Naveen Rao is the vice president and general manager of Intel’s artificial intelligence products group. Naveen’s fascination with computation in synthetic and neural systems began around age nine when he began learning about circuits that store information and encountered the AI themes prevalent in sci-fi at the time. He went on to study electrical engineering and computer science at Duke, but continued to stay in touch with biology by modeling neuromorphic circuits as a senior project. After studying computer architecture at Stanford, Naveen spent the next 10 years designing novel processors at Sun Microsystems and Teragen, specialized chips for wireless DSP at Caly Networks, video content delivery at Kealia, Inc., and video compression at W&W Comms. After a stint in finance doing algorithmic trading optimization at ITG, Naveen was part of the Qualcomm’s neuromorphic research group leading the effort on motor control and doing business development. Naveen was the founder and CEO of Nervana (acquired by Intel), which brings together engineering disciplines and neural computational paradigms to evolve the state of the art and make machines smarter. Naveen holds a PhD in neuroscience from Brown, where he studied neural computation and how it relates to neural prosthetics in the lab of John Donoghue.
Steve Jurvetson is a partner at DFJ. Steve has a reputation for investing in pioneering companies that create new sectors. Two early bets include the Elon Musk-led companies SpaceX and Tesla. (He owns both a Tesla sedan and an SUV and holds board seats at both companies.) Steve serves on the board of directors for Planet, a company that has launched the largest constellation of Earth-observation microsatellites; D-Wave, a quantum computing company which counts Google, NASA, and Lockheed-Martin as customers; and Mythic, a provider of a local AI hardware and software platform that turns devices into secure and trusted intelligent assistants. He previously held a board seat at deep learning company Nervana (acquired by Intel in 2016). Steve holds an undergraduate degree at Stanford in electrical engineering. He maintains a fascination for space and has turned DFJ’s office into a museum showcasing his space artifact collection.
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