Entrepreneurship | episode 357

Mike Volpi, General Partner at Index Ventures

September 03, 2018
  • Why autonomous vehicles are beneficial such as creating a safer driving environment and the reduction of traffic and parking lots.
  • Why Mike believes autonomous vehicles are still a few years away, including the immaturity of technology, the integration the technology requires, and the location-specific difficulties.
  • An overview of the legislation and regulation component, and Mike’s view that will be the equivalent of a driver’s license for self-driving cars.
  • How traditional automakers are taking different approaches – including building, buying, and partnering – to develop autonomous capabilities.
  • How legacy organizations are transforming for digital competitiveness, including the need for new technology across all departments as opposed to just IT, and the switch from servers to the cloud.
  • An overview of the wide range of business functions that SaaS solutions are offering, and why first-generation SaaS systems need to evolve to meet evolving customer needs.
  • How open source software has become increasingly popular in companies due to its superior security and ability to avoid vendor lock-in.
  • Mike’s reflection on his time at Cisco, including how his expectation that the internet would take off led him to Cisco, and how he surrounded himself with innovators and risk-takers who embrace transformative changes in the world.
  • Index Ventures’ perspective that when making investments, it is more important to look at the entrepreneur and founding team, as opposed to the specific sector.

Mike is a General Partner at Index Ventures, where he helped establish the firm’s San Francisco office. As a Partner, Mike is responsible for investing in early-stage companies, with a focus on open-source and SaaS companies.

Prior to Index Ventures, Mike was the Chief Executive Officer of Joost. Before Joost, Mike held multiple executive positions at Cisco Systems, most recently as Senior Vice President and GM of the Routing and Service Provider Group, and before that, as the company’s first Chief Strategy Officer. Prior to Cisco, Mike worked as a Product Development Engineer at Hewlett-Packard.

Mike received his Bachelor of Science in Medical Engineering, his Master of Science in Manufacturing Systems Engineering, and his MBA from Stanford University.

Mike currently serves on the board of 16 public and private companies, including Fiat Chrysler.



The World Class IT principles in yellow were the focus of this interview

  • 01 1- People
  • 02 2- Infrastructure
  • 03 3- Project and Portfolio Management
  • 04 4- IT & Business Partnership
  • 05 5- External Partnerships

From strategy to implementation

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