how great Gary was. He really made himself available to answer all sorts of questions, in detail, always encouraging people to keep the questions coming and not worry about the clock ticking. First lesson learned: you don´t need to be an as* to be successful. Its always great to see folks embodying that. He sweats experience and inspiration.

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  • Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to speak at Amplify last night. I go to a lot of these talks and I found yours to be the most insightful discussion yet.

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  • You’re an inspiring dude and refreshingly down to earth yet charismatic — a leadership style I certainly aspire to.

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