SWEET BRIAR — Leah Solivan Busque will deliver the keynote address during Sweet Briar College's 107th Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14, 2016. Busque graduated magna cum laude from Sweet Briar in 2001, earning a bachelor's degree in mathematics and computer science, and is serving on the Board of Directors for a second time.
"Leah Busque is a great example of the creative and innovative graduates of Sweet Briar," said Sweet Briar College President Phillip C. Stone. "The combination of developing a good idea, having intelligence to implement it and applying the work ethic necessary to make it happen are characteristics of great leaders. Leah certainly has those qualities. She is a devoted daughter of Sweet Briar and one of our stars."
Busque said she is thrilled to celebrate the Class of 2016 in this historic graduation year for Sweet Briar College.
"At a time when there is such a rich national conversation happening around women in technology, business and global leadership, I am proud to share the story of Sweet Briar with everyone I meet," she said. "To be able to return to my alma mater and inspire the next generation of women to follow their passions and pursue their visions for how they can contribute to and influence this national conversation is a true privilege, and I feel honored to be a part of such a historic ceremony."
Busque has 15 years experience building and creating technology products that have reached millions of people around the globe. She started her career at IBM as a software engineer in the software group, working on Lotus Notes and Domino. In 2008, Busque founded TaskRabbit, the leading on-demand service marketplace in the world.
A vision for revolutionizing the way people work led Busque to pioneer the concept of "service networking." Her passions for product innovation and devotion to user experience have propelled TaskRabbit into a leading role in the collaborative consumption movement. Busque has expanded the company internationally, raised nearly $50 million in venture funding from venerated investors such as Shasta Ventures, Lightspeed Ventures and Founders Fund, and inspired other startups in the collaborative and service networking space.
Fast Company named her one of the "100 Most Creative People in Business," and her achievements have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Wired and Time. Under her leadership, TaskRabbit has gathered accolades including being named "The Next Big Thing in Tech" by the New York Times.
In 2014, Busque was inaugurated into the Forum of Young Global Leaders, a prestigious group of fewer than 1,000 people around the globe recognized for their bold, brave, action-oriented entrepreneurial ventures. The arts and creating opportunities for women in technology are important to Busque, who also served on the board of the Silicon Valley Ballet and enjoys speaking engagements for organizations such as Girls Who Code and Tina Brown's Women In the World Summit.
Busque resides in San Mateo, California, with her husband, Kevin and daughter, Amelia, and highly energetic black Labrador retriever, Emerson. She is expecting her second child later this summer.