Vanity Fair Presents Yuri Milner and Bethany McLean
Vanity Fair Contributing Editor Bethany McLean interviews entrepreneur and venture capitalist Yuri Milner. Milner, founder of Digital Sky Technologies (now separate entities Mail.ru and DST Global) is known for his savvy internet and social media investments in companies such as Facebook,Twitter, Spotify, AirBnb, and others, and his funding of YCombinator backed companies through YC VC. McLean will ask Milner about his investment thinking as well as his recent establishment of the Fundamental Physics Prize, awarded for transformative advances physics, currently the most lucrative academic prize in the world. Milner has been on Vanity Fair's New Establishment List of the most influential people in technology and media for the last two years.
Bethany McLean is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. She graduated from Williams College in 1992 and spent the next three years at Goldman Sachs. In 1995, she joined Fortune Magazine as a reporter, and eventually became an editor-at-large. She co-authored the book the "Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron" with her Fortune colleague Peter Elkind. In 2008, McLean joined Vanity Fair as a contributing editor. Her recent book, which she co-authored with New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, is "All the Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis." She is also a columnist for Reuters, a contributor at CNBC, and a visiting scholar at New York University.
Yuri founded Mail.ru Group in 1999. Under his leadership, Mail.ru Group became the leading European Internet company. Yuri took that business public in 2010, stepping down from his role of Chairman at the beginning of 2012 to focus his efforts on global Internet investments. DST Global, a family of funds investing in Internet companies, was established in 2009 and is one of the largest Internet investors in the world.
Yuri graduated from Moscow State University in 1985 with an advanced degree in theoretical physics and subsequently conducted research at the Institute of Physics at the Russian Academy of Sciences. In 2012 he launched the Fundamental Physics Prize dedicated to advancing knowledge of the Universe at the deepest, as well as communicating the excitement of fundamental physics to the public. In February 2013, together with Art Levinson, Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, Yuri Milner has launched the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, recognizing excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life. Both prizes are the largest scientific awards in the world.