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A group of recent Stanford Threshold Venture Fellows. Photo: Heidi Roizen

5 years ago, Stanford's Tom Byers and Tina Seelig set up a fellowship program for master's students at Stanford's engineering school aimed at teaching the ethics of entrepreneurship. They enlisted veteran venture capitalist Heidi Roizen, then a partner at DFJ, to help it get off the ground.

Why it matters: As the record of startup meltdowns in recent years (Uber, Theranos, et al.) has shown, the need for such training is huge. "Every entrepreneur is going to have their ethics tested, guaranteed," Roizen said in an interview.

  • It's not just ethics that make the job hard, Roizen says. She notes that many founders naively launch a company without fully understanding how isolating the job is, how much pressure they will be under or how likely they are to fail.
  • "These jobs are really hard," Roizen said.

Between the lines: There's real debate over whether successful startups need to break rules to change the world.

  • For her part, Roizen thinks startups can be both ethical and profitable. "I maintain a belief one can innovate and disrupt things without having to break those boundaries."

What's next: The program is accepting applications through Oct. 31 for its next class of fellows.

Go deeper: Silicon Valley's fraying cult of the founder

Go deeper

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.

How cutting GOP corporate cash could backfire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies pulling back on political donations, particularly to members of Congress who voted against certifying President Biden's election win, could inadvertently push Republicans to embrace their party's rightward fringe.

Why it matters: Scores of corporate PACs have paused, scaled back or entirely abandoned their political giving programs. While designed to distance those companies from events that coincided with this month's deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, research suggests the moves could actually empower the far-right.

9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Kaine, Collins pitch Senate colleagues on censuring Trump

Sen. Tim Kaine speaks with Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine and Susan Collins are privately pitching their colleagues on a bipartisan resolution censuring former President Trump, three sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction in his second impeachment.