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Keith Kaplan

CEO, Tesla Foundation

Keith Kaplan is a thought, creativity and technology leader that has conceived, created and partnered in many successful business and technology projects. Mr. Kaplan is always on the edge of emerging technology and how this integrates into our lives in a commercial and personal way.

Born in New York City in the 60’s Keith from a very early age was surrounded by his father’s love of science, art, and music. Some of his earliest memories are of listening to and watching his father sing the current folk songs of the day on his worn acoustic guitar, and then design skyscrapers at his drafting table. This experience has inspired him for a lifetime.

With such a passion for music Keith at the age of 4 and a half started playing guitar and soon continued with formal study by age 6. By 11 he had preformed his first professional performance and by age 14 was performing in local clubs. By age 15 Keith was accepted and given a scholarship to the California Institute of the Arts and moved to Los Angeles California to study music and art.

At that time the emerging study of computers for compositional programing was just beginning. He flourished in the integration of engineering and computer science in creativity and has made this his life's work. After attending Cal Arts Keith continued his university studies by adding graphic design, computer science, and business to his education.

In 1988 at the age of 21 Keith composed the score for the world famous performance art work “Prometheus on a Black Landscape” by using early computer sequencing techniques to simulate a full orchestra. The work premiered at the Highways Performance Center in Santa Monica California before the ensemble embarked on a world tour of the performance for the next year.

While work in music was fulfilling enough, Keith needed to also peruse his desires in business, graphic design, and computer science. In 1996 Keith was given the position at the Los Angeles Times/Recycler as the VP Creative Coordinator/IT Consultant to manage the production staff and work with the creation of the classified website “”. While at the Los Angeles Times, Keith collaborated and created with some of the biggest ad agencies and corporations in the United States.

While still working in art and the newly emerging Internet Keith’s music career continued in tandem. In 1999 Keith and fellow Los Angeles Band Members of Even Rude scored a hit single on national rock radio with the song “Vilified” that was part of the soundtrack for one of the best selling video games ever released “Tony Hawk Pro Skater”. Later that year the band won the “Los Angeles Music Awards” best Modern Rock Award.

Also that year Keith was given the position of Sr. VP Creative Director at the Advertising Agency Creative Couch and over saw all creative and technology. The client list of record consisted of Proctor and Gamble, General Mills, Viacom, Warner Brothers, Disney, and others.

In 2001 Keith formed his own agency, a full service creative and interactive company supporting some of the Top Fortune 100 companies in the world such as, Lexus, American Idol, Ebay, Starwood Hotels, and Yahoo. Keith’s vision in branding, design, marketing, and technology combined with his understanding of interactive made him and his firm a sought after commodity. KKMedia Inc. was successfully sold to Public Media in 2008.
Mr. Kaplan is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of the Tesla Foundation - a non-for-profit science and technology Think Tank focused on the transition from the Industrial Revolution 3.0 to 4.0 and the Architect of the Tesla Technology Farm System. The Foundation accomplishes its non-profit goals utilizing the combined efforts of its technology farm system, research, education, applications, and high level educational events and summits.

The Tesla Foundation’s Initiatives are focused on the Industrial Revolution 4.0 - connectivity, robotics, autonomy, big data, cyber security, education, commercialization, and educational events. Mr. Kaplan has traveled the world talking about the integration of cyber autonomy into our everyday lives. From meetings with the White House, appearing on major TV and Radio stations, authoring articles in major publications, and speaking at major conferences and symposiums globally.

Mr. Kaplan is a creator, consultant, and team member in the creation of emerging technology and is an expert in the integration of new technology into the marketplace. As a Creative, Technologist, and Computer Scientist and he has the unique mix of rational and creative thought. Mr. Kaplan has continuously and vigorously pursued and participated in many innovative projects that push the limits of technology and how it can be used for good.

Mr. Kaplan sees the integration of technology as an opportunity to further the good of mankind and has stated, “It is the responsibility of those that have the means to assure the safe and ethical integration of all technology for the betterment of mankind”.



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