Join us as we catch up with venture capitalists in the Columbia alumni network who are defining the next generation of investments.
Here, Columbia’s 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year Jesse Coors-Blankenship talks about the new venture fund he co-founded with Gregg Hill after the acquisition of his first startup, Frustum, Inc.
What is the focus of Parkway Venture Capital?
Parkway is a sector-agnostic venture capital firm that looks to invest in technology startups that have unique intellectual property in simulation and AI-enabled technologies. Our investment thesis around simulation and AI is central to every sector evolving into a future of digitally-transformed higher complexity.
What made you interested in venture capital?
I am a technologist at heart and I love predicting future outcomes. I spend most of my downtime dreaming of future outcomes. If I can see a clear path to achieving a future outcome that will be gainful to us, I find it rewarding: not simply economically, but also in terms of my own satisfaction in seeing the world improve. For instance I am now seeing many parts and products in the world made with the software innovations created at my first startup, Frustum Inc. That is very satisfying to see, for me and everyone involved.
What is an emerging trend or investment area that’s particularly exciting to you right now?
Transitional energy and decarbonization are particularly interesting to me right now, as the geopolitical forces in the world are pushing this transition. I can see opportunity. I also can strongly imagine a future, for future generations, that is clean, prosperous, and optimistic.
What is a company you’ve invested in that you are very excited about, that others should be excited about too?
TAE Technologies is one of our most complex and transformative companies. With AI at the core of its fusion reactor, this higher-complexity machine can produce amazing and unprecedented outcomes. TAE’s AI has been specifically trained to control the multitude of parameters for net energy fusion output. TAE is on a path to redefine how we bring electrons to the grid for us and future generations to come, largely thanks to their efforts in AI and Simulation.