Avoid boring people.
Josh co-founded Lux Capital to support scientists and entrepreneurs who pursue counter-conventional solutions to the most vexing puzzles of our time in order to lead us into a brighter future. The more ambitious the project, the better—like, say, creating matter from light.
Josh is a Director at Shapeways, Strateos, Lux Research, Kallyope, CTRL-labs, and Variant and helped lead the firm’s investments in Planet, Echodyne, Clarifai and Authorea. He is a founding investor and board member with Bill Gates in Kymeta, making cutting-edge antennas for high-speed global satellite and space communications. Josh is a Westinghouse semi-finalist and published scientist. He previously worked in investment banking at Salomon Smith Barney and in capital markets at Merrill Lynch. In 2008 Josh co-founded and funded Kurion, a contrarian bet in the unlikely business of using advanced robotics and state-of-the-art engineering and chemistry to clean up nuclear waste. It was an unmet, inevitable need with no solution in sight. The company was among the first responders to the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. In February 2016, Veolia acquired Kurion for nearly $400 million—34 times Lux’s total investment.
Josh is a columnist with Forbes and Editor for the Forbes/Wolfe Emerging Tech Report. He has been invited to The White House and Capitol Hill to advise on nanotechnology and emerging technologies, and a lecturer at MIT, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia and NYU. He is a term member at The Council on Foreign Relations and Chairman of Coney Island Prep charter school, where he grew up in Brooklyn. He graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Economics and Finance.
What technologies are you watching most closely right now?
– The rise of the GPU from gaming to power artificial intelligence and machine learning
– Chronobiology and the science behind our body’s cellular clocks
– Global usage of CRISPR gene editing
– The dissolving line between bits and atoms, simulations and how ‘Generative Design’ is mixing technology and evolution to use computers to design future products
What are the most exciting innovations of the past decade?
The rise of the GPU from gaming origins to powering artificial intelligence; Cheap satellites you can toss into space; affordable gene sequencing; robotic surgery; 3D printing and scanning.
What living person in science/technology has had the greatest impact on humanity?
What was it like growing up?
My mom raised us in Coney Island, a few hundred yards from the Cyclone rollercoaster. As a kid growing up on the boardwalk, I was skeptical with a half-squinted eye.
Board member, The Santa Fe Institute
Westinghouse semifinalist and published author of AIDS immunopathology research
Co-Founder and Chairman, Coney Island Prep charter school
Avoid boring people. Jim Watson