Who We Are

Bridge Builders Collaborative is the vision of Scott Kriens, Jeff Walker, and Austin Hearst.  Scott Beck joined the collaborative in 2013.  Eric Brooks joined in 2016, and Bo Shao joined in the fall of 2017.  Charlie Hartwell serves as the Operating Partner.

Here’s more about our partners:

imageAustin Hearst is a media executive, film producer and philanthropist.  He plays a leadership role in the still family-owned Hearst Corporation, one of the nation’s largest diversified media companies where he has been a member of the board of directors since 1990.  Austin is also vice president of special projects for Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, the operating group responsible for the Hearst Entertainment interests in cable television networks, including ESPN, Lifetime, A&E and HISTORY; television production and distribution; newspaper syndication; merchandise licensing; and ventures investments.  He is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Chestnut Holdings LLC, a private equity and agricultural development company.

Austin is actively involved in a wide range of civic, philanthropic and global humanitarian causes, including early childhood development projects with Save the Children and the government of Bhutan, and community agricultural projects in South Sudan.  He is on the board of directors of Save the Children USA, an organization he has been closely involved with for more than 20 years.  Austin also serves on the board of advisors of the Blue School, and Karuna Shecken a non-profit humanitarian organization focused on providing education, healthcare and social services in the greater Himalayan region.

With a strong determination to make a difference Austin has leadership roles in many nonprofit organizations, that includes serving on the board of councilors of the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communications, the board of Pacific Crest Outward Bound, the executive committee of National Outward Bound and the advisory council for the United States Committee for Refugees.

Scott Kriens
is Chairman of Juniper Networks, Inc., and led the company for 12 years since its inception in 1996 through 2008 as Chairman & CEO, growing it to a $4 billion company, with over 7000 employees, serving customers in more than 100 countries worldwide.  Scott also serves as a Director of Equinix, a public technology company, and a founding Director of the 1440 Foundation, a charitable foundation built to support the cultivation of inner awareness and self-knowledge, and the development of authentic relationship skills.

Kriens is a former member of NSTAC (National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee), in which all members are appointed personally by the President of the United States of America, and has been called to testify in front of Congress on a number of occasions. Kriens was honored for his entrepreneurial spirit with the 2000 Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year award and named one of Business Week’s top 25 Managers in 2000. He has also received recognition for his achievements in the world of Internet technology, being named one of Forbes’ Top Tech Execs in 1996 and one of the “25 Most Powerful People in Networking” by Network World in 2006.

images-3Jeff Walker.  For twenty five years Jeff was CEO and Co-Founder of CCMP Capital, the $12 billion successor to JPMorgan Partners,  JPMorgan Chase & Co’s global private equity, Vice Chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Chairman of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. He has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. from the University of Virginia, is a Certified Management Accountant and a Certified Public Accountant.

Jeff currently serves on the Boards of New Profit, Berklee College of Music, Morgan Library, Lincoln Center Film Society, Millennium Development Goals Health Alliance where he Chairs the Community Health Worker Pillar, The Miller Center and University of Virginia’s Undergraduate Business School, where he was President for ten years.  Jeff is Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of The Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium, Chairman of The Council of Foundations at University of Virginia (UVA), serves on the Visiting Committee at the Harvard Business School (where he was an Executive-in residence) and is on the Advisory Boards of MIT Media Lab, UCLA Film TV and Theater School, Center for Contemplative Sciences at UVA, Blue School, The Tibetan Village Project, Witness.org and Ideo.org.

He served as the Chairman of Millennium Promise, with the United Nations and Columbia University, an incubator to eliminate extreme poverty, and was the long-time Chairman of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (Monticello), where he still serves as an Emeritus Trustee. Jeff Co-Founded and was Chairman of Npower, an organization that provides shared technology services to nonprofits.

images-4Scott Beck (joined Collaborative in 2013) is the founder and CEO of Tango, a private investment company that forms partnerships with vision-led growth organizations in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.  He has over twenty-five years of experience in the formation, investment, and assisting in the management of high-profile retail and technology companies with strong brand recognition and leading market positions.

