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Something Ventured: Risk, Reward And The Original Venture Capitalists

Airs Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 10:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

The Fairchild 8, who left the lab of Nobel Prize winner William Shockey to fo...

Credit: Courtesy of Wayne Miller/Magnum Photos

Above: The Fairchild 8, who left the lab of Nobel Prize winner William Shockey to form Silicon Valley's first start-up, Fairchild Semiconductor. From left to right: Gordon Moore, C. Sheldon Roberts, Eugene Kleiner, Robert Noyce, Victor Grinich, Julius Blank, Jean Hoerni and Jay Last. 1960

Apple. Intel. Genentech. Cisco. ATARI. "Something Ventured" explores the creation of an industry that went on to become the single greatest engine of innovation and economic growth in the 20th century. The story is told by the venture capitalists who dared to make it happen, and includes interviews with a number of the country’s finest entrepreneurs, who share how they worked with these risk takers to grow some of the world’s most successful companies.

“Steve Jobs is a national treasure. He is so visionary, and so bright...uh, I had to fire him though.” - Arthur Rock, Visionary Venture Capitalist

“You know it wasn’t my goal to start an industry, my goal was to, um, make sure the science got translated into an endeavor that would be useful to people.” - Herbert Boyer, Founder of Genentech

“You gotta get money from strong people because weak people don’t invest in tough times. But that’s when most of the big winners are created.” - Jimmy Treybig, Founder of Tandem Computers

“I’m not interested in entrepreneurs who will do it our way. I’m not interested in entrepreneurs who think there’s a dress code. I’m interested in entrepreneurs who have a vision of doing something consequential—preferably that becomes BIG.” - Don Valentine, Founder of Sequoia Capital and early investor in Apple, Cisco and Atari

Beginning in the late 1950s, visionary high rollers fostered a one-of-a-kind business culture that encouraged extraordinary risk and made possible unprecedented rewards. They laid the groundwork for America's start-up economy, providing not just the capital but the guidance to allow seedling companies to reach their full potential.

Our lives would be dramatically different without the contributions they made to the creation of computers, the Internet and life-saving drugs.

Replete with colorful characters, humorous one-liners and sage business advice, "Something Ventured" gives viewers an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the origins of Silicon Valley.

This film was directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine, and executive-produced by Paul Holland and Molly Davis.

"Something Ventured" has screened at numerous film festivals including South by Southwest, San Francisco International Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Bergen International Film Festival and New Zealand International Film Festival. It also won “Best Documentary” at the Santa Catalina Film Festival.

"Something Ventured" is on Facebook, and you can follow @venturemovie on Twitter (#somethingventured, #venturemovie).

Something Ventured Trailer

Apple. Intel. Genentech. Cisco. Atari. "Something Ventured" tells the story of a handful of risk‐takers who alongside visionary entrepreneurs created these revolutionary companies. In the process they ignited the industry known as venture capital.

Something Ventured: Steve Jobs: You're Fired!

Something Ventured: ATARI


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