When I moved back to SLC this summer, I wanted to do a few things around town to encourage and unite some of the entrepreneurial energy that this place has. Having begun my career here, I’ve seen many of the same local events survive longer than I’d been involved in the startup scene, but none of them ever really appealed to me.
So, I’ve decided to break one of Brad’s golden rules of startup communities and start a new series for local founders and entrepreneurs I’m calling Sessions @ The Leonardo.
Fortunately, the wonderful team at The Leonardo has volunteered their support for this little experiment and I’m grateful to them for that. If you’re not familiar with what The Leonardo is, I’d encourage you to take a look, get a membership and begin to throw some support their way as I believe they will be the cultural center of gravity for tech, art and science here in Utah.
My hope with Sessions is to create an event I wished were around when I was just getting started as a career-long entrepreneur. The idea behind Sessions is to have a monthly “fireside chat” with a new roster of big thinkers and doers in technology, venture capital, design, branding and general entrepreneurship. These will be casual in setting and current in terms of content. Sometimes our speakers will be locals, but more often than not they will be outsiders who have a fresh perspective and network to share with those attending.
There will be no award shows, no banquets and no black ties.
Below are details on the first event we will be hosting next Thurs from 8-10pm @ The Leonardo with Vinod Khosla.
You can RSVP for the even here (space is super limited so act fast).
On Thursday December 20th I’ll be hosting a “fireside” chat with legendary venture capitalist Vinod Khosla at The Leonardo (in downtown SLC) from 8pm to 10pm.
I first met Vinod a a few years ago. That first meeting began as a simple get-to-know-you which stretched into a multiple-hour conversation covering his history as a founder, as a VC and as a father raising a family of four children. As I left that meeting, I couldn’t help but think how valuable it would have been for younger me to have been a fly on that wall to hear how Vinod thinks and works.
My hope for the night is to capture some of what we discussed in that meeting and give you a glimpse into the mind of one of the great investors of our time.
If you’re not familiar with Vinod, a brief description of his background. Raised in India, educated at IIT in Dehli, Carnegie Melon and Stanford. He was an entrepreneur from his earliest days in India, and founded a failed soy milk company. Upon graduating from Stanford with his MBA, he co-founded Daisey Systems and Sun Microsystems.
In 1986 he joined Kleiner Perkins as a Partner and went on to be one of the first investors in Nexgen, Juniper, Excite and Cerent.
In 2004, on his own dime, he started Khosla Ventures to fund “science experiments” tackling some of the world’s largest problems in alternative energy, education, petroleum independence, and the environment. He’s also a prolific writer, often penning pieces that share his most current thinking on investment themes.
His provocative thinking set him apart from so many in his industry and I think his perspective as a silicon valley veteran who plays by his own rules will be extremely interesting and beneficial to Utah-based founders and entrepreneurs.
PS- there will not be an open mic for Q&A at the event, but you can submit questions you’d like VK to answer HERE.
We’ll try to cover as many of them as we can.