Venture capitalist and technology veteran Vinod Khosla will speak at the Haas School Sept. 9 after receiving the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Khosla, founder and partner of Khosla Ventures, will speak to the Haas community in Arthur Andersen Auditorium from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with a question-and-answer session during the last half-hour. The title of his talk is "The Innovation Ecosystem and Its Role in Shaping Our Renewable Future."
The event, which is co-sponsored by the Lester Center and the Dean's Speaker Series, will be free and open to the Haas community. Pre-registration is required at register.haas.berkeley.edu/VinodKhosla/VinodKhosla.aspx. For more information, contact Meg Fellner.
Before the talk, Jerry Engel, faculty director of the Lester Center, will present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Khosla during a private reception.
"The Lester Center's Lifetime Achievement Award is unique in that it celebrates the full cycle of entrepreneurial accomplishment, from venture creation to value development and harvest, and ultimately reaping the fruits of these efforts through the support of new entrepreneurs and the broader society," says Engel. "Vinod, through his great accomplishments, epitomizes these values and is an inspiration for future generations of entrepreneurs."
Khosla first dreamt of starting his own technology company at age 16, when he heard of Intel's founding while growing up in an Indian army household. After earning a bachelor's in electrical engineering in India, he moved to the US to get a master's in biomedical engineering at Carnegie-Mellon and an MBA from Stanford in 1980.
Khosla went on to fulfill his dream, first co-founding Daisy Systems and then Sun Microsystems, which both went public.
In 1986, Khosla joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a Sun investor and one of the most well-respected Silicon Valley VC firms, and he continues to be a partner there. In 2004, Khosla founded his own firm, Khosla Ventures, driven by the need for flexibility to accommodate four teenage children and a desire to be more experimental, to fund sometimes imprudent "science experiments," and to work with both for-profit and social-impact ventures.
Khosla's current passion is social entrepreneurship with a special emphasis on microfinance as a way to alleviate poverty. He is a supporter of many microfinance organizations in India and Africa. He also is passionate about alternative energy, petroleum independence, and the environment.