After his presentation today, Tom Siebel fielded audience questions.
A voice began speaking…
“What are you?” Siebel asked.
“A freshman,” the voice said.
“What are you studying?”
“Still figuring that out.”
“Me too,” said Siebel.
Silicon Valley gets Zen.
In the 80s and 90s, Siebel’s expertise in relational database theory helped him make Siebel Systems a global leader in software. Now he is becoming a Zen beginner—moving away from his domain, IT (Information Technology) into a totally new arena (Energy Technology). Even though Siebel has spent the last three years doing research on energy issues, this is uncharted territory for him. He’s taking a radical departure from his “comfort zones” in order to tackle pressing ecological problems.
Siebel gave us a sneak preview of his latest two endeavors: an Energy-Free Home Challenge and the launching of a new company C3. Even though he said his Challenge is not competing with X-Prize, he will be giving Peter Diamandis a run for his money. Siebel is not afraid to throw money at a brave idea, and he has plenty to throw.
The Energy-Free Home Challenge will offer $20M in total prize money from the Siebel Foundation. The challenge is to find a way to build houses with consumer appeal that consume net zero energy at the end of a year. The houses must be built with no more expense than traditional construction methods.
C3 is a new company, run by Siebel Systems Co-founder Pat House, that will make enterprise software to help companies “monitor, mitigate, and monetize” their carbon footprint. As usual, Siebel has assembled a dream team. Pat House is not only brilliant, but in person she is also gracious and grounded. Also enjoyed talking with Yann Risz, VP Alliances who had some very interesting perspectives to share (see photos below).
Green is the new…green. ValleyZen looks forward to seeing what innovations will win the $20 million dollars.
Drue Kataoka and Pat House, C3 CEO. House was the co-founder and Vice Chairman of Siebel Systems. House has been named one of Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women and Entrepreneur of the Year by the Forum of Women Entrepreneurs.
Yann Risz, VP Alliances, and Drue