The People Page: Pishevar’s Cup runneth over

Uber and Hyperloop investor Shervin Pishevar has had a lot to celebrate lately.

Uber, in which he was an early backer, raised $3.5 billion in new funding to kick off June.

His San Francisco-based Sherpa Capital, where he’s co-founder and managing director, announced it raised $470 million for a pair of funds.

He traveled to Russia and met 18 heads of sovereign funds and President Putin, who gave a shout out to the VC and said Hyperloop will change the global economy, according to social media post by Pishevar.

He met Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who told him, “Be careful of disloyalty. Invest in your people and develop them.”

He returned from his overseas trip just in time to attend game 7 of the NBA finals with his son.

And in mid-June, he also watched the Stanley Cup and even lifted the esteemed trophy while on the San Jose Sharks’ home ice shortly after the Pittsburgh Penguins won the NHL championship trophy.

Pishevar posted on his social media feed a photo of himself with the Cup, saying in jest: “I just stole the Cup and ran.”

Shervin Pishevar
Shervin Pishevar holding the Stanley Cup shortly after the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the San Jose Sharks and won the 2015-16 NHL championship. Photo posted on Pishevar’s social feeds.

We messaged him, asking how he became a Penguins fan and what in the world was he doing with the Cup.

He never responded. We trust he returned it.

Wanted: Male VCs

At 500 Startups’ PreMoney conference on Tuesday, Cowboy Ventures founder Aileen Lee said she doesn’t understand how some firms say they would love to hire a female partner but can’t find enough candidates.

Aileen Lee PreMoney
Aileen Lee, founder of Cowboy Ventures, speaking at the PreMoney conference at the InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco on June 21, 2016. Photo by Michael O’Donnell Photography, courtesy of 500 Startups

Lee, who was interviewed on stage by 500 Startups Co-Founder Christine Tsai, noted that her team at Cowboy is entirely female. She says all the entrepreneurs she sees are women. What she says is hard to find is a male VC. None of them ever try contacting her for work.

“We’re very open to having a guy on the team,” she said.

If interested, you can read more about her and how to reach her on the firm’s website at

What’s in a name?

In early June, Boston-based Underscore.VC officially launched and it caused quite a bit of consternation at various publications.

The firm started out as Assemble.VC earlier in the year, but legally changed its name to _Underscore.VC. And, yes, there’s an underscore at the start of the firm name.

What caused so much concern is that editors don’t like company names that start with lowercase letters.

And don’t even get us started on names that include punctuation. It’s Yahoo, sans exclamation point.

It’s true, we write about .406 Ventures with the leading period. (The Boston-based firm’s name, pronounced as “point 406,”evokes Ted Williams’ batting average from 1941.) We’ve also got to contend with names that begin sentences with numerals, like 500 Startups

But an underscore is too much.

At Xconomy, the publication wrote about the firm launch and speculated half-jokingly that the name was a ploy to annoy journalists. It said it was including the underscore symbol only “this one time.”

What’s lost in the coverage of the firm, which specializes in cloud-intelligence startups, is the origins of the name. The underscore is a coding practice, popular in C and C++ when referring to private member variables.

“It’s one of those fun things like tabs vs. spaces that a lot of programmers have fun debates on,” said Cory Bolotsky, community manager at Underscore.

“We felt that beyond just the relevance of the name to what we do (playing a role in underscoring and emphasizing great founders) it allowed us to connect on a nerdy/techy level” with entrepreneurs.

We’re all for geekdom. But for now, we’ll underscore the point that we’re not including the underscore.