Renée DiResta

@noUpside

Currently

Renée DiResta is the Director of Research at New Knowledge, and Head of Policy at nonprofit Data for Democracy. She investigates the spread of malign narratives across social networks, and assists policymakers in understanding and responding to the problem. She has advised Congress, the State Department, and other academic, civic, and business organizations, and has studied disinformation and computational propaganda in the context of pseudoscience conspiracies, terrorism, and state-sponsored information warfare.

Renée is a 2018 Mozilla Fellow in Media, Misinformation and Trust. She regularly writes and speaks about the role that tech platforms and curatorial algorithms play in the proliferation of disinformation and conspiracy theories, and is an Ideas contributor at Wired. Her tech industry writing, analysis, talks, and data visualizations have been featured or covered by numerous media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Fast Company, Politico, TechCrunch, Wired, Slate, Forbes, Buzzfeed, The Economist, Journal of Commerce, and more.

Renée is the author of The Hardware Startup: Building your Product, Business, and Brand, published by O’Reilly Media.

Background

Previously, Renée was part of the founding team and ran marketing and business development at Haven, the transportation management technology platform that’s transforming trade logistics for commodity, CPG, and food shippers. Before that, Renée was a Principal at seed-stage venture capital fund O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV), where she invested in early technology startups with a focus on hardware, manufacturing, and logistics companies. She spent seven years on Wall Street as an equity derivatives trader and market maker at Jane Street, a top quantitative proprietary trading firm in New York City.

Renée has degrees in Computer Science and Political Science from the Honors College at SUNY Stony Brook. She is a 2017 Presidential Leadership Scholar and a Council on Foreign Relations term member. She is a Staff Associate at the Columbia University Data Science Institute, a Harvard Berkman-Klein Center affiliate, and is a Founding Advisor to the Center for Humane Technology. She is passionate about STEM education and childhood immunization advocacy, and is one of the co-founders of parent advocacy organization Vaccinate California. For fun, she explores data sets and loves cooking and crafting. Renée and her husband, Justin Hileman, are the parents of two feisty little people.

Work

Haven

Founder / Director of Marketing

Haven builds technology that streamlines global trade. Our best-in-class cloud transportation management system, Haven TMS, enables end-to-end shipment management between shippers and the world’s leading carriers. 90% of all physical goods in the world are shipped in a container, and nearly all of those shipments are currently arranged via email, phone, and spreadsheet. We aim to change that, and to bring visibility and automation to supply chain management.

Renée has been part of Haven since its inception; as a VC interested in starting or backing a logistics startup, she met co-founders Matt Tillman and Jeff Wehner in March of 2015. Renée participated in initial customer research, and fundraising, and then formally joined as first employee in Nov 2015, following Haven’s $3M seed raise.

As part of the founding team of a fast-growing startup, Renée does many things: sales, marketing, analysis, and partnerships. She regularly speaks on the future of logistics, and writes about how technology is transforming the supply chain.

Vaccinate California

Co-founder

Renée is a co-founder of Vaccinate California, a grassroots groups started by three moms committed to improving immunization rates and public health across the country - starting with California! In 2015, Vaccinate California successfully sponsored SB-277, authored by Senators Richard Pan and Ben Allen, which eliminated the Personal Belief Exemption that was steadily driving down classroom immunization rates across the state…eventually leading to a measles outbreak that began at Disneyland. It was one of the most contentious pieces of legislation in the United States that year; each hearing attracted hundreds of protesters, and the Senators who sponsored the legislation received death threats and extra security. Vaccinate California worked with passionate parent volunteers, public health, medical, and educational organizations to support the bill, which was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on July 31, 2015.

Renée is particularly interested in the propagation of pseudoscience conspiracy theories across social media channels, and how they impact public policy. Her data analyses on the topic have been featured in Slate, Wired, and the Economist. She regularly speaks and advises on analytical, data-driven approaches to understanding the intersection of social channels and science communication.

Full history on LinkedIn

The Hardware Startup

The authoritative guide for the aspiring hardware founder

This book is for entrepreneurs who want to create companies around physical products. It turns the complex process of building a hardware startup into a series of accessible steps, to guide founders from the earliest stage of an idea to a beautiful final product that sells.

Written by three experts with deep experience in hardware businesses, The Hardware Startup gives you practical strategies for funding, market research, branding, prototyping, manufacturing, and distribution. Two dozen case studies of real-world startups illustrate possible successes and failures at every stage of the process.

Learn more

Speaking + writing

I speak on technology (especially as it applies to hardware and logistics), entrepreneurship, and the intersection of tech and policy, both at conferences and as a guest lecturer. Here are a few selected keynotes and talks.

Featured talks

Hardware + business

Selected press