On Tuesday July 10th, it was announced that Stanford professor Kapil “KK” Jain started a new venture that was seed funded by relevant funds in the Silicon Valley Technology scene.
KK was a regular on the Wall Street Quant for years before switching Alto the world of Academia where he lead teaching on Mathematical and Computational Finance at Stanford. Recently, he has left to build a new native chain deployment called NCENT that focuses on incentives.
KK spoke in a fire-side style chat at the HackSummit virtual conference earlier yesterday. The recording, posted here features an hour long fire-side chat with Silicon Valley veteran venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson.
Some highlights from the Quant Fund Manager turned Entrepreneur:
“I always sort of felt like Wall Street picked me, I didn’t sort of affirmatively pick Wall Street.”
“The kind of mouse olympics, it was the first time in my life I looked myself in the mirror…. I sort of think that a career on Wall Street is sort of like playing the Mouse Olympics….as the line sort of goes, even if you sort of win all the gold medals at the Mouse Olympics, you’re still a mouse…. I really wanted to give back… to teach.”
“Obviously this speaks close to my heart, being an ex-Statistical arbitrage trader and seeing sort of every kind of trick in the book on Wall Street ….I would actually say in my judgement being a stat-arb-trader that there actually is NO Alpha or outperformance systematically to be gained investing in stat-arb funds in crypto.”
The NCENT team made up of Stanford alums, students, and professors. They are looking to build an incentives native chain protocol which is based on the famous red balloon research study.
KK Jain has strong views on bitcoin, monetary policy, incentive structures, and networks.
The investors include some of the early timers in bitcoin and the blockchain:
- Sequoia: American venture capital firm. The firm is located in Menlo Park, California and mainly focuses on the technology industry. It has backed companies that now control $1.4 trillion of the combined stock market value.
- Steve Jurvetson: Stephen T. Jurvetson is an American businessman and venture capitalist. He is a cofounder and former partner of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Current board seats include Synthetic Genomics, Planet Labs, Nervana Systems, Flux, D-Wave, SpaceX, and Tesla.
- Naval Ravikant: \CEO and a co-founder of AngelList. He previously co-founded Epinions (which went public as part of Shopping.com) and Vast.com.
- Winklevoss Capital: Family office founded in 2012 by Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss. The firm invests across multiple asset classes with an emphasis on providing seed funding and infrastructure to early-stage startups.
- SV Angel: San Francisco-based angel investment firm, which helps startup companies with business development, financing, M&A and other strategic advice.
- Floodgate: Venture capital firm based in the United States created by Mike Maples and Ann Miura-Ko. It is focused on investments in technology companies in Silicon Valley.
- AME Cloud Ventures: Venture fund led by Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo! AME Cloud Ventures focuses on seed to later stage companies building infrastructure and value chains around data.
- MetaStable: Cryptocurrency hedge fund founded by Lucas Ryan, Josh Seims and Naval Ravikant.