Green Investor Goes Pink for Valley Girl TV

Cleantech investor on the hot, pink seat

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Steve Jurvetson
    Technology investor Vinod Khosla is no stranger to criticism, but can rest assured the daughter of his colleague Tim Draper won't hit him with hardball questions.

    If you find the technology business too confusing -- and not pink enough -- then you might tune in to The Valley Girl TV to watch venture capital investor Vinod Khosla literally greenwash host Jesse Draper.

    If you don't recognize Draper's name from Nickelodeon's "The Naked Brothers Band," you might recognize her as the daughter of Tim Draper, one of the partners in Draper Fisher Jurvetson, another venture-capital firm in Silicon Valley.

    Khosla is well known for having bet heavily on energy technology companies, from solar and wind power to biofuels through his own firm, Khosla Ventures, after making a mint as a cofounder of Sun Microsystems, which was recently sold to Oracle.

    Just to give you a sense of how cozy the relationship in the Silicon Valley investment community are, before starting his own firm, Khosla went from Sun to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers -- which competes with DFJ as two of the more highly regarded VC firms.

    Khosla's investments haven't been without controversy. An ethanol operation in Brazil was accused of mistreating workers at its factories processing sugarcane into fuel, and his championing of food crops like corn being turned into fuel came under fire when shortages caused the price of the staple grain to shoot up in Mexico and Central America.

    None of the criticisms have dampened his popularity in the Valley and beyond -- in January, former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates announced that he had invested in Khosla Ventures.

    Of course, the kids host Draper wants to reach can't be bothered with those details. Better just to give Khosla a platform to convince kids that he's going to save the world with more capitalism, which has worked so well for the planet so far.

    Photo by Steve Jurvetson.

    Jackson West suggests this more nuanced back-and-forth.