Turning Passion into Success with Jon Kraft, Co-Founder of Pandora

Few people have the opportunity to turn their passions into reality, but Southern California is bursting at the seams with people doing just that! Orange County continues to push boundaries in the tech world. To kick off the summer, Tech in Motion is excited to have Jon Kraft, cofounder and previous CEO of Pandora Media. Beyond Pandora, Jon has followed his passions creating several successful companies. Jon will discuss his previous experiences with the most popular music brand in the world and how he is influencing technology now through his most recent startup, Thrively. 

About Jon Kraft
Jon has over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur in software and consumer digital media. He is currently CEO and co-founder of Thrively, a software start-up focused on helping children discover and pursue their passion in life, as well as being a co-founder of the early stage business accelerator, LiftOff. Before launching his latest ventures, Jon was Chief Operating Officer and a member of the founding team at UberMedia, Idealab’s prominent Internet start-up and currently the world’s leading independent developer of mobile social apps. Before that, he was Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer for Big Stage Entertainment, Inc., an advanced avatar platform company recognized by Forbes in 2009 as one of America’s 20 Most Promising Companies, and sold to Image Metrix (IMGX:OTC) in 2010. Jon previously served as Co-founder and CEO of Pandora Media, the largest and fastest growing online radio product in the world with over 150M registered users in the U.S. (NYSE: P). Jon was also a Co-founder of Stanford Technology Group, an innovator in the relational OLAP market, funded by Sequoia and Hummer Winblad, and acquired by Informix Corporation in 1995. Jon served four years as Chairman of the Technology Council of Southern California, and seven years as a board member of the Beverly Hills Basketball League. Jon holds a B.A. from Stanford University.

About Thrively
Thrively is a family website that help kids discover and pursue their passions in life. Their approach is to focus on children’s strengths and introduce them to those activities where they are most likely to Thrive. The Thrively Strength Assessment is the world’s first comprehensive online assessment for kids. They developed it in collaboration with two of California’s seven board certified pediatric neuropsychologists, and designed it to be fun and engaging as well as highly accurate. It measures everything from focus and creative thinking to analytical skills and athletic ability. Their patented algorithms then find the activities in their database that best fit each child’s core strengths. Their goal is to be the one trusted resource for families that understands their children’s strengths and helps nurture those strengths to unlock their potential. 

With more than 120,000 enriching opportunities for kids, their activity database is the largest of its kind. More than simply storing the basic information about each activity and the organizations that offer them, they have encoded these opportunities with core strength metadata driven by the same strength taxonomy used to build the Thrively Strength Profiles. Their database includes a critical mass of local activities within most major metropolitan areas, as well as offering tens of thousands of unique online and national opportunities. Thrively also curates thousands of inspirational videos and shares them with kids whose strengths and interests are aligned. 


6:00pm-7:00pm Networking 

7:00pm-7:15pm Introductions 

7:15pm-8:00pm Discussion/Presentation 

8:00pm-8:15pm/8:30pm Q&A 

A heartfelt thank you to our sponsors, Workbridge Associates and Jobspring Partners for their generous financial support. 

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  • Derrick W.

    I really enjoyed the Meetup. Awesome job everyone!

    1 · July 1

  • Della247

    Great networking, great venue, great speaker, and great nuggets gleaned!

    1 · June 27

  • Anil Pattni (.

    If anyone got Jon's contact info from the last slide, please could you message me. Thanks.

    June 26

  • Bodo

    A very inspiring and uplifting story!

    June 27

  • Ravi J.

    Jon listed Intuition, Creativity, and Perseverance and important entrepreneurial characteristics. If you would like to develop these traits in a hands-on, small workshop environment at Learning Loft (an initiative of ListoAmerica: http://listoamerica.org/), please RSVP here: http://hirelearning.splashthat.com/

    June 27

  • Ravi J.

    Jon's insights during his talk, especially about maintaining enthusiasm, and afterwards when answering EVERYONE'S individual questions exemplify a 7th trait of entrepreneurs in addition to 6 he discussed: Servant Leadership. If you would like to Follow Up on this awesome Meetup experience, please RSVP here: http://followup.splashthat.com

    4 · June 26

    • Melissa

      Awesome =)

      1 · June 26

    • Ravi J.

