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Eric Koester Cofounder/COO, Main Street Genome

Eric Koester is a serial entrepreneur and the cofounder/COO of Main Street Genome. Main Street Genome represents a first-of-its-kind simulation of the ‘main street’ economy was designed with the singular goal: if we could understand how owners and their businesses actually functioned, could we reduce their failure rates and drive better results for the millions of business owners that fuel our economy? Prior to founding Main Street Genome, Eric was the cofounder of Zaarly, a leading online marketplace to discover and work with talented local service providers. Zaarly was named one of the world's Fifty Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company in 2012, and since launching in May 2011 has facilitated millions of dollars in peer-to-peer transactions each month for it's passionate community, including the tens of thousands of service providers in more than 200 cities across the U.S. The company went from idea to prototype to seed funding in the 54 hours of Startup Weekend. Since it's founding, Zaarly raised money from investors such as Kleiner Perkins, Ashton Kutcher, Meg Whitman, SV Angel, Marc Ecko and others. Eric serves on the board of directors of Startup Weekend and volunteers his time working with Steve Blank and others to teach and grow the NEXT entrepreneurial curriculum in more than 100 communities around the world in 2013. Eric is a well known writer and author, including the books Green Entrepreneur Handbook (2010) and What Every Engineer Should Know About Starting a High-Tech Business Venture (2009), and is currently writing Growing on Trees detailing the rise of the Peer Economy to be published in 2013. He was named one of the 40 Under 40 for Washington, DC in 2011, the Tech Hire of the Year in 2010 and the 2013 Young Alumnus of the Year by Marquette University's School of Business. He can often be found in seat 12F flying between DC and San Francisco and he may not want you to know he was previously a startup lawyer and CPA before he discovered the magic of starting things. Eric is a graduate of The George Washington University School of Law and the Marquette University business school, and currently serves as an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship for Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.

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