Below you will find everything you need to know about your time with us during the 2017 Praxis Academy. If you find information that needs to be updated or have questions, please let us know by replying all to your speaker email. 


Biola University
13800 Biola Ave
La Mirada, CA 90639

We will primarily be in Crowell Auditorium (Plenary Sessions) and Talbot East (Breakouts, Roundtables).
For those who need to park, please use Parking Structure S

When you arrive on campus, please contact Meghan Easley: 724.961.9530 or Dylan Thomas: 717.669.5920

We have you down as driving yourself to/from the event and staying locally. 

If you would prefer to stay closer to campus, we'd be happy to book you a room at the Sheraton Cerritos. Please let Lori know: lori@praxislabs.org

Jon Hart: jon@praxislabs.org | 612.382.0609 // Contact for: Pre-Event Questions & Speaker Content
Dylan Thomas: dylan@praxislabs.org | 717.669.5920 // Contact for: On-Site Logistics
Meghan Easley: meghan@praxislabs.org | 724.961.9530 // Contact for: On-Site Logistics

We will be filming the event, and request your permission to do so for your talk; if you haven't sent your signed waiver in yet, please send to lori@praxislabs.org.

Given that talks will be filmed, we suggest a nice & smart-casual dress.


For Plenaries, please meet in Crowell Auditorium 45-minutes prior to the start of the session for rehearsal, sound & slide check. This is critical to ensure there are not technical issues during your stage time.

For Breakouts & Roundtables: plan to arrive 10-minutes ahead of the session starts so we can start on time. There will be host team members around to help you with timing. 

Academy includes 3 types of sessions: Plenary, Breakouts, and Roundtables. We've found delivering content in a variety of settings and formats enhances the student learning experience and gives them exposure to an array of experiences and perspectives. This also means timing for our sessions are tight, thus we appreciate your help in preparing content that is succinct and within the allocated time. We intentionally schedule some sessions for a tight timeframe on the main stage, knowing that the topics are best digested in a smaller format. 

Here's an explanation of the session types:

Plenary sessions are on the main stage with the full audience (~200). There are talks, panels, and interviews. 

Breakouts are a deeper-dive on a topic where 2-3 mentors co-facilitate a conversation and engage the audience for Q&A. Sessions are 40 minutes; consider sharing 15-20 minutes of up front content (between all mentors) then inviting audience Q&A. Expect ~20-45 students per session. 

Roundtables are an an informal time for a smaller group to personally engage with mentors and ask questions about the whole of life — from career, life, or startup advice. These are a unique opportunity to share more personal and off-the-record stories (they will not be recorded), if you are comfortable with that. As you might imagine, students value authentic stories (even if they are incomplete) over prepared or canned answers.


View the full week's event schedule here and meet the mentors here. Please note the below schedule only includes the times we have you down as having specific mentorship/speaking responsibilities. You're more than welcome to attend before or stay after your official mentoring times. 



Crowell Auditorium

Worship, led by The Brilliance

Section I // Theology: Vocation & Motives

Implication & Responsibility // Talk, 15 minutes
Steven Garber

Lessons From an Ambitious Plan to Change the World // Talk, 15 minutes
Jena Lee Nardella

Reflection on Motives & Calling

Section II // Culture: Reading & Responding

Cultural I.Q. // Talk, 15 minutes
David Bailey

Love: The Alpha & Omega of Startups // Talk, 15 minutes
Jessica Kim

A Conversation on Race, Gender, and the Social Fabric of Society // Panel, 15 minutes
Jessica Kim, Christy Vines & Anthony Flynn

Section III // Entrepreneurship: Moving from Insight to Building

Design Thinking: Empathy & Rapid Prototyping // Talk, 15 minutes
Jessica Munro

Co-Founders & Building Your Team // Conversation, 15 minutes
Kurt Keilhacker and Dave Blanchard

Format: this will be a back-and-forth conversation between Kurt and Dave. Dave will start the conversation with a question to Kurt, and Kurt will eventually turn it back over to Dave. We have a few areas of this topic we'd like to see covered:

  • Founding Teams (Attitude, Aptitude, Work Ethic / Specialists vs Generalists)

  • The Incredible Shaping Power of Your First Job

Fundraising & Building Relationships // Conversation, 15 minutes
Josh Kwan and Jessica Kim

Cafe Biola


Context is shared below the sessions that you are taking part in. Please use this as a guide to prepare some initial thoughts, frameworks, and stories. We encourage mentors to co-facilitate and plan to share 15-20 minutes of total content before opening it up for 20-25 minutes of student Q&A. 

View the full breakout schedule for each hour here. If you are unscheduled for one of the sessions, feel free to take a break, or attend one of the other sessions. 

2:00 PM - 2:45 PM BREAKOUT I  

Kurt Keilhacker, Dave Blanchard // TE, 111

Silicon Valley is so culturally iconic that it's been handed a parody show on HBO, while its primary product – technology – increasingly promises us that we can be god-like (all powerful, all knowing, and omnipresent). What principles sit underneath its ethos? What does its ecosystem promise us? What are its creeds? In this session Dave and Kurt will have a conversation about how the gospel might be a disruptive force for good amidst the prevailing cultural currents. 

