First Discussion: The Skeptic
Vinod Khosla (Partner, Khosla Ventures)
Interviewed by Matt Marshall (Founder & CEO, VentureBeat)
Second Discussion: The Optimist Steve Westly (Managing Partner,Westly Group)Interviewed by Sheeraz Haji (Managing Director, Cleantech Group
Energy used to be a one-way street. Today, it's becoming a bi-directional superhighway with utility customers finally taking charge of their power use and how much they pay for it. Instead of drilling into short-term IT issues and arcane arm-chair politicking involved in this shift, GreenBeat 2009 maps out the hottest business and technology opportunities the Smart Grid has to offer.
Sheeraz Haji is based in Cleantech Group's San Francisco office. Previously, Sheeraz Haji spent eight years co-founding and leading GetActive (merged with Convio), a venture-backed software-as-a-service company providing CRM tools to nonprofits, associations and educational institutions. As CEO, and later as President of the merged entity, Sheeraz Haji built a company with 1,200 clients and 300 employees. He has also worked as a strategy consultant for McKinsey & Company, an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) for El Dorado Ventures, an operations executive for GMO and a Product Manager for Digital Impact (acquired by Axciom). Sheeraz Haji launched his career as an environmental engineer in the Washington, DC office of Environ International. He has a BS from Brown University and an MS from Stanford University, both degrees in Environmental Engineering. Sheeraz Haji is a U.S. and French citizen.
Vinod Khosla is the president and CEO of Khosla Ventures. In 1986, he became a general partner Kleiner Perkins, where he took on Intel's monopoly with Nexgen/AMD.
In 2004, Khosla started Khoslaventures in order to create technologies that can have a beneficial effect and economic impact on society. Khosla assists or serves on the boards of a number of technology based companies.
He is also a charter member of TIE, a non-profit global network of entrepreneurs and professionals, and a founding board member for the Indian School of Business.
Matt Marshall is the editor and CEO of VentureBeat, which he founded in 2006. He covered the venture capital and startup beat for the Mercury News from 2001-2006. Marshall significantly expanded the newspapers coverage of venture capital and startups during that time, in daily articles and a weekly column called the VC Insider, and then online with his blog SiliconBeat from 2004.
Marshall was awarded Journalist of the Year by the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists in 2002, and the James Madison Freedom of Information award in 2003. These awards were for a series of articles he wrote in conjunction with two successful Mercury News lawsuits, in part instigated by Marshall, against California's public pension fund (CalPERS) and the University of California. The lawsuits sought disclosure of the financial performance of venture capital and other private equity funds that CalPERS and UC had invested in, arguing that state taxpayers and retirees had a right to know these results. As a result of these laws suits, public employees now have full access to information on the performance of their retirement investments.
Marshall was a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in Bonn, Germany from 1995 through 1998. In 1999 he wrote a book while in Germany, The Bank: the Birth of Europe's Central Bank and the Rebirth of European Power. He has also written for the Washington Post and several other publications. Marshal is also the executive producer of DEMO.
Marshall has a PhD in Government and an MA in German and European Studies from Georgetown University.
Steve Westly is currently founder of The Westly Group, one of the larger clean tech venture funds in the US. Prior to founding The Westly Group, he served as the Controller and Chief Fiscal Officer of the state of California â€“ the worldâ€™s sixth largest economy. As Controller, he chaired the State Lands Commission and served on 63 other boards and commissions, including CalPERS and CalSTRS, the nationâ€™s two largest public pension funds, which together invest more than $350 billion. During his four-year term, Steve Westly spearheaded innovative tax programs that helped close the State's budget deficit. He also led an effort to commit more than $1 billion to clean technology investments. Before running for office, Steve Westly helped guide the online auction company eBay through a period of rapid growth, serving as the senior vice president of marketing, business development, M&A and international. Steve Westly helped bring eBay to Europe and Asia, and developed the marketing and acquisition strategies that paved the path for the firm's exponential growth. In 2008 Steve Westly served as the California Co-Chair for the Obama for President Campaign.
He began his career in Washington, D.C., where he worked first on Capitol Hill and later in the Office of Conservation and Solar at the U.S. Department of Energy. Steve Westly then returned to California to become special assistant to the president of the California Public Utilities Commission. While there, he published two books on alternative energy and the utilities. Steve Westly also worked for four years as a program manager for Sprint. Steve Westly has a BA from Stanford University and a MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business, where he served on the faculty for five years