Former Cisco CEO John Chambers says insects are the new lobsters

Only a venture capitalist could say something like that – but that’s what Chambers is now

By Simon Sharwood, APAC Editor

Posted in Business, 18th January 2018 08:26 GMT

Former Cisco CEO John Chambers has launched his very own venture capital firm.

“JC2 Ventures” has the usual aim “to change the world”, this time “through digitization and startups” and by “solving major issues using digital technologies”. He also hopes to address global inequality and make stacks of dough, in no particular order.

Chambers announcement of his venture ran through a laundry list of sectors he wants to target, including the internet of things, drones and open government among them.

He also mentioned “agtech”, which we assume is “agricultural technology”. Chambers fancies the field because he believes “crickets and insects will be the next form of protein, on a large basis. The lobsters of the future, if you, will in many ways.”

Only a Silicon Valley venture capitalist could suggest lobster is an everyday protein, so Chambers clearly has what it takes to succeed in this field. We're not ruling out a bio-engineering effort to create giant delicious insects that resemble lobsters, perhaps minus the murderous pincers, because that kind of mutation is a bit Silicon Valley, too.

He’s also keen on security, saying he thinks smartphones need to be more secure and mentioning voice biometrics as a field he thinks has promise. Social media, customer experience, and “voice as the next platform” plus “companies with digital implications” are also on his radar.

Chambers’ firm wants to find “CEOs who truly wants to be coached”. That’s perhaps the most credible part of his pitch, because Cisco’s own investments often created plenty of value, either as spin-ins or as companies in their own right.

The firm already has eight startups under its wing: Airware, Aspire, Dedrone, OpenGov, Pindrop, Privoro, Sprinklr, and Uniphore. Chambers was already associated with several of the companies, including insects-as-good-concern Aspire Food Group. The company currently farms palm weevil larvae in Ghana, “food-grade crickets” in the USA and runs an effort “to normalize the consumption of insects in the western world.” ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily

26 Comments

More from The Register

Outgoing Cisco exec chair John Chambers joins Sprinklr board

There is life after the Borg... in social media management platforms apparently

Cisco's John Chambers to quit as exec chair

Southern drawler to fly off into sunset on back of a drone

Cisco's John Chambers: Robot farmers will feed bloated cricket thoraxes to our children

'US is the worst for startups'

Chambers tells India Cisco's got another US$100 million to spend

Students and startups

Cisco separates switching and routing software from hardware

Open networking finally comes to Switchzilla as IOS XR, IOS XE, Nexus OS added to disaggregation strategy

Cisco's Chambers mulls Indian manufacturing base

Come to Pune or miss the bus, apparently. Also, you rock harder than Shelbyville

Cisco CEO John Chambers' parting gift: a better-than-expected Q3

Switches and routers still the growth engines

Cisco slurps Viptela to bolster SD-WAN management

US$610 million shaves a third from last year's valuation

John Chambers sold millions of shares on first day of Cisco Live!

Update Interesting timing for massive share deal

Cisco's Chambers: white box is dead and WE KILLED IT

Lock-in still a winning strategy, outgoing CEO tells CNBC