Mss:784 1946-2008 C932
Crisp, Peter O. Peter O. Crisp Papers, 1946-2008 (inclusive): A Finding Aid
Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Harvard Business School, Boston MA 02163.
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: Mss:784 1946-2008 C932
Repository: Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Creator: Peter O. Crisp
Title: Peter O. Crisp papers
Quantity: 1.5 linear feet (3 boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Papers of Peter O. Crisp, a founding partner of Venrock Associates, a venture capital
company founded by members of the Rockefeller family, circa 1946-2008.
Gift of Peter O. Crisp, 2011.
Processed: October 2012
By: Alexis Dinniman
This collection is stored onsite. Please contact email@example.com for more information
regarding this collection.
Cite as: Peter O. Crisp Papers. Baker Library. Harvard Business School.
Peter O. Crisp was a founding partner of Venrock Associates and a pioneer of the venture
capital industry. Crisp received a B.A. from Yale University in 1955. After three
years as an intelligence officer in the U. S. Air Force, he attended Harvard Business
School, earning an M.B.A. in 1960. While at Harvard, Crisp read an article in Time
magazine about the investor Laurance S. Rockefeller and his interest in the aviation
industry and in seeking to find small, growing companies with potential. Crisp wrote
to Rockefeller, and the introduction ultimately resulted in a job offer. Peter Crisp
joined Laurance Rockefeller's staff, and began a fifty year association with the Rockefeller
Laurance Spelman Rockefeller (1910-2004) was an early proponent of investing equity
capital in newly-formed companies. Rockefeller was particularly interested in aviation,
and in the 1930s, he provided funding to Eddie Rickenbacker (Eastern Air Lines) and
James McDonnell (McDonnell Aircraft), which resulted in early and successful investments
in commercial air travel and aircraft manufacturing. In 1946 Laurance Rockefeller,
his brothers, and sister created the joint partnership Rockefeller Brothers, Inc.,
an entity formed to manage the family's investing activities.
Following World War II, under Laurance Rockefeller's leadership, his brothers and
sister invested in a number of early-stage technology companies. In 1969, Laurance
and his colleagues decided to formalize their activities and formed Venrock Associates.
The partnership was founded with $7.5 million from the Rockefeller family and from
several non-profit institutions with which they had a long relationship. Venrock took
its name from a combination of "venture" and "Rockefeller." Peter O. Crisp was a founding
partner of the company, along with Laurance S. Rockefeller, Charles Smith, Harper
Woodward, Cornelius Borman, and J. Richardson Dilworth, Venrock focused on seeking
early-stage companies with growth potential. The company was an early investor in
many technology companies, including Apple Computer, Inc., Thermo Electron Corporation,
and Intel Corporation, and biotechnology firms such as Centocor and the Genetics Institute.
Peter O. Crisp served as a founding and managing partner at Venrock from 1969 to
1997, as president of the company from 1980 to 1997, and as chairman from 1995 to
1997. Crisp served as a director for numerous public and private companies that Venrock
helped to fund, including American Superconductor Corp., Thermedics Inc., ThermoTrex
Corp, Thermo Power Corp., Acadia Risk Management, Inc., Thermo Electron Corporation,
Evans & Sutherland Computer Corp., and United States Trust Company. Crisp also served
on the board of Apple Computer, Inc. in its early years. From 1997 to 2004 he served
as vice chairman of Rockefeller Financial Services, Inc., the family's private holding
In 2004, Peter Crisp received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Venture
Capital Association. As a philanthropist, he has served as a board member for numerous
healthcare, cultural, and educational institutions, including, among others, Memorial
Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, North Shore-LIJ Health System, Jupiter Medical Center,
the Hotchkiss School, and the Yale Development Board.
