This week, Cory speaks to venture capitalist, actor, entrepreneur and philanthropist Ashton Kutcher, who has famously transitioned from a successful A-list actor to starting venture capital firms A-grade Investments and Sound Ventures with a portfolio including Spotify, Uber, Airbnb and many more. Alongside he has founded non profit foundation Thorn, which drives technology innovation to fight the sexual exploitation of children. In this weeks episode, Ashton talks about how he transitioned from acting to tech, what he learned from working with some of the worlds best entrepreneurs and investors, his insights into the future of jobs and a reflection on his teenage years and more.
Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) got his start in the entertainment industry as a model and then as Michael Kelso in That ‘70s Show. Aston is now widely recognized as a successful actor, tech investor, producer, entrepreneur, and activist. Ashton is the Founder of nonprofit Thorn and co-founder of venture capital firm A-Grade Investments. He has invested in over 60 early-stage companies, including Change.org, Skype, Foursquare, Fab.com, Airbnb, and Airtable.
In 2015, Kutcher and Guy Oseary, who was also an A-Grade Investments co-founder, launched Sound Ventures. Ashton has won 9 Teen Choice Awards, a People’s Choice award, and continues to gain experience and achieve what many thought was impossible in the world of tech and entrepreneurship for someone who was once just considered an actor.
In this episode with host Cory Levy (co-founder of After School, Internapalooza), Ashton and Cory discuss entrepreneurship, how Ashton got his start in business, and what Ashton expects from founders he’s investing in. “If you’re going to meet with an entrepreneur and they’re not smarter than you about the thing that they’re tackling, it’s probably not a very good investment.”