At it’s peak, Grooveshark had over 35 million listeners a month. But it wasn’t just popular. Grooveshark users loved the service and fought hard for it. Unfortunately, after years of legal battles with the music industry, Grooveshark was forced to spin down its servers and hand the keys over to the very record labels who sought to destroy it. The world can be cruel that way.
As one of Grooveshark’s co-founders, Andrés Barreto was on the front lines of the copyright wars that would come to define how media is consumed in the digital age. We can learn a lot from his scars and triumphs.
But Andrés isn’t defined by one startup. In fact, he has invested in dozens of companies. Through philanthropy and entrepreneurship, he has helped elevate his native Latin America into one of the world’s emerging tech hubs and he is determined to realize the potential of the region’s smart and hungry innovators.
What makes Andrés especially interesting for our purposes is that despite his vast tech portfolio, he has an active interest in politics and public policy. In fact, he majored at the University of Florida not in engineering, but in political science.
His political instincts, his global perspective and his firsthand knowledge of one of tech’s great policy fights makes Andrés Barreto a very special guest for us, and we’re honored to have him as a member of this community.