Our Mentors

Ben Chelf

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Ben, a Partner at Elementum, heads up the Venture Lab at Praxis, helping serial entrepreneurs research and develop new organizations from the moment of inspiration to incorporation. He was a co-founder of Coverity, a software quality and security company birthed from his research as a PhD student at Stanford. Coverity attracted investment from the likes of Benchmark Capital and Foundation Capital, employed hundreds of people, and, in 2014, was acquired by Synopsys. Ben served as both COO and CTO, defining product strategy and working closely with customers and the press and analyst communities. He's been named to ComputerWorld's Top 40 under 40 Innovative IT Professionals and is in the Stanford Inventor Hall of Fame. Ben has lived every part of the entrepreneurial cycle and is passionate about sharing his knowledge and experience.

Ben’s tenure within the Venture Lab began as an EIR with a fundamental dissatisfaction with the “pseudo-connectedness” of what he calls the “awkward teenage years” of our relationship to digital technologies. Ben sees a wide gulf between the near-constant levels of engagement our gadgets compel us towards and our highest aspirations. If we could move computing technologies from the foreground of our lives to the background, would we be more satisfied, more complete, more whole? Could our consumer technologies honor and enhance our humanity rather than enervate us and leave us “alone together” as Sherry Turkle puts it?