Status: Inactive; Active 2008-2009. Born: 1951-07-14. Birth Place: Zurich.
Space Adventures Biography:
Esther Dyson is chairman of EDventure Holdings. Following 25 years editing the computer industry newsletter Release 1.0 and hosting PC Forum, she is now an active investor/board member for a variety of start-ups in IT, consumer-directed health care/genetics, and air and space travel. Her aerospace investments include not only Space Adventures, but also XCOR Aerospace, Airship Ventures, Coastal Technologies Group and Icon Aircraft. Her successful exits have included Flickr and del.icio.us (both sold to Yahoo!), Medstory (sold to Microsoft) and Brightmail (sold to Symantec). She sits on the boards (among others) of Yandex, the leading Russian search engine; 23andMe, the consumer genome company; and WPP Group, the marketing/communications company. She is also a director of the Sunlight Foundation, the Santa Fe Institute and the National Endowment for Democracy.
Leigh Bureau Biography:
Chairman, EDventure Holdings
World-renowned writer, forecaster and investor in emerging technologies, emerging companies and emerging markets.
Esther Dyson is one of the best known and most respected names in high-tech. Since the early 1980s, she's been intimately involved in every major development in computing technology and her insights have been the best guide to the future of technology innovations and their impact on business, society and individuals.
Esther's primary activity is investing in startups and guiding them as a board member. She specializes in online services and, more recently, IT and healthcare/genetics, and space travel. Emerging markets. Esther began angel investing in Central and Eastern Europe, first traveling to Russia in 1989. She now has board seats and investments in several companies in the region. She speaks Russian. More recently, she has been spending a lot of time in India and some in eastern Asia and Africa.
Esther Dyson does business as EDventure Holdings, having reclaimed the name of the company she owned for 20-odd years before selling it to CNET Networks in 2004.
She has created a series of publications that have become primary sources for insight into technology, business and investing, beginning with Release 1.0, a monthly newsletter published by her from 1982 until 2006.
Other publications include Release 2.0, her 1997 book; Release 3.0, her bimonthly column for the New York Times; and Release 0.9, her blog on the Huffington Post.
She has advised a variety of government officials worldwide on policy issues ranging from economic development and telecom tariffs to open source software pros and cons.
Healthcare and IT
Esther Dyson radiates excitement about the potential of IT to change the world of health care, both through genetics and genomics (a form of information science) and through the use of IT to empower individuals and ultimately transform the delivery of health care and the institutions that provide it. Her activities include a board seat with 23andMe (a consumer genetics company that helps people read and understand their DNA—'23' refers to the 23 pairs of chromosomes we all have) and her role as one of ten initial research subjects in George Church's Personal Genome Project, which invites volunteers to share their genome sequence and personal health information with the public in order to make genomic research more useful. She also has invested in Medstory, a health and medicine search tool, sold to Microsoft, and Ovusoft, software for determining ovulation patterns. Other investments include Medicalgorithmics, Organized Wisdom, PatientsLikeMe and ReliefInsite.
Esther also fosters start-ups in air and space—air taxis, online markets for travel, new forms of air traffic management, commercial space start-ups, space tourism and the like. She has flown weightless three times and will be doing so again in mid-February. She has sponsored Flight School, a workshop that is an outgrowth of her PC Forum conference for Internet and IT entrepreneurs. She has invested in several new companies: Constellation Services, Space Adventures/Zero-G Corporation, Airship Ventures, XCOR Aerospace, and Icon Aircraft.
Esther started traveling in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, and that's where she first started angel investing. She now has board seats and investments in several companies in the region, including CVO Group (Hungary), Epam (Belarus), IBS Group (Russia, advisory board), Vatera (Hungary), and Yandex (Russia). She speaks Russian and has a certain affinity for the region. More recently, she has been spending a lot of time in India, and some in eastern Asia and Africa.
IT & the Internet
Esther has been an active player in discussions and policy-making concerning the Internet and society. She was the founding chairman of ICANN, the organization responsible for overseeing the Domain Name System, from 1998-2000. She was a member of the US Government's National Information Infrastructure Advisory Council and co-chairman of its intellectual property and information privacy subcommittee.. She was also chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the 90's and the founder of the influential PC Forum conference. And, of course, she sits on the boards of a host of startups, including Meetup Inc. (a group organizing tool), Eventful.com (an event bulletin board), Boxbe (an anti-spam utility), NewspaperDirect (helping newspapers get digital), Evernote (an information capture tool), and Voxiva (mobile-centric information solutions). Her investments include Flickr and Del.icio.us (both sold to Yahoo!), BrightMail (sold to Symantec), Orbitz (IPOed and then sold to Cendant), ActiveWeave (sold to Buzzlogic), BlogAds, ChoiceStream, Dotomi, Linkstorm, Mashery, Plazes, Power Ventures, Powerset, Resilient, Tacit, Technorati, Vizu and Zedo.
Chairman, EDventure Holdings
Angel investor and board member, many technology startups
Director, WPP Group
Publisher, blogger and columnist—Release 0.9 (Huffington Post); published in the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Wired, Wall Street Journal
Organizer, PC Forum (1982-2006) and Flight School conferences (2004-)
Author, Release 2.0: A design for living in the digital age
Founding chairman, ICANN
Founding member, Space Angels Network
Member, US National Information Infrastructure Advisory Council
Journalist and researcher, Forbes and New Court Securities
Degree in economics, Harvard University