European Entrepreneurship & Innovation Thought Leaders Seminar

Speaker Bios - Winter 2011

January 3

Aldo Cocchiglia (Italy)

Aldo Cocchiglia - CEO, M31 USA

Aldo established M31 USA in 2010 and serves as its CEO. He co-founded M31 Italia in 2006, and became its General Manager in 2008. He currently serves in two portfolio companies: President and the CEO of Si14 (embedded PCs), and President of CenterVue (biomedical diagnostic systems). 

A true entrepreneur, Aldo founded and sold three successful startups over the course of his 30-year experience in the technology sector. All with corporate exits, the startups were in industrial automation and medical equipment. Aldo holds a Master of Sciences in Electronic Engineering from the University of Padova.

Bjoern Herrmann (Germany)

Bjoern Herrmann - Partner & Founder, blackbox

Bjoern is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and led four for- and non-profit ventures in Germany, Bangladesh and the USA. Most recently he co-founded the new blackbox accelerator in the heart of Silicon Valley that focuses on helping high potential technology entrepreneurs from around the globe. During blackbox' three month program, entrepreneurs live in a co-working/co-living space in Atherton; afterwards blackbox assists each startup to develop business relationships between their home country and the Valley. Bjoern has also worked as an executive in Russia.

Nicolai Wadstrom (Sweden)

Nicolai Wadstrom - CEO & Founder, Bootstrap Labs

Nicolai Wadstrom is a serial entrepreneur. He founded his first startup company in 1995, and has established and led a number of startups since then in industries ranging from enterprise software, computer games, internet, and media to professional services. Today Nicolai also serves as an Angel investor and advisor to Internet, Software, Mobile and Digital Media companies.

Peter Laanen (Netherlands)

Peter Laanen - Chief Representative, 'Holland in the Valley' Incubator

Peter Laanen is responsible for the establishment and operation of the new Dutch government incubator 'Holland in the Valley' since early 2010 in collaboration with SDForum. The incubator is intended to guarantee incoming Dutch companies a 'soft landing' in Silicon Valley. 

Peter's industry experience has included the market repositioning of a major recording house, a highly successful initial public stock offering, and two corporate turnarounds. He has served as Managing Director of Arcade Music Co.; President and CEO of UltiFox Europe B.V. (a media- and soccer-related product firm); CEO of Top Sports Group B.V., President of Inter Football B.V., cofounder and CEO of Multi Function Computers B.V., (a Dutch minicomputer software firm).

Clement Alteresco (France)

Clement Alteresco - Manager, pariSoma Innovation Loft; CEO, faberNovel Inc.

Clement Alteresco is an Entrepreneur and project designer working between Paris and San Francisco. Clement runs faberNovel's international development. Passionate about the future of work, he especially helps growing the pariSoma Innovation Loft, a co-working space & community that provides a technological hub between the US and France.

Gioia Deucher (Switzerland)

Gioia Deucher - Entrepreneurship & Special Programs, swissnex San Francisco

Gioia Deucher joined swissnex San Francisco almost two years ago, and heads all activities related to entrepreneurship and innovation. She founded and directs a new incubation business model called "US Market Entry Camp". Previous to moving to the Bay Area, Gioia worked at UBS Research and Asset Management for socially responsible investing in Geneva and Zurich, and for the UN's microfinance program in the Palestinian territories. She holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Geneva and a Masters in International Finance from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. She is fluent in German, French, English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

January 10

Jean-Louis Gassée (France)

Jean-Louis Gassée - General Partner, Allegis Capital

Jean-Louis Gassée has been associated with the firm since 1994, first as a Special Limited Partner of AVI III. He joined the firm full-time in October 2002 and was named a General Partner in April 2003. Prior to this, he headed up Be, Inc., which developed the Be operating system (Be OS) to provide multimedia software for appliances to deliver information, entertainment and interactivity over the Web; the company went public in 1999 and was sold to Palm in 2001. For nine months in 2002, Mr. Gassée served as CEO of Computer Access Technology, helping with a founder transition. 

Mr. Gassée spent nine years at Apple Computer. In February 1981, he started Apple’s French subsidiary and, in 1982, was also named president of the “Apple Education” foundation. Apple France became Apple’s largest business unit outside of the United States. In 1985, Mr. Gassée was transferred to Apple headquarters to lead Apple’s Product Development. He was also president of the Apple Products Division, responsible for managing all of Apple’s global product functions, including product marketing, worldwide manufacturing, and research and development. 

