When Charlie Olson stepped onto Stanford University’s campus to start the full-time MBA program in the fall of 2015, he didn’t consider himself an entrepreneur. Those were the “hyper-creative” types who had the ability to build something out of nothing -- a mindset, and a skill set, he just didn’t have.
Or so he thought. That began to change early in Olson’s second year at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business when he met Eric Lax, who was studying for both an MBA and a master’s in data science. “He had the brightest, most creative, most innovative mind that I had ever met,” Olson says of their first meeting. “I thought, ‘Hey, you know what, I actually have a shot at entrepreneurship as long as I pay attention to Eric.’”
Pay attention he did. One coffee meeting turned into many, and less than a year later Olson and Lax launched Pando Pooling, a platform that allows groups of people to pool their future career earnings together. A little more than three years into the venture, San Francisco-based Pando has raised about $11.6 million in venture capital backing, has more than a dozen employees, and is currently looking to hire more.