Social Scene: Khosla to Give Away Half of Fortune, Kvamme Moving to Columbus (Huh?), Bussgang Hangs with SEAL Team 6, More


In this week’s Social Scene, Eric Schmidt is building fancy new digs for his personal VC firm; Joanna Rees has convinced Reid Hoffman, Marc Pincus and others to back her bid to be mayor of San Francisco; Vinod Khosla says he will donate half of his fortune to charity; Mark Kvamme is moving to Ohio (seriously!); Jeff Bussgang hangs with the famed SEAL Team 6, Robert Simon, Eric Wright and Katja Gehrt all have birthdays coming up, and more.

NEWSMAKERS

Schmidt. By Rick Wilking, Reuters
Schmidt. Pic by Rick Wilking, Reuters

Schmidt in building mode

Onetime Google CEO Eric Schmidt is building out the “entire top floor” of a building in downtown Palo Alto, Calif., for his personal investment firm, Tomorrow Ventures, reports Peter Delevett of the San Jose Mecury News.

Delevett spoke to a commercial real estate broker who speculated that Schmidt is paying “at least $18,000 a month” for 3,250-square-foot space. Founded in 2009, Tomorrow has backed at least 26 companies, according to its website, including Doppelgames, EverFi and Twitpay.

Khosla. Pic by Robert Galbraith, Reuters
Khosla. Pic by Robert Galbraith, Reuters

Khosla joins Doerr in making pledge to charity

Cleantech VC Vinod Khosla and his wife have pledged to give half of their fortune (estimated at $1.4 billion) to charity, according to the Hindustan Times.  A total of 69 ultra rich families have now made the pledge, an initiative started by billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

Others who have made the pledge include John Doerr, Khosla’s former partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Kvamme
Kvamme

Take that, liberal gadflies

Mark Kvamme, a partner at Sequoia Capital, say he is moving to Columbus, Ohio, according to WKSU Public Radio. Kvamme is making the move because he was booted from his appointment as head of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s nonprofit group Jobs Ohio after a liberal group raised a stink about the fact that he was a California resident. The WKSU report also noted that Kvamme “is still recovering from surgery after a serious motocross accident in which the bones around his eye socket were broken.”

Rees
Rees

Hoffman, Newmark and Pincus Like Rees’s chances

Joanna Rees, the VC running for mayor of San Francisco, has convinced some big names to contribute to her campaign, including Zynga founder Mark Pincus, Saleforce CEO and Chairman Marc Benioff, LinkedIn founder and Greylock Partner Reid Hoffman, and Craigslist creator Craig Newmark, according to the New York Times.

Despite those contributions, Rees’s name “did not even register” in a March Poll, the Times reported. The Gray Lady said part of the problem is that Rees hasn’t contributed any of her own wealth to her campaign. Nathan Ballard, a Democratic strategist and former adviser to former SF May Gavin Newsom, told the Times: “She cannot just go to bus stops and shake hands with strangers. … I would advise her to write a big check. She needs to help herself.”

Chao
Chao
Dixon
Dixon
Bussgang
Bussgang

LOOK WHO’S TWEETING

What’s wrong with regular coffee?

Chris Dixon (@cdixon), co-founder of Founder Collective and Hunch and angel investor in Foursquare and other startups: “Wow, Californians are serious about their coffee. Asked for ‘regular coffee’ and they seemed a bit horrified. http://4sq.com/mvBgcK” (Dixon was at Philz Coffee in San Francisco.)

Will Feld trade in his "treadputer" for the "Pit In" desk?

Great gift for Brad Feld

Clint Chao (@ClintChao), a founding managing director at Formative Ventures: “Standing at your desk is sooo last year http://bit.ly/k3a7RW”

SEAL Team 6 encounter

Jeff Bussgang (@bussgang), general partner at Flybridge Capital Partners: “Great evening hanging out w/ex-Navy SEAL Team 6 member & 20 CEO/founders in NYC. Such respect for those men who serve so bravely.” (You’ll recall that it was members of SEAL Team 6 who took out Osama bin Laden.)

Use your smartphone to rat on creepy neighbors

James D. Robinson (@jdrive), managing partner at RRE Ventures: “iSnitch: Unofficial Homeland Security App Powered By Your Suspicions http://bit.ly/lmj042 RT @fastcompany Genius. Reporting neighbors now..”

Sacca
Sacca
Simon
Simon
Gehrt
Gehrt

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO …

Chris Sacca, founder of venture firm/startup advisory Lowercase Capital. His birthday was yesterday, the 12th.

Robert Simon, managing director at secondary firm Saints Capital. His birthday is tomorrow, the 14th.

Eric Wright, a partner in the Private Equity Group at law firm Ropes & Gray. His birthday is on Monday, May 16.

Katja Gehrt, VP of marketing for venture firm DCM. Her birthday is next Wednesday, May 18.

TIP ME, BABY, ONE MORE TIME

Have a personal tidbit you’d like to share about yourself or a friend/colleague? Email me at lawrence.aragon@thomsonreuters.com or DM on Twitter @laragon. I’m looking for birthdays, baby announcements, marriages, new car/boat/house/fill-in-the-blank purchases, funny quotes, vacation pics, snaps from industry events — you get the picture.

Reporting by Lawrence Aragon and Joanna Glasner