The collection is arranged in the following series:
- Series I. Venrock Associates records, 1946-2000
- Series II. Biographical materials on Laurance Spelman Rockefeller and the Rockefeller
- Series III. Venture capital articles and clippings, 1958-2001
This collection consists of materials related to the venture capital company Venrock
Associates and its founding family, the Rockefellers, compiled by founding partner
Peter O. Crisp. It includes information on investments made by Venrock and the companies
in which the investments were made; investment performance and analysis prepared for
partners; and notes by Crisp on the company's investments and venture capital in general.
The collection also includes many documents related to Laurance Spelman Rockefeller
and his investment history and interests, particularly aviation, as well as his role
in both Rockefeller Brothers, Inc. and Venrock Associates. There are also numerous
collected press clippings and speeches related to Venrock Associates, Laurance S.
Rockefeller, the Rockefeller family and their financial and philanthropic interests,
and the history and future of venture capital and venture capital companies.
- Series I. Venrock Associates records
Scope and Contents: This series consists of materials related to Venrock Associates, its history, and
its investment program, 1946-2000. The records include information on Venrock's venture
capital investments, investment results, and venture capital reviews for members of
the partnership, and Peter Crisp's notes on Venrock's investment history and venture
capital trends. The series also contains venture capital studies done by the National
Venture Capital Association and Money Tree, and copies of two speeches on venture
capital by Venrock founding partner Harper Woodward.
- Box 1, Folder 1-2, Venrock general information and prospectus, 1984-1992
- Box 1, Folder 3, Venrock history, 1959-1998
- Box 1, Folder 4, Venture capital review for John D. Rockefeller, 1975
- Box 1, Folder 5, Venture capital review for David Rockefeller, 1975
- Box 1, Folder 6, Venture capital financial ledger pages, 1975
- Box 1, Folder 7, Peter Crisp notes on Venrock investment history, 1997
- Box 1, Folder 8, Venrock Associates Annual briefing to the limited partners, 1998
- Box 1, Folder 9, Venrock Associates Annual report to the limited partners, 1999
- Box 1, Folder 10, Venrock Partnerships report, 2000
- Box 1, Folder 11Peter Crisp notes on Venrock investments in GCA and Marks Oxygen
- Box 1, Folder 12, Peter Crisp notes on venture capital, 1985-1988
- Box 1, Folder 13, Peter Crisp vitae, 2010
- Box 1, Folder 14, Fifth annual Economic Impact of Venture Capital study, 1995
- Box 1, Folder 15, Money Tree report, 1996
- Box 1, Folder 16, National Venture Capital Association Annual Report, 1996
- Box 1, Folder 17, Seventh annual Economic Impact of Venture Capital study, 1997
- Box 1, Folder 18, Peter Crisp on the Living Legends panel, National Venture Capital Association, 1998
- Box 1, Folder 19, Venture Capital Investment in America, speech by Harper Woodward, 1956
- Box 1, Folder 20, Controllers Institute speech by Harper Woodward or Laurance Rockefeller, 1960
- Box 1, Folder 21, Venture Capital in a New Climate, speech by Harper Woodward, 1962
- Series II. Biographical materials on Laurance Spelman Rockefeller and the Rockefeller
Scope and Contents: This series consists of material related to Laurance Spelman Rockefeller and the Rockefeller
family, including biographical material of the family members. It also includes documents
by Rockefeller on his interests in aviation investment and correspondence by T.F.
Walkowicz, Harper Woodward, and Peter Crisp on the history of Rockefeller's investments.
The series also contains two speeches by Rockefeller.
