Steve Jurvetson Leaves Own Venture Capital Firm Over Harassment Claims

Steve Jurvetson

Steve Jurvetson — a key investor in SpaceX, Tesla Motors and Planet — is leaving the venture capital firm he founded, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, over allegations of sexual harassment. Recode reports:

DFJ announced the move in a letter to limited partners on Monday. The firm released a statement to Recode that read:

As of today and by mutual agreement, Steve Jurvetson will be leaving DFJ. DFJ’s culture has been, and will continue to be, built on the values of respect and integrity in all of our interactions. We are focused on the success of our portfolio companies, as well as the long-term vision for the firm and will continue to operate with the highest professional standards.

The firm did not specify the reason for the ouster in the letter, but sources said that the investigation uncovered behaviors by Jurvetson that were unacceptable related to a negative tone toward women entrepreneurs….

The departure comes as Jurvetson was being investigated by his own firm for harassment. An entrepreneur had alleged predatory behavior was “rampant” at DFJ. The woman, Keri Kukral, did not name Jurvetson in her Facebook post.

Jurvetson denied the claims in a Twitter post.

 

Jurvetson Investigated for Alleged Sexual Harassment

Steve Jurvetson

Prominent space backer Steve Jurvetson is being investigated for alleged sexual harassment, his venture capital firm admitted this week. Jurvetson’s investments have included two of Elon Musk’s companies, SpaceX and Tesla Motors.

Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the VC firm he founded, said Tuesday it had launched an inquiry into Jurvetson a day after an entrepreneur alleged that “predatory behavior is rampant” at DFJ. The woman, Keri Kukral, did not name Jurvetson in her Facebook post.

“DFJ has never received a complaint about the professional conduct of any of our partners or investment professionals,” DFJ spokeswoman Carol Wentworth said in a statement to Recode. “Earlier this summer we became aware of indirect and second-hand allegations about one partner, Steve Jurvetson. We immediately opened an independent investigation, which is ongoing at this time.”

“Women approached by founding partners of Draper Fisher Jurvetson should be careful,” wrote Kukral, who runs a startup called Raw Science, which has not received DFJ funding in the past. “The situation I found myself in is personally atypical and I’ve not been in any other situation remotely like it. I was not seeking investment or trying to further my career.”

Video: Elon Musk Describes Vision for a Human Civilization


Video Caption:
Elon Musk has never been one to keep his long-term plans to himself. Beyond the development of reusable rockets, electric cars, and revolutionizing solar power, he has also been quite vocal about establishing a colony on Mars within his lifetime. The goal here is nothing less than ensuring the survival of the human race by creating a “backup location”, and calls for some serious planning and architecture.

These and other aspects of Musk’s proposed mission to Mars were outlined in an essay titled “Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species“, which was published in the June 2017 issue of the journal New Space. The paper is a summary of the presentation he made at the 67th Annual Meeting of the International Astronautical Congress, which took place from September 26th–30th, 2016, in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The paper was produced by Scott Hubbard, a consulting professor at Stanford University and the Editor-in-Chief of NewSpace, and includes all the material and slides from Musk’s original presentation. Contained within are Musk’s thoughts on how the colonization of Mars could be accomplished in this century and what issues would need to be addressed.

Jurvetson to Give Tour of Space Artifact Collection — for a Price

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Steve Jurvetson
Steve Jurvetson

SpaceX investor Steve Jurvetson will give one lucky person a tour of his personal collection of space artifacts — if the price is right.

All you have to do is go to Tourwithsteve.com and making the winning bid. According to the website:

“The highest bid will help fund a scholarship for a space entrepreneur to attend Draper University and support a team on a wilderness survival mission.”

So, what is Draper University? It’s actually known as the Draper University of Heroes and was created by one of Jurvetson’s venture capital partners at Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Here’s the description from its website:

“Located in Silicon Valley, Draper University of Heroes is the brainchild of free-spirited venture capitalist Tim Draper, aka ‘The Riskmaster’. We are an unconventional world-class boarding school for the brightest young entrepreneurs from around the world. We built this school because the world needs more heroes.”

Yes. the world certainly needs more of them. And, apparently, now you can now get a degree in heroism. Who knew?

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VC Jurvetson Likes Odds on SpaceX; Space Tourism….Not So Much….

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Steve Jurvetson: Only investing in the unknown
CNET

Draper Fisher Jurvetson, has invested in both Tesla and Reva Electric (Reva makes low-cost electric city runabouts). He knew little about the auto business when he got into the field, and admits he’s been very lucky. Regarding electric cars, he says, “You couldn’t possibly have put a business plan together that foresaw what is happening today.”

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