R2EL - Franklin "Pitch" Johnson

Road to Entrepreneurial Leadership

Franklin "Pitch" Johnson is one of the founding fathers of the venture capital community in Silicon Valley. In 1962, along with his friend, Bill Draper, he co-founded Draper and Johnson Investment Company, an early-stage Small Business Investment Company, whose assets became a part of early Sutter Hill Ventures. Pitch founded Asset Management Company, a venture capital firm, in 1965, where he continues to play an active role. He has funded over 200 startups or young ventures that have grown into successful companies such as Amgen, Tandem Computers, Teradyne, Applied Micro Circuits, Applied Bio Systems, IDEC, Remedy and many more.

He is a past director of the National Venture Capital Association and has received many honors for his contributions, the most notable being the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Venture Capital Association, and membership in the Hall of Fame of the Dow Jones Private Equity and Venture Capital Conference and election to the Hoover Institute Board of Overseers. Pitch developed and taught a course in venture capital at Stanford Business School from 1979 to 1990. He served as chairman of the board of San Francisco Opera from 1999 to 2008. Pitch received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford in 1950 and an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1952. He is a flyer, a fisherman and an opera devotee, plays golf and is a close follower of sports, especially track and field.

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