Season 02, Episode 04

S.02 / E.04

Beth Kolko Design Professor at UW, Co-Founder at Shift Labs, and Venture Partner at Pack VC

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Beth is a humanities-turned-engineering academic turned entrepreneur turned venture capitalist who has worked at the forefront of multiple technology-driven cultural shifts. She is really good at pattern recognition, and her superpower is probably the ability to understand complex problem spaces and know what potential users really want despite what they say they need – and contextualize that within larger infrastructure and societal constraints. She was on the front lines of the early days of the Internet, and has published 3 books and 30+ of articles on text-based virtual worlds, early messaging platforms and social networks, digital games, and technology for international development.

She worked on some of the earliest digital health tools for emerging markets as a professor at UW, and started medical device company Shift Labs to build affordable medical devices for global markets; 1000s of their devices have been deployed to combat epidemics around the world. She’s a Senior Venture Partner at Pioneer Fund and a VP at Pack Ventures, where she’s working to ensure venture contributes to equity on both the financial and the social fronts.

I want to help build better technologies that would advance the plot of humanity and bring us forward.
Beth Kolko : Design Professor, Co-Founder, Venture Partner / University of Washington, Shift Labs, Pack VC

Resources and Social

Additional Episodes


Jennifer Gaze

Director, High Alpha Innovation

Jennifer Gaze is a director at High Alpha Innovation, where she partners with global leading organizations to launch new ventures and build venture studios.


Ken Tanabe

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Ken is the Founder of Loving Day, a holiday he created as a design-driven social change project.


Ijeoma Azodo

Associate Director, Clinical and Health Service Design

Dr. Ijeoma Azodo is the Associate Director of Clinical and Health Service Design at NES Technology Service.


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