Keynote Speakers


Laura Oliphant

Spirit Venture



Laura Oliphant has been at the forefront of technology for over 25 years, first at Intel, as an Engineer and Corporate Venture Capitalist, and now, as a Board Director and CEO of startups.  She will talk about the challenges for technology innovation going forward, and how corporations use partnerships with educational institutions and external entities to accelerate innovation, and what we should expect from technology in the future.


Dr. Laura Oliphant is an experienced CEO, Board Member, and Investor.  She is currently a General Partner at Spirit Ventures (, a venture fund focusing on key enabling technologies for the semiconductor industry.  Prior to Spirit Ventures, she was an Investment Director in Intel Capital from 2001 until her retirement from Intel in 2016.  During her career in venture capital, she brought over $1B in strategic and financial value to Intel through her investments and was awarded Intel’s highest award, the Intel Achievement Award, for her contributions to Intel.  After retiring from Intel, she was a member of the Board of Directors and the CEO of Translarity, an investor backed, semiconductor test startup. Laura is also part of the Board of Directors for Thin Film Electronics ASA, a public company based in Norway and Numascale AS, also based in Norway.   Laura received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, where her thesis research was centered on candidate batteries for electric cars.


Cynthia Stoddard

Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Adobe Systems Incorporated


Shattering stereotypes

Most fulfilling career journeys are not scripted or orchestrated.  They are dynamic and fluid and always evolving.  Adobe CIO, Cynthia Stoddard, explains her career journey as a mix of ambition, education and opportunity.  With a 25-year career in IT spanning various industries as well as positions from programmer trainee to head of IT, Stoddard had a breadth of experiences from which she built a successful career.  In her talk, Stoddard will share insights on how she shattered workplace stereotypes, address the skills needed for the next wave of tech innovation, and offer advice for educators to help their students grow their careers. 


As senior vice president and chief information officer of Adobe, Cynthia Stoddard oversees Adobe’s global Information Technology team. In her leadership role, Cynthia spearheads a global strategy for delivering services that form the mission-critical backbone for the company. This includes providing always-on systems and enterprise applications that enable us to run Adobe’s business; delivering productivity to employees everywhere; and providing the information and data services for real-time decision making and personalized customer experiences.

Cynthia is an IT industry veteran, with more than 25 years of business experience and IT expertise leading large global organizations in supply chain, retail, and technology development. Before joining Adobe in 2016, she was chief information officer and senior vice president at data storage and management company NetApp, where she led the company’s traditional IT functions while also expanding focus on innovation, customer-facing programs, and strategic partnerships. She previously held a number of information technology and technical leadership positions at supply chain, retail, and technology companies including Safeway Inc. and APL Limited.

Cynthia is a recipient of the Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leaders Award, was named among the top Women of Influence in 2016 by Silicon Valley Business Journal, and was recognized as one of Huffington Post’s Top 100 Most Social CIOs in 2015 and 2016.

Cynthia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Western New England University, from which she graduated cum laude, and an MBA from Marylhurst University.