Arno Penzias, PhD

Venture Advisor, Menlo Park

Photo of Arno Penzias, PhD

Arno Penzias joined New Enterprise Associates in 1997 as a Venture Partner from Bell Labs. He headed Bell Lab’s research organization and served as the company’s Chief Scientist. In addition to helping NEA portfolio companies on an as-needed basis, in areas such as technology, strategy, and intellectual property, Arno serves as a Technical Advisor for a number of NEA companies, including: Bloom Energy, Fulcrum Microsystems; Heliovolt; Hillcrest Laboratories; Luxtera; Motion Computing; Soraa; Spreadtrum Communications;Telegent Systems; and is on the board of Terrajoule. He has written two books and a number of articles on science and technology, especially their impact on business and society. A member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, he received a BS from City College of New York and a PhD from Columbia University. His awards include a number of honorary degrees, as well as other awards, for his contributions to science, R&D management and public service - most notably the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in radio astronomy. A long-time skeptic on the commercial viability of "alternative energy" technologies, Arno now finds his earlier conclusions outdated. Owing to the advances currently being made by a growing number of innovative entrepreneurs, energy technology has become a key NEA investment theme—as well as Arno's primary area of current work.