Shivon Zilis is a Canadian venture capitalist, AI researcher, and project leader who works as the Director of Operations and Special Projects at Neuralink, a brain-chip startup of Elon Musk. She is alleged to be the mother of Musk’s secret twins, born in November 2021.
Shivon Zilis was born as Shivon Alice Zilis on Saturday, February 8, 1986 (age 36 years; as of 2022), in Markham, Ontario, Canada. Her zodiac sign is Aquarius. She did her schooling at Unionville High School, Markham. She grew up playing ice hockey and was chasing a hockey scholarship to get admission at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. Although she gained the scholarship, her high grades also made her eligible for an academic scholarship at Yale University, where she ended up pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Arts, Economics, and Philosophy (2008). At Yale, she played as a goaltender for the Yale varsity women’s ice hockey team and was credited with one of the all-time best save percentages.
Shivon Zilis playing hockey at the Yale University
Besides playing hockey, she also played the drums and guitar while she was studying at Yale University. Having an equal interest in literature, Shivon Zilis read The Age of Spiritual Machines by Ray Kurzweil after getting inspired by a Canadian band called Our Lady Peace, which further piqued her interest in Artificial Intelligence.
Height (approx.): 5′ 6″
Weight (approx.): 55 Kg
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Eye Color: Blue
Figure Measurements(s): 34- 28-34
Shivon Zilis is of half-Punjabi Indian and half-Canadian (Caucasian) heritage.
Parents & Siblings
Shivon Zilis is the daughter of Richard Zilis and Sharda Zilis. One of her parents is a retired federal government bureaucrat. Zilis is the only child of her parents.
Shivon Zilis with her mother
Shivon Zilis met Elon Musk for the first time in 2016 after she joined Musk’s artificial intelligence startup OpenAI as a director. As of 2022, she is the youngest member of the Board of Directors of the same firm.
In July 2022, some Travis County, Texas court documents revealed that Shivon had twins with Elon Musk who were born in November 2021, a month before Elon Musk welcomed his second child with his former partner Grimes (Canadian musician and singer); Musk also has triplets and twins from his first wife, Justine Wilson (author). According to the documents, they (Elon Musk and Shivon Zilis) resided together in Austin.
Shivon Zilis with her child
Apparently, Zilis and Musk had filed a plea in the court to get the names of their twins changed; they urged the court to add Musk’s last name to the names of their kids, and also to add Zilli’s last name as their middle name. After the news of Musk’s secret twins surfaced online, Elon made a tweet showing his support for large families. He tweeted,
Doing my best to help the underpopulation crisis. A collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces by far. I hope you have big families and congrats to those who already do.”
On Twitter, Zilis often shows her support for Musk. She often responds to Musk’s tweets, agreeing to his comments on subjects like utopia, zero-sum games, and humanity. Once, she even switched her timeline on Twitter to a reverse chronological view, an act Musk has advocated for. In 2020, Shivon made a tweet in favor of Elon after Musk was criticized for his decision to move Tesla out of California due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Responding to a hate tweet from Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, a member of the California State Assembly, Shivon Zilis wrote,
This makes me sad. No one’s perfect but I’ve never met anyone who goes through more personal pain to fight for an inspiring future for humanity – and has done so tirelessly for decades. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion but mine is that there’s no one I respect and admire more.”
Shivon Zilis originally planned to return to Canada from Connecticut after pursuing her graduation. However, after being bewitched by the history of technology development in the U.S., she decided to join the large American tech giant IBM. She started her career with IBM in 2007 as a Thought Leadership Analyst.
Shivon Zilis in a talk show
Soon, she started working for IBM’s micro-finance initiative. As a part of the initiative, Shivon traveled the world; helping to develop systems to provide financial services to small businesses and organizations in developing countries like Peru and Indonesia, forming mobile finance strategies, Smarter Planet portfolio solution strategy, China banking solutions strategy, and working on disruptions in consumer payments.
Shivon Zilis with Justin Trudeau during a press conference in Canada
Two years after working for Internal Strategies, Shivon was captivated by the entrepreneurial side of her work. Subsequently, she got involved in building businesses and facilitating partnerships with startups. She is one of the founding members of Bloomberg Beta, an early-stage venture capital funded by Bloomberg L.P., utilizing ‘machine intelligence;’ the firm was founded in March 2011.
In June 2012, she became a Board member of the Global Community Charter School. In March 2014, Zilis became a Charter Member of C100, a non-profit, member-driven organization dedicated to supporting Canadian technology entrepreneurship and investment. She has served on the Board of Directors of various big firms including Vector Institute, Toronto, Canada, and Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii), Alberta, Canada. In 2015, she joined Creative Destruction Lab as a Fellow.
Shivon Zilis addressing the employees at Creative Destruction Lab
In 2016, Zilis joined OpenAI, a nonprofit organization founded by Elon Musk, as an advisor. She worked up her way to become the Board Member of the organization in 2020. She joined Musk’s Neuralink in 2017. As of 2022, she is the Director of Operations and Special Projects at Neuralink. Shivon served as a project director for Tesla, Inc.’s Autopilot product and chip design team from 2017 to 2019.
Shivon Zilis during a Summit
As of 2022, Zilis’ net worth ranges from $5 million to $10 million.
- Shivon Zilis loves skiing and hanging out with friends in her leisure time.
- She is an avid animal lover.
- Shivon identifies with the philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and David Hume.
- During an interview, Shivon accredited her mother for her big blue eyes. She said,
I just got the big eyes from the Punjabi side.”
- Zilis was listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for venture capital in 2015.
- She has also been included in various prestigious lists like LinkedIn’s 35 under 35 list.