Robin Farmanfarmaian is a medical futurist, entrepreneur, bestselling author, and professional speaker. She is the author of The Patient as CEO: How Technology Empowers the Healthcare Consumer, an education tool and resource for healthcare professionals, the tech industry and patients. Farmanfarmaian is the President of Robin Starbuck, a firm specializing in business development, sponsorship strategy and conversion, high end sales, speaking and presenting on medical technology, advising early and mid stage startup companies, negotiating and managing high-profile tier-1 global speakers in technology for various conferences, speaking engagements and appearances.
Farmanfarmaian has worked, or is currently working, with twelve biotech and medicine startup companies. Currently, she is COO at Arc Fusion Programs, a series of events around the fusion of health, science and IT; VP at INVICTA Medical, a sleep apnea medical device, post anesthesia acute care; and Co-Founder and Board of Director at Organ Preservation Alliance, She was also the president at i4j (Innovation for Jobs) ECO Summit; Additionally, she serves on the Adjunct Faculty and Conference Advisory Board and is the Founding Executive Producer for Exponential Medicine at Singularity University, which focuses on disruptive game-changing exponential technologies to revolutionize the practice of medicine and radically transform healthcare and the biomedical industry. During this effort, and in conjunction with her Vice President's position at Singualrity University, she raised over $6M dollars in the form of sponsorships and education. Farmanfarmaian is on the Advisory Board of V2Ventures SXSW; an Advisory Board Member at Alacrity, a patient services stealth startup company; Advisory Board of Doctella, Impact Pediatric Health, Advisory Board of AARP Health Innovation, Scientific Advisory Board at CloudLIMS, and an Angel List investor.
Born and raised in Amherst, NH, Farmanfarmaian attended Boston University where she received her B.S. in Business Management. She also attended Golden Gate University, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and took executive program classes at Harvard University, Stanford University and Singularity University. She also attended boarding school at Lawrence Academy and Kimball Union Academy and was a Tri-Varsity Athlete in Ice hockey, field hockey and lacrosse. She now lives and works in Palo Alto, California.
As a teenager, Farmanfarmaian was misdiagnosed with an autoimmune disease that led to forty-three hospitalizations and six major surgeries. As a result of her unique personal experience and her biomed work, she has worked toward proving that technology empowers patients and makes a positive impact in the health and medical fields.
Farmanfarmaian's parents, Dr. Wendy Tinklepaugh, mother, was a pediatrician. Nick Soloway, father, is the founding partner and Intellectual Property Attorney at Hayes Soloway, with offices in NH and AZ, and is also an entrepreneur in Tucson, AZ.
Farmanfarmaian was married to a Persian prince from the Qajar Dynasty, Prince Mansoor Valley Farmanfarmaian, and is now divorced.
Robin Farmanfarmaian's family, the Starbucks, are one of founding families of Nantucket, along with the Macys and the Folgers, dating back to 1667. The Starbucks ran the fishing industry through whaling for over 100 years and, at one point, owned some of the world's largest ships. The coffee company Starbucks is accidentally named after the Starbuck family. As per the Starbucks Coffee Book, the Starbuck character in the famous book Moby Dick, which was likened to the Starbuck family of Nantucket, was the inspiration for the name of the coffee company. Starbucks co-founder Gordon Bowker got the name straight out of that book.
Robin Farmanfarmaian is related to both the Coffins and Starbucks of Nantucket, and carries the Starbuck name as a lineage for every first-born daughter.
Farmanfarmaian's philanthropy and volunteer work takes the form of many venues from serving as an Associate Trustee for San Francisco Ballet ENCORE, President for 3 years, Opening Night Gala Chair for 2 years, and as Advisory Council and Volunteer Management for San Francisco Opera’s BRAVO; to mentoring women and sponsoring female empowerment groups for women's support both professionally and personally at the Palo Alto Coalition, founded with Silvia Console Battilana. She also served on the advisory board for SXSW V2Ventures, Louisville Innovation Summit, and AARP. Farmanfarmaian is a co-founder and a member of the Board of Directors for Organ Preservation Alliance. She also spent two years there as the Executive Director. In addition, Farmanfarmaian is also a mentor and advisor for the Kairos Society and the Lifeboat Foundation.
Farmanfarmaian supports many charities such as Samasource and is a TED donor. She mentored at 500 Startups (an incubator), sits on the scientific advisory board for CloudLIMS, and individually mentors at least one entrepreneur a week.
When Farmanfarmaian isn't mentoring, volunteering or advising, she likes to cook. She studied under a 5 Star Chef at a cooking lab at Boston University's School of Hospitality Management and studied the chemistry behind cooking while at Boston University.