- Box 1, Folder 25Rockefeller family biographical profiles and list of associations
- Box 1, Folder 26, Laurance S. Rockefeller biographical profiles, 1968-1999
- Box 1, Folder 27, Laurance S. Rockefeller biographical profile, 1973
- Box 1, Folder 28, Laurance S. Rockefeller biographical profile, 1991
- Box 1, Folder 29, Peter Crisp on Laurance Rockefeller, 2004
- Box 1, Folder 30, Laurance S. Rockefeller aviation investment policy, 1947-1948
- Box 1, Folder 31, Laurance S. Rockefeller aviation and related activities, 1953
- Box 2, Folder 1, Laurance S. Rockefeller venture capital investment results, 1952-1970
- Box 2, Folder 2, T.F. Walkowicz to Harper Woodward on Laurance S. Rockefeller's long range investment
- Box 2, Folder 3, Harper Woodward to Laurance S. Rockefeller on Rockefeller's prospective investments,
- Box 2, Folder 4, Harper Woodward to Laurance S. Rockefeller on Rockefeller's history and future in
- Box 2, Folder 5, Peter Crisp to Laurance S. Rockefeller on Rockefeller's investment history and resort
- Box 2, Folder 6, Venture summary financial ledger pages of Laurance S. Rockefeller and Venrock investments,
- Box 2, Folder 7, Laurance S. Rockefeller remarks at Wings Club Distinguished Achievement Award, 1977
- Box 2, Folder 8, Laurance S. Rockefeller comments at Princeton, 1991
- Box 2, Folder 9, Billings Farm & Museum 25th anniversary newspaper section, 2008
- Series III. Venture capital articles and clippings
Scope and Contents: This series consists of numerous news articles related to the Venrock company, including
correspondence with reporters John W. Wilson and Rich Karlgaard. It also includes
articles about Laurance S. Rockefeller, his work in the investment field and for the
preservation of outdoor space, and about members of the Rockefeller family and their
business and philanthropic legacies. There is also a large group of collected articles
about the field of venture capital itself and other venture capital companies, as
well as speeches by Arthur Rock, P.E. Haggerty, and Thomas J. Davis, Jr.
- Articles about Venrock Associates
- Box 2, Folder 10, Venrock Associates news clippings, 1972-2001
- Box 2, Folder 11, John W. Wilson questions for Business Week article, 1984
- Box 2, Folder 12, Notes for Fortune magazine, 1984
- Box 2, Folder 13, Morton Collins New York Venture Forum speech, 1990 (numerous references to Peter Crisp)
- Box 2, Folder 14, Rich Karlgaard, Forbes ASAP article, 1997
- Articles about Laurance S. Rockefeller and the Rockefeller family
- Box 2, Folder 15-16, Laurance S. Rockefeller news clippings, 1959-1979
- Box 2, Folder 17, Laurance S. Rockefeller news clippings sent to Martin Kenney, 1959-1999
- Box 2, Folder 18, Laurance S. Rockefeller and environmental causes, news clippings 1961-1962
- Box 2, Folder 19, Chapter from Rockefeller Inheritance, by Alvin Moscow, on Laurance S. Rockefeller, 1977
- Box 2, Folder 20, David Rockefeller, Jr. news clippings, 1986-1992
- Box 2, Folder 21, John Rockefeller news clippings, 1965
- Box 2, Folder 22, Nelson Rockefeller news clippings, 1962-1974
- Box 2, Folder 23-24, Rockefeller family news clippings, 1958-1992
- Box 2, Folder 25, Center magazine, 1993
- Articles about venture capital
- Box 3, Folder 1, Thomas J. Davis, Jr., on How to Pick a Winner in the Electronics Industry, 1966
- Box 3, Folder 2, P.E. Haggerty on Innovation and the Private Enterprise System in the United States,
- Box 3, Folder 3, Speech by and articles on Arthur Rock, 1962-1985
- Box 3, Folder 4, Collected articles on venture capital, 1967-1976
- Box 3, Folder 5, Collected articles on venture capital, 1977-1981
- Box 3, Folder 6, Collected articles on venture capital, 1981
- Box 3, Folder 7, Collected articles on venture capital, 1982
- Box 3, Folder 8, Collected articles on venture capital, 1983-1984
- Box 3, Folder 9, Collected articles on venture capital, 1985-1996
Research and development partnership.
Venture capital -- History.
Crisp, Peter O.
Rockefeller, Laurance Spelman
National Venture Capital Association (U.S.)