Peter Hébert ’99
As a high school student in Connecticut, Peter Hébert ’99 dreamed of becoming a journalist. Attending the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University set him well on the way to fulfilling that aspiration. But even though he enjoyed his coursework and experience as a Daily Orange writer, it wasn’t until he took an introduction to entrepreneurship course at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management that he found his true calling.
“Something just clicked,” says Hébert, co-founder and managing partner of Lux Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm managing approximately $350 million. “I was inspired, motivated, and ready to chart a new professional direction.” While still an undergraduate, he founded Future Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs, a group that included students from a variety of colleges and majors who were interested in entrepreneurship.
After graduation, he worked at investment bank Lehman Brothers in New York, getting hands-on experience in the business world. “I lasted about a year before being bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, leaving Lehman to co-found a new firm, Lux Capital,” he says. “We were passionate, ambitious, and full of healthy naiveté, but our persistence paid off.” The firm now has 15 investment professionals with offices in New York and Palo Alto, where Hebert is based. The company has also founded and spun off a research group, Lux Research, with nearly 100 employees and offices around the world.
A member of the San Francisco Regional Council, Hébert credits his SU education with helping him achieve success. “My SU experience has had a lasting impact on who I am as a person,” he says. “At Syracuse, the guidance I received, skills I learned, and relationships I built were an integral part of my career development—helping to get me where I am today.”
The connections available through the SU alumni network have proven to be especially beneficial to Hébert in his career. “After living in New York City for 13 years, the last two years in Palo Alto have been a great reminder of just how powerful and widespread the Syracuse network can be,” he says. “Despite being more than 2,800 miles away from campus, the Bay Area is teeming with impressive and engaging SU alumni who are leaders in their fields.”
Hébert actively works to help grow that connectivity. He hosts SU students visiting Silicon Valley during spring break, giving them the opportunity to spend a day in his offices, experiencing the life of a venture capitalist. “I’m a big believer in paying it forward,” he says. “I’ve had some fantastic opportunities afforded by my SU education and its alumni network. I believe it’s a matter of principal to help provide even more unique opportunities for bright and ambitious students to break through.”