Flashback – Vinod Khosla and Luck

I am still searching for the video interview conducted by Silicon India with my former boss and friend, the late Dr. Rajeev Motwani.  Unfortunately, I have yet to find it. If anyone comes accross it, please send me the link and I’ll do a blog post and link it up here.

In the meantime, here is an article from Silicon India about our Dot Edu Ventures dinner in 2003.  When asked what was the most important factor that determined a successful investor, Vinod Khosla, our speaker, answered “Luck”.   I still believe that today. Like it or not, luck, or serendipity better yet, plays a major factor in an investors success, especially in Academic Entrepreneurship land.

The excerpt below is a reprint from Silicon India.

Khosla parries questions at Dot Edu ventures event

Tuesday, 04 February 2003

PALO ALTO: Legendary entrepreneur and Kliener Perkins Caufield general partner Vinod Khosla identified “luck” as a major factor in making a successful investor, at the fourth annual event of Dot Edu Ventures at the Stanford Faculty Club.

The event was attended by the Venture Capital community and CEO’s of startups funded by Dot Edu Ventures. Khosla, who was the keynote speaker, answered questions from the audience on the economy, ethics, business process outsourcing (BPO) and revenue generating business models among others.

The fourth edition of the Dot Edu ventures event saw industry stalwarts like Ajit Shah (General Partner- Worldview Tech Partners), Raj Singh, Prabhu Goel, Raj Parikh (GP, Redwood Ventures), and Brent Jones (Partner, University Tech Ventures) in attendance.

Dot Edu is a 20 million dollar fund that was started by Asha Jadeja and Rajeev Motwani. Motwani is a familiar name in academic circles as the Director of Graduate Studies at Stanford University as well as a Professor of Computer Science. Serving on several high-profile technical advisory boards including Google and Jumpstartup Ventures, Rajeev has won awards such as the Arthur Sloan Research Fellowship and the National Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation.

“The Dot Edu advantage comes with the best of breed engineering talent from universities like Stanford, UC Berkeley and MIT. A right mix of engineering and marketing talent from academia and industry strengthens the Dot Edu philosophy of setting in place the right kind of DNA in startups, to ensure long-term success,” Jadeja said of the company.

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