Former Cisco CEO John Chambers isn’t spending his retirement watching cable news and feeling bored. Chambers has launched a venture capital firm, JC2 Ventures, along with his son John Chambers and Shannon Pina, his former Cisco executive communications manager.
JC2 Ventures aims to help global startups “that are committed to solving today’s most pressing problems – such as security and world hunger,” according to a prepared statement. The firm will invest in companies that are innovating through digital technologies. It will initially focus on the following categories: Internet of Things, digital communications, security, and agtech.
Agtech? In a video, Chambers talks about how crickets and insects will be the major forms of protein — “on a large basis, the lobsters of the future, if you will.” The JC2 portfolio already includes eight companies, one of which is Aspire Food Group, a company involved with edible insects.
The other startups in the portfolio focus on more familiar technologies. Two of the companies, Privoro and Pindrop, for instance, do security. The startups Airware and Dedrone work with drone technology.
The venture firm will not only invest in startups but also mentor and coach the companies’ leaders.
The JC2 website lists the following locations in the United States: Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Chicago; New York; Silicon Valley, California; and Tempe, Arizona. Outside of the U.S., it lists France, Germany, and India.
Chambers retired from Cisco more than two years ago, but he continued to serve as executive chairman of Cisco’s board of directors until December 2017.