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William J. ("Bill") O'Farrell has been starting and running tech companies for longer than he'd like to admit. He was co-founder and CEO of such companies as SpeechWorks (NASDAQ:SPWX), acquired by Nuance (NASDAQ:NUAN), OpenAir.com, acquired by Netsuite (NASDAQ:N), and the Company of Science & Art, which created the After Effects product line, acquired by Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE). Bill has been involved as a founder, CEO, advisor, consultant and bottle washer at numerous companies in the software, clean-tech, biotech and consumer sectors. He also owned and ran a small organic beef farm. Bill believes he's made every mistake possible at least twice, so he reckons he might actually know something now.
He has most recently been investing in and consulting to several early-stage companies, including a "fashion tech" company, a social media company, and several clean tech ventures. When not CEO'ing, he surfs enthusiastically, albeit poorly, dances on any dance floor available, frequently injures himself playing a sport he should have stopped playing years ago, and laments that he's read every good historical novel out there. His French is good, though rusty, his Spanish less of one and more of the other. He received his undergraduate degree from Brown University and is somewhat embarrassed to admit that he was briefly a lawyer, having been trained (some say house broken) at Harvard Law School. Other educational endeavors included a year of graduate work at the University of Nice, France under a Rotary Foundation Scholarship. Bill also completed the New England Clean Energy Council Fellowship in July, 2009.