Ashton Kutcher will be on stage next week at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York. The actor, entrepreneur and investor will talk with Charlie Rose on Tuesday morning, and joins what is clearly our most impressive list of speakers at any TechCrunch event to date.
His talk with Rose will be entirely focused on his new job starring in CBS’s Two and a half Men.
Ok, hopefully not really.
Kutcher is known in tech circles as a fairly savvy investor, although many of these investments have been kept private. In addition to his publicly known investments in companies like Flipboard, Milk, Zaarly and Blekko, he also mentioned casually to me last week during a prep call for the event that he invested in Skype along with Silverlake Partners and Andreessen Horowitz in 2009.
He’s also worked directly with companies in various ways. Blekko CEO Rich Skrenta, for example, says that Kutcher helped significantly with Blekko’s mobile product as well as other features. “He’s a geek at heart,” says Skrenta.
One thing Kutcher doesn’t ask for is a free pass in our world. He freely talks about missteps with Ooma (although I wouldn’t count Ooma out for good just yet), and Blah Girls, which he launched at a TechCrunch event in 2008.
In other ways, though, he’s had massive success. His Twitter account has nearly 7 million followers. Sure, he’s a famous actor, but others in his world in Hollywood have fallen flat on Twitter. And his investment portfolio looks to be as healthy or healthier than many professional angel investors. That Skype investment sure didn’t hurt.
See you all next week, in person or on the live stream. Kutcher will be on stage Tuesday morning, immediately after Charlie Rose interviews Y Combinator’s Paul Graham.