DealZone

Tony Blair now advising Silicon Valley VC

May 24, 2010

Silicon Valley venture capital fund Khosla Ventures has roped in former British prime minister Tony Blair as senior advisor, hoping to leverage his international connections and geopolictical expertise.

Menlo Park, California-based Khosla Ventures is among the most active early stage investors in renewables and other alternative energy technologies. Founder Vinod Khosla, a well-known figure in the Silicon Valley technology circuit, himself was an early backer of biofuels.

Former British prime minister is now advising Khosla Ventures

Former British prime minister is now advising Khosla Ventures

Blair is not the first high-profile politician to join a Silicon Valley venture fund. Former U.S. Secreatry of State Colin Powell is closely associated with Kleiner Perkins and serves on the board of one of its portfolio companes, fuel cell maker Bloom.

Khosla Ventures’ many clean technology investments include solar thermal company Ausra, geothermal company AltaRock and biofuels makers Mascoma, Coskata, Range Fuels and Verenium.

Blair said he met Khosla, who left Kleiner in 2004 to form Khosla Ventrures, at an environmental conference in the Middle East and was “just fascinated” with the VC’s view of approaching climate change and green technology.

“He just fascinated me with his description of what they were trying to do and why they were trying to do it,” Blair said.

For his part, Khosla said he wanted to tap into Blair’s expertise in policy matters in Europe.

“In the Valley, we are techy nerds,” Khosla said. “We don’t really understand government, policy and global geo politics. I am relatively naive about Europe, China and lots of places. ”

“So this is very complimentary in getting advice in areas we don’t understand.” he added.

Comments
2 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

According to financial-disclosure records released just prior to his bid for the presidency, Al Gore had a net worth near $2 million at that time. Now thanks to his new career as a climate change guru, he stands to make perhaps a billion dollars or more off of global warming. Little wonder then that Tony Blair is climbing aboard the lucrative climate bandwagon! http://www.climatedigest.org

Posted by climatedigest | Report as abusive
 

America is still investing heavily on Petroleum. Rest of Developed world sees more promising future with renewable energy sources. Hope , vind khosla’s pro-environmental approach suceeds…..

Posted by chemtotal.com | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/