Emergence Capital Investor Wants To Show Off Entrepreneurs’ Super Powers With Graphic Novel

They may have the latest gadgets, but the men and women of Silicon Valley are rarely thought of as superheroes. Joseph Floyd, an Emergence Capital investor, wants to change that.

Floyd noticed that many of the mainstream role models children look up to are athletes and celebrities, while many founders and engineers shy away from the media. He hopes with his upcoming graphic novel, “Silicon Heroes,” he can show kids that entrepreneurs are trying to change the world and solve social problems.

“I don’t want my future kids to grow up thinking movie stars are role models,” Floyd said. “I work with the amazing people who are trying to change the world, and I thought why aren’t kids looking up to them?”

Earlier this week, Floyd launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund the creation of the 80-page graphic novel. The campaign surpassed its goal, raising more than $30,000 in just two days. The campaign will cover the costs of the book’s editor and artist, and any profits Floyd makes will go toward Girls Who Code and Code.org.

Floyd began writing “Silicon Heroes” about two years ago when he was working as a Kauffman fellow. He interviewed CEOs and investors in the tech industry so he could understand what the character traits are that allow entrepreneurs to succeed.

He told TechCrunch in an interview that the story is a hero’s quest, much like “Star Wars,” where the characters have to learn how to use the five superpowers that help entrepreneurs succeed. Floyd said the cover of the graphic novel is an homage to the original “Return of the Jedi” poster.

Floyd was candid in the Indiegogo campaign that the book will take swipes at Silicon Valley culture, from CrossFit to the Yo app.

He also said that real Silicon Valley CEO’s would make appearances in the graphic novel, though he declined to tell TechCrunch who specifically would appear. Floyd said he made sure to include real executives who would give aspiring inventors from groups underrepresented in tech role models to look up to.

A comic book lover all his life, Floyd felt a graphic novel would be the best medium to connect with future entrepreneurs. He was sure to include characters that represent men and women as well as many different races and ethnicities.

“If you’re a Latino girl or an Indian guy, and you read about a character whose name is similar to yours, you might be able to relate a little,” he said. “But if you see someone who actually looks like you, it does so much more. The fact that there are pictures and that your imagination fills in the blanks between the pictures is really powerful.”

Now that Floyd has hit his initial Indiegogo goal, he has a series of stretch goals he hopes to achieve. If he raises $50,000, he says he will add additional pages to the book that will explain why each superpower is essential to entrepreneurs. If he reaches $300,000, he will work with Girls Who Code to develop a mobile app experience for the book.