Venture Capitalists Oral History Project

About the Project
Interview Transcripts
Relevant Resources

About The Project

Venture capital was not a term when these narrators began to practice “risk investment” in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  The oral histories describe the evolution of the field into the industry of today, focusing on its earliest emergence in Northern California. The narrators describe their circuitous routes into venture capital, their individual approaches to its practice, illustrative investments in key companies, the significance of its location in the Golden State, and its contributions to creating, financing, and building new companies, nationally and, increasingly, internationally.

Conceived and generously funded by Paul Bancroft III, with supplementary funding from William Draper III and Franklin Pitcher Johnson, the project in its third and final year has produced seventeen interviews with first-generation Californian venture capitalists, investment bankers, and attorneys. Fundraising for the second-phase—“Venture Capital After the Founding Generation: Has the Model Changed?”—is underway as of early 2011. The new project will interview venture capitalists active in the 1980s and 1990s and provide a comparative basis for an ever-changing industry.

Advisory Board members: Paul Bancroft III, William Bowes Jr., William Draper III, Jerome Engel, Charles Faulhaber, Franklin Pitcher Johnson, and Alan Mendelson.

Project Director and Interviewer: Sally Smith Hughes

Videographers: Julie Allen, Caroline Crawford, Linda Norton, and Travis Thompson



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