Vinod Khosla Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Vinod Khosla      

Co-founder of Daisy Systems; Founding CEO of Sun Microsystems

Vinod grew up dreaming of being an entrepreneur, despite growing up in an Indian Army household with no business or technology connections. Since the age of 16, when he first heard about Intel starting up, he dreamt of starting his own technology company. Upon graduating with a bachelors in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Vinod failed, at age 20, to start a soy milk company to service the many people in India who did not have refrigerators. He came instead to the U.S. and got his masters in biomedical engineering at Carnegie-Mellon University. His start-up dreams attracted him to Silicon Valley, where he got an MBA at Stanford University in 1980.

Upon graduation he was one of the three founders of Daisy Systems, which was the first significant computer-aided design system for electrical engineers. The company went on to achieve significant revenue, profits, and an IPO, but Khosla, driven by the frustration of having to design the computer hardware on which the Daisy software needed to be built, started the standards-based Sun Microsystems in 1982 to build workstations for software developers. At Sun he pioneered open systems and RISC processors. Sun was funded by longtime friend and board member John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

In 1986 Vinod switched sides and joined Kleiner Perkins, where he was and continues to be a general partner of KPCB funds through KP X. Through the years there, with other partners, he took on Intels monopoly with Nexgen/AMD (the only microprocessor to have significant success against Intel, sold to AMD for 28 percent of AMD), incubated the idea and business plan for Juniper to take on Ciscos dominance of the router market, formulated the very early advertising-based search strategy for Excite, and transformed the moribund telecommunications business and its archaic SONET implementations with Cerent (sold to Cisco for $7B). He helped in creating value, having fun, succeeding, failing (remember Dynabook?), and driving impact in partnership with entrepreneurs and the partners at KPCB.

In 2004, Vinod, driven by the need for flexibility to accommodate four teenaged children and a desire to be more experimental, to fund sometimes imprudent science experiments, and to take on both for-profit and for social impact ventures, formed khoslaventures, funded entirely with family funds. His goals remain the same: work and learn from fun and knowledgeable entrepreneurs, build impactful companies through the leverage of innovation, and spend time in a partnership that makes a difference. Vinod has a passion for nascent technologies that can have a beneficial effect and economic impact on society. His greatest passion is being a mentor to entrepreneurs, helping them build technology-based businesses. Vinod serves on the boards of a few companies, but he generally meets directly with most of the portfolio companies as they face transitions or key decisions. His thinking can be found here on the site two examples: a personal retrospective he gave at the 2010 CEO Conference, and a talk on entrepreneurship at MIT in 2011

Khosla is a charter member of TiE, a not-for-profit global network of entrepreneurs and professionals founded in 1992 that now has more than forty chapters in nine countries. He is also a founding board member of the Indian School of Business. His current passion is social entrepreneurship, with a special emphasis on microfinance as a poverty alleviation tool. He is a supporter of many microfinance organizations in India and Africa. He has been experimenting with education and global housing. Vinod is also passionate about alternative energy, petroleum independence, and the environment.

This much respected entrepreneur lives in Woodside, CA with his wife and four daughters. Khosla believes in closeness in family. His rules for life include having breakfast and dinner with his family. He is one of three billionaires of Indian origin in Forbes magazines list of Americas richest 400 people.

News


Vinod Khosla to make big gains from Square's IPO

Technology company Square's long-awaited IPO today is expected to make a lot of money for founders, investors and early employees.

Vinod Khosla: Medicine’s big data revolution

A year and a half ago, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Vinod Khosla made headlines when he stated at a conference that in the next decade “data science and software will do more for medicine than all of the biological sciences together.”

Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla explains entrepreneurship and motivation

Long before the current wave of entrepreneurs and startups hit India, Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi graduate Vinod Khosla made it big in Silicon Valley by co-founding computer software and hardware firm Sun Microsystems in 1982.

What are Vinod Khosla’s personal KPIs?

There were some eye openers at the 2016 Startup Grind Conference when Vinod Khosla shared the KPIs that have guided him during his 30-year venture capital investor career.

Related Speakers View all


More like Vinod