Robert F. Smith is the founder and CEO of the private equity firm Vista Equity Partners. He was born in Denver, Colorado and he acquired a love for learning from his parents who were both teachers with PhDs. He found out about the Bell Labs Company and demonstrated one of the qualities that would enable him to become a billionaire, he persisted in trying to secure an internship at Bell Labs even though they told him that there was no space available. He kept on calling every single day to achieve his goal, until one day a student did not show up and Smith got that available position. He created his opportunity through persistence and determination.
Smith went on to obtain a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Ivy League institution Cornell University. He also studied at the Columbia Business School and he then joined Goldman Sachs in 1994 to work with their technology investment-banking department. He was involved at Goldman during the explosive era of the birth of the first wave of the Internet and digital technology and moved to Silicon Valley. While at Goldman he oversaw a number of billion dollar deals in the USA and abroad.
Smith left Goldman Sachs and began his own firm due to being able to see opportunities that were not being exploited at the time from other firms. His firm is called Visa Equity Partners and fulfils a niche with technology companies and finds ways to increase the value of those companies. Due to the solid performance of the companies Smith became a billionaire and he returns to his former employers at Goldman Sachs to discuss entrepreneurship and his journey.
Talks at Goldman Sachs – Robert Smith
Entrepreneur: Robert F. Smith
Company: Vista Equity Partners
Event: Goldman Sachs