Marianne Wu. Marianne Wu
Partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures

Marianne Wu’s career has taken her from a world of hardcore electrical engineering to the firmament of Silicon Valley power investors. As a partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures, which has a $700 million investment fund, Wu focuses exclusively on cleantech. Last year, she guided tens of millions into solar, biofuels, green chemicals, gasified coal, energy efficiency, and smart grid. “We’re investing in breakthrough technologies that could disrupt entire industries,” she says. “What could be more exciting?” For Wu, 44, this work is not just about going green: “It’s about hedging volatility. It’s about becoming more flexible and creative in the face of increasing global challenges.” Even in the investment world, Wu still relies heavily on the PhD in electrical engineering she earned years ago: “Much of what I do now deals with electricity, profound changes that are taking place across the electricity value chain.”