Esther Dyson

Summit: 
Munich-2012

Esther Dyson is chairman of EDventure Holdings. Her primary activity is investing in and nurturing start-ups, with a recent focus on health care and aerospace. From October 2008 to March 2009 she lived in Star City outside Moscow, Russia, training as a backup cosmonaut. Apart from this brief sabbatical, she is an active board member for a variety of startups, including 23andMe, Airship Ventures, Eventful, Evernote, IBS Group (advisory board), Meetup, NewspaperDirect, Voxiva (the company behind text4baby.org in the US and Russia), WPP Group (not a start-up), XCOR Aerospace and Yandex (recent IPO).

Her past investments have included Medstory (sold to Microsoft), Flickr and del.icio.us (sold to Yahoo!), Brightmail (sold to Symantec). Her portfolio includes all the companies she serves as a director.Dyson also sits on the boards of several nonprofits, including the the Eurasia Foundation, the Sunlight Foundation, the Personal Genome Foundation, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and StopBadware.org. She has a BA in economics from Harvard and was founding chairman of ICANN from 1998 to 2000. In addition, she wrote the best-selling, widely translated book "Release 2.0: A design for living in the digital age," published by Broadway Books, in 1997.