Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Speakers Forum To Present Facebook Entrepreneurs the Winklevoss Twins
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss—commonly known as “the
Winklevoss twins”—were launched into the public eye in 2004,
when they filed a lawsuit against Facebook founder Mark
Zuckerberg. They are also known for being portrayed in the
Academy Award-winning film The Social Network, which
dramatized the story of Facebook’s genesis. The Winklevoss
twins will be on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute campus
Thursday, Oct. 18 to share their side of the story.
Members of the campus and local community are invited to
have an opportunity to hear firsthand accounts and experiences
from the Winklevoss twins as part of the Rensselaer Union
Speakers Forum program. The program will be heldin the Darrin
Communications Center, room 308, at 7:30 p.m.
In early 2003, the Winklevoss twins, along with fellow
Harvard classmate Divya Narendra, sought a better way to
connect with fellow students at Harvard and other universities.
The three conceived of a social network, initially called
HarvardConnection and later renamed ConnectU. In late 2003,
having already spent close to a year developing a sophisticated
codebase, the Winklevoss twins and Narendra partnered with
fellow Harvard classmate Mark Zuckerberg to help finish the
source code and ready their social network for launch.
What followed is the stuff of legend, as portrayed in The
Social Network and reported and re-reported in the media:
years of accusations, nearly a decade of litigation, and a
settlement valued at more than $200 million.
Beyond the notoriety they gained for their claims that they
were the true creators of Facebook, the Winklevoss twins are
also born entrepreneurs. In their keynote speeches, the
Winklevoss twins will share their side of the Facebook story,
as well as their personal journey as lifelong entrepreneurs.
For example, at the age of 13, they launched their own webpage
design company, and in high school they started a rowing team,
which continues to flourish in Greenwich, Conn. Their hard work
paid off when, in 2008, the Winklevoss twins made the U.S.
Olympic Rowing Team.
Launched in 1998, the Rensselaer Union Speakers Forum is a
lecture program that brings a broad range of speakers to
campus. Invited guests deliver remarks on topics that include:
high adventure, education, personal experience, entertainment,
social, science, the arts, entrepreneurship, culture,
athletics, current events, politics, and recreation, among
Some past speakers include: Ghost Hunters, Ed and Lorraine
Warren, ghost hunters; Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a motivational
speaker; Mike Weiss, a television comedy writer, who also
produced the Simpsons; Carl Brashear, the first
African-American U.S. Navy Master Diver; Max Brooks, author and
writer for Saturday Night Live (SNL); Efren Ramirez, an
actor best known for playing Pedro Sanchez in the indie film
Napoleon Dynamite; Chris Daniels, an award winning stuntman who
helped bring Spiderman to life on the big screen; Mike
Greenberg, ESPN TV/radio personality; Neal Baer, producer for
Law & Order SVU; Mo Rocca, comic writer for The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart; Maura Cullen, social educator; Melissa
Anelli, Harry Potter expert.
Tickets are required to attend. To reserve a ticket, contact
the Rensselaer Union at 276-6505 or stop by the administration
office on the third floor of the Union.
Contact: Jessica Otitigbe
Phone: (518) 276-6050