William K. Bowes, Jr., a venture capitalist in the Bay Area for nearly 50 years, founded and helped to build U.S. Venture Partners (U.S.V.P.) to what it is today, a true pioneer in venture capital. His belief that venture capitalists should guide companies based on real-world experience continues to set the tone at U.S.V.P.: We've always put our emphasis on the operational experience of our team, he notes. The partners here can say to entrepreneurs 'we've been where you're going' and really mean it.
Mr. Bowes was born in San Francisco in 1926 and graduated from Lowell High School in 1942. His father, William K. Bowes, was a businessman, and his mother, Ruth Garland, was a distinguished physician and one of the first women to graduate from the Stanford School of Medicine, where she later taught. In 1965, he became married to his wife Ute Lumkemann.
Mr. Bowes was the founding shareholder of Amgen and was its first Chairman and Treasurer. Prior to founding U.S.V.P., hed already had success as a venture capitalist with companies like Cetus, Raychem (where he served on the board from 1961 until the late 1970s), and Dymo Industries. He had previously been Senior Vice President and Director of Blyth Eastman Dillon & Company, where he worked from 1953 to 1978 and was a consultant to Blyth Eastman Paine Webber from 1978 to 1980. He has also served on the board of directors for Devices for Vascular Intervention, Glycomed, and Advanced Cardiovascular Systems.
Today Mr. Bowes devotes much of his time to education and medical research. He is on the executive committee of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and recently retired as Board Chairman of The Exploratorium, San Franciscos exemplary interactive museum of the sciences. He also serves on the Board of the Asian Art Museum, Grace Cathedral, UCSF Foundation, Institute for Systems Biology, Environmental Defense Fund, and the Hoover Institution. He is on the visiting committee at the Harvard Business School.
Mr. Bowes holds a B.A. in economics from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Harvard University, and he served in the U.S. Army infantry in the South Pacific and Japan during and after World War II. In 2007, Mr. Bowes was named San Francisco Bay Areas Outstanding Philanthropist by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Golden Gate Chapter and Northern California Grantmakers.
Mr. Bowes is being honored for his work in business entrepreneurship and science and utilizing market-based innovations to greatly enhance the welfare of people in the U.S. and worldwide.