Entrepreneurial VisionMr. Vinod Khosla
Founder, Khosla Ventures
A legendary venture capitalist and the co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Vinod Khosla has been dubbed Silicon Valley’s ‘Mr. Green’. In September 2009, Khosla’s venture capital firm, Khosla Ventures, announced it had raised US$1.1 billion in a “green fund” that would be used to spur development of renewable energy and other clean technologies.
The fund came at a time when venture capital investments in green technology were just beginning to recover from a precipitous fall prompted by the global economic collapse in 2008. Of the US$1.1 billion, US$800 million will place investments in more established technologies while US$275 million will be used to make smaller investments in earlier stage technology companies. At the time of its announcement, the fund was the largest launched since 2007 and one of the largest ever launched for clean technologies.
Mr. Khosla has begun several environmental start-ups to try to reduce the world’s dependence on petroleum. He says the burgeoning revolution in oil alternatives will be bigger -- far bigger – than the internet revolution of yesteryear.
In his personal life, Khosla is carbon-neutral. He offsets his own carbon emissions with TerraPass.com and Carbonfund.org, and says he will soon be carbon-negative.
In January 2010, Bill Gates announced he has invested in Khosla’s green technology fund. When asked about Khosla, Gates said: “He is backing some great entrepreneurs. I get some exposure to them as part of that. Innovation is called for in a big way.”