Honored Visionaries: Elon Musk, Jim Breyer, Salman Khan, and David Kirkpatrick

By Kym McNicholas , written on June 19, 2012

From The News Desk

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took a moment to snap a picture with a 17-year-old Bay Area high school senior and aspiring biomedical engineer Paige Shaw, as he was preparing to go on stage to accept one of four SVForum Visionary Awards being handed out tonight.

"I only wish I had the chance to ask him a couple of questions, but he was certainly in demand," laughs Shaw. She wanted to get him on camera for a few moments so she could ask him about the increased need for young people to get into the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields, and then post the interview on her new website launching this week.

Musk, who's also CEO of electric car maker Tesla, was one of four men the Silicon Valley tech community SVForum honored tonight. The 15th annual SV Forum Visionary Awards recognized leading venture capitalists, technologists, and entrepreneurs who make great contributions in entrepreneurship and innovation. Cisco's CEO John Chambers, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and JLabs CEO Judy Estrin are among the many past honorees.

Aside from Musk, this year's honorees are founder of Khan Academy Salman Khan, journalist and author David Kirkpatrick, and Accel Partners' Partner  and President Jim Breyer, who's not only an investor in PandoDaily, but more than 30 other consumer Internet media and technology companies.

No women were honored this year, and that's something that Breyer hopes will change in the future. He tells me he is on the lookout for amazing female entrepreneurs with disruptive businesses. The proof in that statement can be found in his investment in Sarah, as well as his belief that there are more out there like her in other areas.

We also talked about who he thinks should be honored next year by the SVForum. It's not an entrepreneur from Silicon Valley or New York, although we talked a lot in the video below about why he's passionate about both regions, as well as what NY needs to do to differentiate itself from California's tech hub. Rather, his choice was someone from Hollywood. Watch the video below to find out who he would nominate -- the video is raw and unedited but still well worth a listen.