Jason Pontin

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Jason Pontin
Born (1967-05-11) 11 May 1967 (age 56)
London, England
EducationHarrow School,
University of Oxford
Alma materKeble College, Oxford
Occupation(s)Venture Capitalist, editor, journalist, and publisher
Years active1996 - present

Jason Matthew Daniel Pontin (born 11 May 1967) is a British-born venture capitalist and journalist. He is a General Partner at the venture capital firm of DCVC in Palo Alto, and is a board member and seed investor in a number of life sciences companies. He is the former editor in chief and publisher of MIT Technology Review.

Early life and education[edit]

Pontin was born on 11 May 1967 in London, to a British father, Anthony Charles Pontin, a businessman, and a South African mother, Elaine Howells, an actress.[1] He was raised in Northern California and educated in England, at Harrow School[2] and Oxford University.[3]


From 1996 to 2002, Pontin was the Editor of Red Herring, a business and technology publication.[4] From 2002 to 2004, he was the Editor of The Acumen Journal, a now-defunct magazine he founded about the life sciences.[5]

Pontin has written for many national and international magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times,[6] The Economist, The Financial Times,[7] The Boston Globe,[8] The Believer Magazine,[9] and Wired.[10] He writes for Wired in the publication's "IDEAS" channel and contributes to the magazine.[11] In February 2013, he delivered a TED Talk in Long Beach, California, "Can Technology solve our big problems?" that has been seen more than 1.6 million times.[12]

He was hired as the editor of Technology Review in July 2004,[13] and in August 2005 was named publisher. Pontin engaged in what The Boston Globe has described as a "strategic overhaul" of Technology Review, whose goal is to make the magazine into a largely electronic publishing company.[14] In October 2012, he renamed the organization MIT Technology Review and relaunched it as a "digital-first enterprise". AdWeek commented that "Pontin and MIT Technology Review could set the standard for the transition to a digital future for legacy media."[15] Pontin was Chairman of the MIT Enterprise Forum, MIT's global organization of technology entrepreneurs.[16]

From 2005 to 2017, he was the Editor in Chief and Publisher of MIT Technology Review.[17][18]

In 2015, he cofounded MIT Solve[19] the Institute's open innovation platform, which deploys capital and other resources towards solutions to grand challenges.[20]

From 2018 to 2020, he was Senior Partner and senior advisor at Flagship Pioneering, an American life sciences venture capital company in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[21][22][23][24]

In 2019, with CEO Neil Dhawan, he cofounded Totus Medicines, a chemical biology company whose drug discovery platform uses structure-based design, combinatorial chemistry, and automated biophysics to rapidly identify oncology therapies. Pontin is a board member of Totus Medicines. [25]

Pontin has been a General Partner at DCVC since March 2021.[26][27][28]


  1. ^ "British 1820 Settlers to South Africa". 1820settlers.com.
  2. ^ "Directory profile". Harrow Association. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Jason Pontin | World Economic Forum". Weforum.org. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  4. ^ Kurtz, Howard (18 May 2001). "For the Press, Too, a Fall From the Hypes". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  5. ^ Michael Liedtke (13 May 2003). "Ex-Red Herring Editor Set to Launch Mag – The Edwardsville Intelligencer". Theintelligencer.com. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  6. ^ "From Many Tweets, One Loud Voice on the Internet". The New York Times. 22 April 2007.
  7. ^ "Imitators take note – Steve Jobs was more than a showman". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 11 December 2022. Retrieved 1 January 2017.(subscription required)
  8. ^ "A good meal, unexpected, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  9. ^ "The Believer – Dawit Giorgis: An Oral History". The Believer. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  10. ^ "The Micro-Multinational". Wired. 1 July 2004. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  11. ^ "Jason Pontin | WIRED". www.wired.com. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Jason Pontin: Can technology solve our big problems? | TED Talk". TED.com. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  13. ^ "M.I.T. Technology Review Adopts More Serious Tone". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  14. ^ "MIT tech journal getting new publisher, overhaul – The Boston Globe". Boston Globe. 30 August 2005. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  15. ^ Warzel, Charlie (24 October 2012). "MIT Technology Review Relaunches 'Digital-First'". Adweek.com. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  16. ^ "MIT Technology Review". Technologyreview.com. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  17. ^ "Pontin named publisher of Technology Review". MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  18. ^ "Our Team". MIT Technology Review. Technologyreview.com. Archived from the original on 17 March 2020. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  19. ^ "Solve". Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  20. ^ "Solving the world's great challenges". news.mit.edu. 15 October 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  21. ^ "What the US will be like after we conquer the coronavirus - The Boston Globe". BostonGlobe.com.
  22. ^ Strumpf, Dan (28 February 2020). "WSJ News Exclusive | Huawei Seeks Advisers for U.S. Image Makeover" – via www.wsj.com.
  23. ^ "Social Impact Capital". Social Impact Capital.
  24. ^ "Jason Pontin". Wired.
  25. ^ "This Biotech Company Raised $40 Million To Develop Treatments For 'Undruggable' Diseases". Forbes. 9 December 2021.
  26. ^ "VC Daily: Biotech Startups Take Aim at Fibrotic Disease Treatments". 18 March 2021 – via www.wsj.com.
  27. ^ Primack, Dan. "It's Personnel". Axios Pro Rata. Axios.
  28. ^ Azhar, Azeem. "🎉 Politics in the anthropocene; NFTs; Uber's retreat; The next pandemic & Oumuama ++ #314". www.exponentialview.co.

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