Riding in a Tesla Model S with Steve Jurvetson

Steve Jurvetson says electric vehicles are undoubtedly the cars of the future. Not too surprising, given that his VC firm, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, was an early investor in electric vehicle company Tesla Motors. But to really get an idea of how passionate he is about EVs, you have to hear the story about how he wound up getting the keys to the new Model S -- beating out even Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Musk had been dodging Jurvetson's numerous requests to put down a deposit on the car, saying that reservations for the vehicle couldn't be taken until … Read more

VCs' next big things: Big data, drugs, and education

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--Some of Silicon Valley's greatest minds used an interesting piece of hardware to vote on which trends will rule the tech world: ping pong paddles.

The Churchill Club, a business and technology forum, hosted discussion here Tuesday night, along with Forbes magazine, to pick the brains of Kevin Efrusy, Bing Gordon, Reid Hoffman, Steve Jurvetson, and Peter Thiel.

With a few hundred people seated in the grand ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, each investor presented his case for two ideas for what he thought would be a dominating tech trend for the next five … Read more

VC turns office into Apollo museum

The last time I went to talk with venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, I spent more time ogling his museum of NASA Apollo gear than I did talking about his startup investments.

So I made an appointment to go see him again, with enough time to snap pictures of the equipment in his office in Palo Alto, Calif., office.

Click through our slideshow for a view into this small, private, and unique collection of space artifacts. … Read more

Twitter video-sharing service nabs $6.5 million

Twitvid, a popular video-sharing service on Twitter, is announcing today $6.5 million in a second funding round led by Azure Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Plans for the new funds include expanding the team, growing usage opportunities, and scaling the infrastructure.

Since launching in 2009, Twitvid has seen its service grow to 12 million monthly unique users, and more than 30 million unique video views per month. The company says it's growing its user base more than 100 percent year over year. Celebrity and sports fans include LeBron James, Justin Bieber, Al Gore, Tyra Banks, 50cent, and the … Read more

Valley VC learns to embrace government

This is the fifth in a series of profiles that look at how the tech industry is working with the federal government.

"We joke about the Internet routing around bad government," venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson said when I asked him about launching and running companies that have to make nice with Uncle Sam.

Jurvetson, a managing director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, made his first big venture capital score by putting money into Hotmail. He also invested in Skype. Of these early investments, he said, "They fell outside the realm of regulatory friction."

But times have changed … Read more

Search start-up edging close to prime time?

Edgios, a little-known search start-up, may be about to come out of its self-imposed shell.

The company, which has offices in the United States and Serbia, has received extensive advance coverage--especially on Serbian developer discussion boards prior to its official launch.

Edgios has been alpha testing its software since the fall. However, Steve Jurvetson, a managing director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, one of the company's major venture backers, today dropped a broad hint that the coming-out party may be near.

In a presentation he delivered on the history of technology innovation at the Global Technology Symposium on Thursday, Jurvetson … Read more

Steve Jurvetson: The constant search for disruption

Few people have played as big a role in recent tech booms and busts as Steve Jurvetson, managing director of venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson in Menlo Park, Calif.

One of the leading venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, Jurvetson is best-known for his involvement in Hotmail, Interwoven, Kana, and more recently, Skype. He spends his spare time building and firing rockets of all sizes with his young son, and recently has financed a new movie, The Singing Revolution, about his parent's tiny home country of Estonia.

CNET News.com reporters Michael Kanellos and Carl-Gustav Linden recently sat down … Read more

Investor: Consumer Web best bet for high returns

MENLO PARK, Calif.--If you want to make money as a venture capitalist, the consumer Web offers the highest, most consistent returns, according to Steve Jurvetson.

The low costs required to start these companies is a big part of the appeal, Jurvetson, a partner in Draper Fisher Jurvetson, said in an interview at the Nordic Green conference here this week. By contrast, biodiesel start-ups need millions to get through the experimental stage and then tens of millions to go into pre-production.

Networking also works well with Web companies. A successful word-of-mouth campaign that costs almost nothing can propel growth rates. … Read more