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About us

The Full Story

in 2020 Deepti Pahwa and Edward Mundt identified the need for an ecosystem to provide continuity for the thousands of graduates of the not-for-profit Stanford LEAD program. They combined their ideas and experiences from  from Stanford LEAD, Stanford’s flagship online business program focused on leadership and innovation and the Silicon Valley Design Thinking Club to found LISA - LEAD Incubator & Startup Accelerator - an important and growing part of the virtual/hybrid Stanford ecosystem for entrepreneurs, innovators and changemakers. 





LISA’s first cohort consisted of Stanford LEAD participants who benefited from Stanford Graduate School of Business’ (Stanford GSB’s) online learning platform Embark. The platform enabled aspiring entrepreneurs through a step-by-step process to help them turn their idea into an MVP-stage business solution during the pandemic. This platform was also used to support Stanford Rebuild, a one-time global innovation sprint to develop solutions for the wide range of challenges and opportunities post-COVID. 




LISA Founders, Mentors and experts are alumni of Stanford GSB's flagship online executive education program, Stanford LEAD. 

At LISA, we put founders first. We are the only incubator program requiring no equity, 


LISA provides Founders selected into each cohort with a rigorous, outcomes-focused program and virtual/hybrid ecosystem and community across 37 countries extending far beyond the 12-week program. A 1:1 ratio of mentors/accountability partners to Founders supports each remarkable journey.  


Founders have the opportunity to participate in online and in-person meetups and workshops year-round, on-campus events and the Stanford LEAD Innovation Tour.

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