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2019 Chautauqua Season

Jim Marggraff • Contemporary Issues Forum

Jul 27, 2019 2:00pm ‐ Jul 27, 2019 3:15pm



Jim Marggraff, entrepreneur and
investor; author, How to Raise a
Founder with Heart

Most recently, Jim worked as a Director in Google’s Virtual and Augmented Reality division, following the sale of Eyefluence, founded by Jim, to Google in 2016. Eyefluence was the sixth company that Jim has founded/co-founded. In 2018, Jim succumbed to the allure of entrepreneurship, and is now exploring the concept of creating the world’s first AI Social Agent to address issues around human connectedness. Jim is also currently advising a number of technology startups and entrepreneurs.

Jim had founded Eyefluence in 2013 to develop technology that transforms intent into action through your eyes. With Eyefluence technology, a person wearing a head-mounted display (HMD) such as Google Glass, Oculus, or other HMDs, could interact with the display, and control or interact with objects in their world, simply by moving their eyes, with no waiting, no winking, just looking.

Prior to founding Eyefluence, in 2007, Jim founded Livescribe, as the inventor of the world’s first smartpen. Under Jim’s guidance, Livescribe generated over 2 billion media impressions, dozens of awards for its Pulse and Echo platforms, and sales of over two million smartpens in more than 40 countries, to create a global brand for a new product category.

Jim’s idea for a smartpen developed during his 7 years at LeapFrog. Jim had sold his previous company, Explore Technologies, to LeapFrog in 1998, where he helped grow LeapFrog from $31 million to $680 million annual sales in five years. As the inventor of the world-renowned LeapPad Learning System, Jim’s dedication to technology-based learning helped LeapFrog sell over $1 billion of LeapPads and educational content worldwide in less than 5 years. Jim’s voice, as a lead voice-over talent for LeapFrog, greeted users of tens of millions of LeapPads. Jim’s inventions and content have impacted more than 100 million children and adults in reading, math, and language skills, and have sparked and fueled a passion for lifelong learning for people around the globe.

Before LeapFrog, Jim was engaged in inventing technologies and products, co-founding companies, assembling and inspiring teams, and pursuing world-changing ideas. Jim was an engineer on the founding team of StrataCom in 1984 (acquired by Cisco), and co-founded Explore Technologies in 1996 (acquired by LeapFrog), to develop technology to reframe our perception of geography with the world’s first Atlasphere, an interactive globe.

Jim is a prolific speaker, with 2 presentations on the TED main stage, a TEDx talk, and presentations at Rotary International’s Annual Convention, All Things Digital, DEMO, Future in Review, the Milken Global Economic Conference, the Aspen Ideas Festival, Bloomberg TV, JavaOne, Building 43, Dust Or Magic, AdAge’s IDEA Conference, CM Summit, the Director’s Guild of America, The E.G. Conference, TTI/Vanguard, Imagine Solutions, Ciudad de las Ideas, Columbia Business School, MIT, numerous Rotary District Conferences, and many other local and global events featuring thought-leaders and innovators.

Jim’s entrepreneurialism and innovations have been covered by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Financial Times, The Telegraph, Herald Tribune, SF Chronicle, SJ Mercury News, The Atlantic Monthly, Wired, Time, Fortune, Technology Review, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Business Week, CNet, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Gizmodo, Oprah, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Cavuto, QVC, Bloomberg, CNN, FOX, and hundreds of other periodicals, blogs, and broadcast media.

From 1999-2010, products created by Jim received hundreds of awards from around the world, including multiple “Toy of the Year” awards from the Toy Industry of America. In 2004, Jim was recognized by the American Diabetes Association and Father’s Day Council of San Francisco as “Father of the Year”. In 2005, the “Fly Pentop Computer” that Jim created at LeapFrog, won the “Most Innovative Toy of the Year”, “the Most Educational Toy of the Year”, and the overall “Toy of the Year”, an unprecedented number of “TOTY” awards for a single product.

(Note: This biography was up-to-date as of the date of the lecture. Biographies are not updated over time.)


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