When it comes to magnanimous portfolios, venture capitalists tend to compete heavily. Determining who has the most successful track is a great way to not only compare achievements, but to motivate new ones. Only a few venture capitalists, however, can claim they have a more impressive portfolio than John Doerr.
John Doerr has his hand in just about every company we use on a daily basis. His firm, Kleiner Perkins, helped to fund Amazon, Twitter, Google, Intuit, and Compaq, just to name a few. But Doerr wasn’t always a high-net-worth tech investment mogul. After getting a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard, Doerr was a salesman for Intel. And before that, he was an engineering student at Rice University.
Doerr has truly not forgotten his more humble origins, and as a result, his name can be found all over the Rice University website. In 2015, Doerr and his wife donated $50 million—the single largest donation in Rice University’s history—in order to establish a leadership incubator within the school. The incubator, aptly named the Doerr Institute, is designed to help current Rice University students excel at leadership and become more effective managers, entrepreneurs, and example-setters in the business environment. The programs within the institute are free to all students, regardless of background, grades, or finances.
Doerr still visits his alma mater too. Recently, he gave a talk at his institute about the importance of setting goals, and then working to accomplish them. Doerr is no stranger to this concept, as shown by his impressive portfolio and his myriad of other accomplishments that can only be described as very ambitious.
In 2009, Doerr was selected by President Obama to be a member of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board. This panel of “distinguished citizens outside the Government” was a landmark order that integrated the knowledge and wisdom of the private sector with the power of the government. Together, they helped turn the devastated economy entirely around, playing no small part in the defense of our financial system at large.
Doerr is certainly a distinguished citizen. Behind all of his accomplishments are the hallmarks of a great leader. And with his insight, Rice University is sure to generate even more leaders of the same competence and graciousness.