      If you are interested in the Followup event I am facilitating, but the time doesn't work, please email me at [masked]. I may change time to accomodate all who want to attend.

      1 · June 27

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great! Thanks guys from Spireon for the warm hosting and to Joe for the professional presentation.

    1 · June 26

  • ricardo g.

    Great event!!! Thanks to Spireon for hosting the event. Jon Kraft presentation was inspiring on many levels. 250 - 300 No before a yes.

    1 · June 26

  • Steve J.

    Enjoyed seeing and hearing the humbleness from both Spireon and Jon. Great event! Thanks

    1 · June 26

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you to everyone who came out last night. A huge thank you to Jon and Spireon for making it such a special night. It was great to be back with you all and I'm looking forward to getting to know the new faces at our July Mixer! Til then...

    4 · June 26

  • Robert C.

    Great Organization and Speaker!

    1 · June 26

  • Jeffrey H.

    Excellent host, excellent speaker, excellent event!

    June 26

  • dev b.

    Jon is a great speaker. I loved hearing the early Pandora story. Inspiring.

    3 · June 25

    • Chuck H.

      Dev, great meeting you last night! Let me know how I can help in any way!

      June 26

  • Steve A.

    Great talk

    2 · June 25

    • Chuck H.

      Steve, great meeting you - lets talk today.

      June 26

  • Chuck H.

    Awesome - appreciate you having me. Was an inspiring night. Keep me posted on all new meet-ups like this please!
    Had a good time meeting some great and very smart people!


    1 · June 26

  • Janin V.

    This was a great event on all fronts - I very much enjoyed Jon's talk, there was a great turnout, good food & drinks!

    1 · June 26

  • Kris R.

    We had a great time at this event, big thanks to Jon, and everyone who put this together. Excellent insight into entrepreneurial endeavors! :)

    2 · June 25

  • Ruchi M.

    Very inspiring talk by John!!!

    1 · June 25

  • Kenneth J.

    I loved this event! I met so many great people, Jon was awesome and super inspiring, and the energy was more than amazing. Thank you so much for this opportunity!

    2 · June 25

  • John R.

    Great speaker with some amazing stories!

    2 · June 25

  • Dwaine W.

    Jon was a very entertaining presenter with very inciteful anecdotes and inspiring advice.

    3 · June 25

  • John N.

    Great event!

    2 · June 25

  • Stacey G.

    this event was amazing! great energy in the room and the speaker was great. worth every minute.

    2 · June 25

  • A former member
    A former member

    Tonight is going to be great! Looking forward to it!

    1 · June 25

  • Shannon M.

    Question: do we have to print out any sort of confirmation that we've RSVP'd? Or can I just pull it up on my phone

    1 · June 25

    • A former member
      A former member

      No need to bring confirmation. Just need to have your name on our RSVP list :) See you tonight!

      1 · June 25

  • Brian D.

    Stoked to get involved and meet everyone!

    2 · June 24

  • Miguel M.

    Should be a great experience

    1 · June 24

  • Cade P.

    Looking forward to it!

    1 · June 24

  • Jeff S.

    Looking forward to meeting everyone and getting involved!

    1 · June 18

  • Victor V.

    Looks like a great group. Looking forward to meeting and sharing ideas with you all.

    1 · June 14

  • Patrick H.

    This will be a great event

    1 · June 11

  • Anil Pattni (.

    I wanted to reach out to you and let you know about an exciting upcoming event that we've put together for exclusively for qualifying startups in OC. If you have a startup that's looking for funding, you can click the link at the bottom and fill out the application immediately as we're working on a short timeframe and there are only 2 days left to submit.


    June 9

  • Alexei K.

    Need a Business Banker? I work with local small businesses and mid-size corporations. We also provide funding for startup's up to $250k. Let's talk!

    June 3

  • jawen

    I am a senior developer

    1 · May 29

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