Dan Harple is the managing director of Shamrock Ventures, B.V., which is based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has been a technology entrepreneur for more than 20 years, having founded and built technologies, companies, and products that have been used by billions of Internet users.
Harple has had a seminal influence on the commercial Internet thanks to his pioneering of voice over internet protocol (VoIP), streaming media, and interactive screen sharing/shared whiteboards, in the early ‘90s. He has been behind innovations driving a range of patents that are some of the most cited for: collaborative computing, VoIP, streaming media, real-time web communications, big data integration, and location-based social media. Harple’s influence underlies the technologies that power Skype, GoToMeeting, Webex, Oracle Fusion, Sina Weibo, and YouTube, among others.
Harple was the co-founder and chairman/CEO of InSoft, a company that merged with Netscape in 1995. He collaborated with artist/producer/musician/inventor Todd Rundgren on their Context Labs/Waking Dreams venture, which focused on real-time interactive artist technologies. PatroNet, a Rundgren vehicle, was the internet’s formative artist/fan direct relationship platform.
Subsequent to this effort, Harple was founder and chairman/CEO of Context Media, which was acquired by Oracle in 2005. This combination formed the basis of Oracle’s “big data” collaborative enterprise search, Fusion, which now has more than 50,000 customers. In 2006, he founded and was chairman/CEO of gypsii, which, via a joint venture, now provides the location-based social media engine driving China’s fastest-growing Twitter-like platform, Sina Weibo, which has more than 500 million users.
In 2012, Harple became a Sloan Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he founded the Regional Entrepreneurial Acceleration Lab (REAL) and a new Sloan program entitled REAL (Regional Entrepreneurial Acceleration Lab). He serves as an entrepreneur in residence at MIT and has also co-founded nxlabs, which fosters the health and growth of innovation ecosystems and clusters.
He has received numerous awards, including Inc. Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the NEA President’s Award, and he has served as a director and/or advisor for a variety of nonprofits and educational institutions. He holds degrees from MIT and the University of Rhode Island and he also attended Marlboro College.