Michael Skok

Investor & Entrepreneur, Harvard Innovation Lab
Boston, MA, United States

About Michael


Since starting his first business as a teen, Michael has founded businesses, as well as initiated ventures with, seeded and invested in many great entrepreneurs who have built billions of dollars of value and created thousands of jobs.

After 21 years as a software entrepreneur and 12 years as an VC, Michael has become a passionate learner from, mentor to and investor in tech entrepreneurs and innovators.

Michael focuses on large market disruptions such as eCommerce as well as game changing technologies such as Cloud Computing and disruptive business models such as Open Source.

He has served on dozens of boards, both private, public and not for profit. Current and recent investments include companies like Acquia, Apperian, Cazena, Demandware(NYSE:DWRE), Salsify and Unidesk, as well as Actifio and Revolution Analytics which was just acquired by Microsoft.

Michael's passion for innovation and entrepreneurship is also fueling his work teaching and mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs at Harvard. For example he is currently developing and leading workshops such as the "Startup Secrets" series with the Harvard innovation Lab. His work in this regard can be found online at www.mjskok.com Twitter follow @mjskok

Michael is married with a daughter and an extended family that includes 16 nephews and nieces

Michael enjoys kite surfing, skiing, water skiing and many forms of photography and film making.



TED Conferences

TED2016, TEDActive 2015, TEDGlobal 2014, TED2014, TEDGlobal 2013, TEDActive 2013, TEDGlobal 2012

Areas of Expertise

Venture Capital Investing, Business Building, Entreprendeurship

An idea worth spreading

The next set of world problems will not be solved by the people who created them. They will be solved by the entrepreneurs of tomorrow whose fresh perspective will bring creative new solutions to bear.

I'm passionate about

I am truly passionate about innovation to solve meaningful problems & entrepreneurship to bring solutions to fruition. As part of this, I'm enjoying learning to teach & mentor the next generation.

Talk to me about

entrepreneurship, innovation, startups, software, ecommerce, photography

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

Michael Skok
Posted about 3 years ago
What does it take to become an educational entrepreneur?
Amy, It's a great question and deserves attention. I'm a former entrepreneur who is now learning to teach. I think that is another model for helping out, but I am also realizing just how hard it is to become a good educator. So maybe a cross fertilization of entrepreneurs and educators would be in order?
Michael Skok
Posted about 3 years ago
What is the future of entrepreneurship?
Thanks Pat, I have watched Shark Tank and I know what you mean about the signals it sends. Thank goodness it's not reality - just reality TV! I agree lowering the barriers to starting up is an important part. Another question is what to do to nurture the startups beyond that point. Also do the barriers in some way cause the natural selection of the best or are they just plain restrictive?