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Victor W. Hwang      

VP of Entrepreneurship at Kauffman Foundation; Co-author of "The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley"

Victor W. Hwang is the Vice President of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. Previously, he was CEO and managing director of T2 Venture Creation, a Silicon Valley venture firm that he also co-founded. The firm builds startup companies and the ecosystems that grow them. T2VC mentors and invests in innovative companies with breakthrough technologies. But unlike any other firm of its kind, T2VC also leverages the practical know-how of company-building to design innovation ecosystems around the world. This expertise includes capital formation, innovation policy, and entrepreneurial development for partners such as the World Bank, USAID, and numerous governments and corporations.

Victor was executive director of the Global Innovation Summit, a conference on building innovation ecosystems that attracts delegates from nearly 50 countries. Victor was president of Larta Institute, a leading organization commercializing technology from key government agencies, such as the national Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Victor co-founded Liquidity Corporation, a water purification company backed by leading executives and investors. He was chief strategy officer of Veatros, a video search company, where he led the company's acquisition by DivX. He is the Chief Strategy Officer of Blue Planet Strategies, a startup that increases copper mining production. Victor is a Kauffman Fellow, a network of leaders in the venture capital industry. He advises the World Bank on innovation and venture capital formation in emerging markets. He has mentored hundreds of startup companies over the years.

Victor is primary co-author of the book "The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley," which explains how society can foster innovative economies. The book has been praised as "an insightful, forward-thinking assessment of what makes Silicon Valley tick" and "a detailed analysis of the power of environment on startup success." Victor is author of the follow-up book, "The Rainforest Blueprint: How to Design Your Own Silicon Valley," a short, full-color, lively do-it-yourself guide to catalyze innovation in any company, organization or region. Victor is also a contributing columnist to Forbes magazine, where he authors the blog Riffs From the Rainforest. He has also written for The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and Entrepreneur.

Previously, Victor was a corporate attorney in technology matters with Irell & Manella and the international firm of Mayer, Brown & Platt. Victor practiced in a variety of legal areas, including negotiating venture capital investments, public and private equity and debt, and multi-billion dollar mergers and acquisitions. Victor has also counseled on a range of new technology issues, including software development, telecommunications, multimedia, intellectual property and the Internet.

Victor graduated from Harvard University with an A.B. with Honors, studying government plus additional studies in computer science, computer architecture and operating systems design. He graduated from the Law School of the University of Chicago with a J.D. He was appointed as a law clerk in the General Counsel's office of the U.S. Agency for International Development in 1997 and served in national politics from 1995 to 1997.

Victor serves on the International Science and Commercialization Board of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Victor was appointed to the California Blue Ribbon Task Force on nanotechnology. Victor was awarded a Marshall memorial Fellowship, a program for emerging trans-Atlantic leaders. Victor has reviewed grant investments in startups for the National Science Foundation and the State of California. He has testified on technology policy for both the California Senate and Assembly. His opinions have been cited in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, among others. He served on the Steering Committee of the International Banking and Finance Committee of the American Bar Association. He is the co-author of "Selected Developments in Federal Securities Law and California Corporate Law," Business Law Section of the State Bar of California; Hollywood Unstrung (Entertainment in a Wireless Age); Sand Dollar Report (An Analysis of Venture Investing); and numerous other publications.

Speech Topics

Areas of innovation

Science and economic growth

Innovative thinking

Relationship between public policy and private industry

Technology trends

Government policy and global commerce

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Fostering growth


Startups and startup culture

Venture capital and investment

Innovation process

Management and leadership


Creativity and output

Silicon Valley and social trust

Culture and innovation

Global development

Capital ecosystems

Innovation ecosystems

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Victor W. Hwang is an entrepreneur, investor, and writer in Silicon Valley. He is Executive Director of Global Innovation Summit + Week, a gathering for builders ...
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Victor W. Hwang is an old school nerd, author, venture capitalist & entrepreneur in Silicon Valley who builds startups and the ecosystems that grow them.
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