Scott was the first and largest franchisee of Blockbuster Video.  After selling his franchise to Blockbuster in 1988, he served as Vice Chairman of the Board and Chief Operating Officer of Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation Worldwide. In 1992, he founded and served as Chairman and CEO of Boston Chicken, Inc., and four years later as a founder and Chairman of Einstein/Noah Bagel Corp.  Scott was Chairman and CEO of Waldo’s $ Mart, a 350 store retail chain expanding throughout Mexico and Latin America.

Scott has also been a lead investor in some successful technology/internet companies including servicemagic.comancestry.comqualvue.comenvision.com; and victorsandspoils.com. Scott is currently an active investor in Pacific Dental Services.

fullsizerenderEric Brooks (joined Collaborative in 2016) is a founder of Susquehanna International Group, LLP (SIG), where he was a Managing Director for seventeen years. Prior to that, Eric traded as a member of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange from 1981-1987, where he served on various exchange committees. In total, Eric has spent over 25 years in the derivatives industry, eight as a market-maker/specialist.

While at Susquehanna, Eric promoted the incorporation of decision science into the corporate culture and trader philosophy. Eric’s passion for the promotion of good decision-making skills extends well beyond his work in the financial sector. He is particularly interested in furthering educationally-based programs directed toward improving the quality of a student’s experience. To that end he has served as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Gladwyne Montessori School, the Mastery Charter Schools, the LEAD Foundation and Decision Education Foundation, among others. Additionally, Eric is the co-founder and chairman of the board of How I Decide www.howidecide.org a 501(c)(3) whose mission it is to equip youth with skills to be better decision makers throughout their lives.

Eric has also pursued entrepreneurial investments in companies focused on the gamification of core curriculum and decision sciences since 2005. In 2008 Mr. Brooks was the winner of the Seven Card Stud Tournament in the World Series of Poker.


IMG_0138Bo Y. Shao (joined Collaborative in fall, 2017) is a founding managing partner of Matrix China, a leading technology venture capital firm in China, with three billion dollars under management. In addition, Mr. Shao is a co-founder of BabyTree, the leading parenting brand and community in China with over 200 million unique users a month, and a co-founder and Chairman of Nuance Biotech. As a venture capitalist, Mr. Shao has made a dozen early stage investments, five of which have grown to employ thousands of employees and joined the club of billion dollar unicorns. In 2017, Mr. Shao co-founded evolve.foundation and is devoting his energy and resources to reduce sufferings in this world through evolution of humanity’s consciousness.

Prior to his current positions, Mr. Shao was the founder and CEO of EachNet, which became the dominant consumer e-commerce company in China under his leadership and was acquired by eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) in 2003 in a landmark transaction.

Mr. Shao was born in China and was a winner of national mathematics competitions over a dozen times during high school. He left China when he was 17 years old for Harvard College on a full scholarship, one of the first such scholarships Harvard granted to a person from mainland China. After receiving a BA, summa cum laude, in physics and electrical engineering from Harvard College, he worked for the Boston Consulting Group and Goldman Sachs, and received his MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Mr. Shao is a recognized young business leader in China and the recipient of awards in China and abroad, including Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum and Entrepreneur of the Year 2003 by Asian Venture Capital Journal.

Charlie Hartwell – ProfileOperating Partner:  Charlie is a change agent who shepherds ideas, resources and talent to drive sustainable growth. Passionate about transformation and innovation; he is a leader who ignites teams to accomplish remarkable results. He is a Harvard Business School graduate who has led, founded, run and worked in organizations in 16 different industries.  He’s served in various organizations including corporate, small business, start-up, non-profit – and in leadership roles such as President, Chairman, board member, founder, consultant, coach, and trustee.

Previous to joining Bridge Builders Collaborative, Charlie was President of Ideas to Go, an innovation-consulting firm helping Fortune 500 companies on the front end of their innovation cycle.  His career has included Wall Street, corporate marketing stints at HJ Heinz and Pillsbury.  In 1998, he formed yourexpedition, the first for-profit expedition company in U.S. history, launched by the historic Bancroft Arnesen Expedition across Antarctica by polar explorers Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen.  The expedition generated 2.2 billion media impressions globally, and was supported by such brands as Volvo, Motorola, Pfizer, Girl Scouts, Apple, CNN.