Vinod Khosla is an American entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He is the founder of the firm Khosla Ventures, which he established in 2004. Khosla ranks among the richest Americans and he is one of the most influential people in the Silicon Valley.
Khosla was born on 28th January 1955 in Delhi, India in an army household where technology was not a very familiar part of life. He however had an avid interest in technology since he was a child and would read books on IT whenever he would get the chance. He received his Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering degree from IIT Delhi and went on to do his Masters in Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University followed by an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Soon after his graduation from Stanford in 1980, Khosla started working for Daisy Systems, an electronic design automation company, where he remained for two years. He then co-founded Sun Microsystems. He was the first CEO and chairman of the company. In 1984, Khosla decided to leave Sun Microsystems and become a venture capitalist. He joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers assuming the position of a general partner. Here, Khosla proved himself as a successful and talented venture capitalist. Khosla was one of the first venture capitalists who made use of internet technology along with fiber optics making communication faster, cheaper and easier.
Vinod Khosla played a key role in initiating and assisting multimedia, video games, semiconductors, computer networking and internet software start-up companies. He also invested in several firms such as SKS Microfinance and Microfinance NGO. Due to his ability to recognize business opportunities, Khosla has won a lot of praise and admiration. He was an important player in the development of companies like Juniper Networks, Viant, Lightera, Cerent Corp and Extreme Networks. He has immense knowledge of global investment and how to implement successful marketing strategies as a result of which he is able to succeed in most of his projects. This visionary business magnate fulfilled his own dream and formed his venture capital firm called ‘Khosla Ventures’ in 2004 which is based in Menlo Park, California. His firm manages over 1 billion dollars capital along with investments that are financed by Khosla. In 2009, he ran two fundraisers for investments in cleantech and information technology initiatives securing 750 million dollars. In 2010, Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister joined Khosla Ventures.
Ranked among Forbes magazine’s list of 400 richest people of America, Vinod Khosla is a proud bearer of many other accomplishments and awards. In 1999, he was a finalist for the World Technology Award. He also served as the Honorary Chair of the ‘DonorsChoose’ San Francisco Bay Area Advisory Board. At the NASSCOM when asked if he was scared of failure his reply was ‘Freedom to fail is a key ingredient in success. Try and fail, but do not fail to try.’ He said that only those who dared to fail have a chance to succeed.