Kurt Keilhacker is a founding partner at Elementum Ventures, an early-stage investment fund that partners with great founders with a more integrated approach. Previously, Kurt founded and invested in more than 50 companies across the US and Europe through TechFund Capital. He’s also a student culture and interested in the far-reaching implications of startups that scale. 

Dave Blanchard has spent the past five years building Praxis, working alongside over one-hundred ventures and bringing leading theologians and cultural thinkers into the fold of the organization to both understand the times and to strategize how to respond.

3:00 - 3:45PM BREAKOUT II

Kurt Keilhacker, Jessica Kim, Tom Blaisdell // TE, P08

From Shark Tank’s rise to one of TV’s top shows, to the dozens of podcasts, hundreds of accelerator demo days, school startup competitions, and thousands of blogs offering advice on how to pitch, there’s no shortage of advice on how to raise capital. But how do we separate the signal from the noise and find wise advice? Perhaps more importantly, how do we, as Christians, think differently about raising capital for our idea? This session will dispel some of the myths around fundraising and provide practical advice on how to build relationships and navigate the complexities of trying to raise capital. 

Kurt Keilhacker, a 20-year venture capital veteran who has invested or operated across dozens of technology oriented startups, from Cobalt (IPO / acquired by Sun for $2B) to Mailbox (acquired by Dropbox), is also a deeply clear theological thinker who always helps cut through the noise. Kurt will share some of his perspectives on how Christians might think differently about capital raises, from how they go about it, to who they bring on as investors, and how they divide their cap table. 

Jessica Kim, a serial entrepreneur who raised $1m for her first venture before she graduated college and went through a prominent accelerator and raised multiple rounds of capital from prominent investors in her second venture, will share best practices and stories of her experience. Jessica is also working on her third venture as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Charles River Ventures – with whom she built a long-term relationship during her second venture. 

Tom Blaisdell, an investor and operator who spent the last 17 years as a Venture Capitalist where he led a dozen investments that resulted in successful IPOs or acquisitions, will bring his deep expertise to the conversation. Tom has developed a passion for teaching along the way, and is now leading the Center for Private Equity & Entrepreneurship at the Tuck Business School at Dartmouth.

4:00 - 4:45PM BREAKOUT III

Kurt Keilhacker, Scott Kauffmann // TE, P07

Great entrepreneurs and innovators are notoriously ambitious, but as Christians – striving for virtues like kindness, humility, and gentleness – what are we to do with ambition? How do we relentlessly pursue our vision of how the world might be better with our venture, and yet strike a balance among family, civic, church, and communal responsibilities? Should Christians have more, less, or just different ambition? Is balance even an appropriate way of handling these tensions? We’ll discuss how to foster a healthy, affirmative sense of ambition while also naming the idolatrous forms of it. 

Kurt Keilhacker has been working with world-class entrepreneurs for over twenty years as an investor, and has personally worked with founders who have scaled ventures worth over $1b. Kurt is also notorious for being a voracious learner (he has degrees from Wheaton, the University of Chicago, Stanford, and Harvard), and serves on a number of boards for nonprofits and causes that he cares deeply about. He has a particular gift for working closely with founders in his role as a board chair.

Scott Kauffmann spent nearly two decades working at Accenture, a top management consulting firm, working with dozens of senior executives externally (as a consultant) and internally (as a chief of staff and program director) before joining Tim Keller to work on content and organizational strategy. He helped launch Redeemer City to City, a church planting and leadership development agency that has resourced and helped plant hundreds of churches globally. 

5:30 PM
Speakers Dinner
Mr. V's Bar & Grill (14320 Valley View Ave, La Mirada, CA 90638)


For those needing a ride, please meet in the lobby by 8:00AM; Scott Kauffmann, Dave Blanchard, and/or Josh Kwan will be driving speakers to campus.

For those arriving on your own, please arrive on campus by 8:40AM at Talbot East, Andrews Banquet Room. 

Breakfast Available
Cafe Biola

Morning Worship
Talbot East - Plaza Level, Outdoor Courtyard

Talbot East, Andrews Banquet room & Plaza Level Classrooms

ROUNDTABLE 1: 40-minutes
ROUNDTABLE 2: 40-minutes
ROUNDTABLE 3: 40-minutes

For each roundtable session, you will connect with a rotating group of 6-14 students and answer their questions across the whole of life. You do not need to prepare specific content for these sessions, rather just be yourself and be prepared to answer their questions and give advice by sharing your knowledge though stories, anecdotes, and critical decisions you've made as a leader. 

Lunch Available
Cafe Biola



We have you down as ending your time with us after the roundtables on Wednesday around 12pm. We welcome you to an optional speakers lunch at Crowell Hall (Main Stage). You're also more than welcome to stay for more of the event if you'd like!