Nov 1, 2022
If you’re familiar with the Silicon Valley world or venture capital space, Steve Jurvetson is a name that needs no introduction. For the rest of you, Steve’s a legendary venture capitalist perhaps best known for his early backing of companies like Hotmail, Skype, Paypal, Tesla, SpaceX, and more. He sat on Tesla’s board of directors for years, and currently sits on SpaceX’s board, too. These big bets he’s taken on then-risky and out-there companies have led Steve to astronomical financial success (pun intended), but also to become an influential thought leader on space and technology issues, along with others. He was also an early backer of the cultivated meat industry, investing in Upside Foods’ Series A.
In 2016, President Obama appointed Steve as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship. Steve’s also been honored as one of "Tech's Best Venture Investors" by Forbes, and as the “Venture Capitalist of the Year” by Deloitte. The dude’s a pretty prolific photographer too, it turns out, as I’ve learned. In fact, if you enter his name into Google without hitting enter, one of the dropdowns you get served is Steve Jurvetson Flickr!
Today, Steve runs a venture capital fund called Future Ventures with his business partner Maryanna Saenko, and for full disclosure, as you’ll hear in this interview, Future Ventures is an investor in my own company, The Better Meat Co. But as you’ll also hear in this interview, that doesn’t stop us from discussing taboo topics like Steve’s personal wealth, how he spends his money, and more.
Other interesting topics we explore include:
In all, it’s a riveting conversation with one of the most consequential names in business, including businesses that are seeking to do good in the world.
Resources referenced in this episode
More about Steve Jurvetson
Steve Jurvetson is an early-stage venture capitalist with a focus on founder-led, mission-driven companies at the cutting edge of disruptive technology and new industry formation. Steve led founding investments in several companies that had successful IPOs and others that were billion-dollar acquisitions, representing $800 billion of aggregate value creation. Some of those early VC investments include Planet Labs, SpaceX and Tesla. Before co-founding Future Ventures and Draper Fisher Jurvetson,
Steve was an R&D Engineer at Hewlett-Packard, where seven of his chip designs were fabricated. He also worked in product marketing at Apple and NeXT and management consulting with Bain & Company. He completed his undergraduate Electrical Engineering degree at Stanford in 2.5 years, graduating #1 in his class, and went on to earn a MSEE and MBA from Stanford.
In 2017, Steve received the Visionary Award from SV Forum. In 2016, President Barack Obama appointed Steve as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship. Steve has also been honored as one of "Tech's Best Venture Investors" by Forbes, and as the “Venture Capitalist of the Year” by Deloitte.