Before joining Apple, Mr. Gassée was a president and a general manager of the French subsidiary of Exxon Office Systems. He also held several general management positions with Data General—including general manager for France, area manager for Latin and Middle-East countries, and marketing director for Europe. Mr. Gassée also worked six years at Hewlett-Packard where he was responsible for overseeing the launching of the company’s first desktop scientific computer and the development of its sales organization in France, before his promotion to sales manager of Europe. 

Mr. Gassée has served as a director of publicly traded companies such as Cray Computer Corporation, 3Com, Logitech and Electronics for Imaging, and was until late 2005 Chairman of PalmSource. He is a Board Director of Allegis Capital portfolio companies PureWave and QSecure. He is a Mathematics and Physics graduate of Paris (Orsay) University in France.

Loic Lemeur (France)

Loic Lemeur - CEO, Seesmic; Founder, LeWeb

Loic is the CEO behind Seesmic. He founded the company in 2007, with the goal of turning online video into a powerful medium for threaded, interactive video conversations. A seasoned entrepreneur, Loic launched several companies prior to Seesmic including: shared web hosting company RapidSite, (acquired by France Telecom) and B2L, an interactive agency (acquired by BBDO). His last company, Ublog, was acquired by SixApart, after which Loic became Chairman of SixApart Europe. 

In addition to his hands-on entrepreneurial expertise, Loic serves as a board member of Europe’s #1 dating site Meetic and Europe’s leading online bank Boursorama. He also acts as a venture partner for Wellington Partners, mentoring other European entrepreneurs. And he helps bolster innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe through his conference LeWeb, Europe’s leading web conference for businesses and web 2.0 innovators. 

Loic took an active role in French President’s Sarkozy’s campaign, helping galvanize thousands of bloggers to support the candidate. 

Recently, Business Week Magazine named Loic one of The 25 Most Influential People on the Web. Loic was also named “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum. Originally from the South of France, Loic lives in San Francisco, California.

Stephane Barbier (Lyon, France)

Stephane Barbier - Development Director, OnlyLyon/Aderly (The Lyon Area Economic Development Agency)

Since 2006, Mr Barbier is Development Director of the Investment & Promotion Agency of Lyon and General Secretary of the World Trade Center Lyon, member of the World Trade Centers Association in NYC. He launched the “Boosting Talents” offer which aims at helping entrepreneurs start a tech venture in France, focusing on Life Sciences, Clean Technologies and Information Technology. 

From 2003 to 2006, Mr Barbier managed the innovation team of the Lyon Chamber of Commerce. Prior to joining the Chamber, Mr Barbier co-founded Partners Consulting in 1996. Partners Consulting specializes in consulting for leading worldwide companies seeking for new products development with world-class innovations. As CEO, he focused on strategic and business developments for the company and initiated joint-ventures in Europe and North-America. 

From 1995 to 1996, Mr Barbier was Marketing Director for OTIO France, a French high-tech startup. He set promotional and marketing actions and launched several products on the market. Mr Barbier holds a Master’s degree in Business Management from the University of Lyon.

January 24

Aydin Senkut (Turkey)

Aydin Senkut - President & Founder, Felicis Ventures

Aydin Senkut is the Founder and President of Felicis Ventures. He has been named one of the top 25 tech angels by Businessweek recently. Aydin's been an angel investor in promising start-ups since 2006. His portfolio encompasses over 50 companies including Aardvark (acquired by Google), Fresh Guide (acquired by Sugar Inc.), Inkling, Meraki, Mint (acquired by Intuit), Mixer Labs (acquired by Twitter), (acquired by Groupon), Mochi Media (acquired by Shanda Games), Powerset (acquired by Microsoft), Plusmo (acquired by AT&T), Sendori (acquired by IAC), Tapulous (acquired by Disney). 

Prior to starting Felicis Ventures, Aydin joined Google in 1999 as its first Product Manager to launch its first 10 international sites. He then became the first International Sales Manager at Google, responsible for world-wide licensing deals. Before joining Google, Aydin was a Product Manager at SGI. He has a BS in Business Administration with Honors from Boston University. He also earned an MBA in Marketing from the Wharton School and an MA in International Studies from the School of Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. He speaks five languages: English, German, French, Portuguese and Turkish. 

He is a benefactor to the University of Pennsylvania and UCSF. Aydin sits on the boards of Imageshack and the Wharton Entrepreneurial Program. He’s been featured on Businessweek, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Financial Times Germany, and San Francisco Chronicle.

Jeff Clavier (France)

Jeff Clavier - Managing Partner & Founder, SoftTech VC

Based in Palo Alto, California, Jean-Francois “Jeff” Clavier is the Founder and Managing Partner of SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed stage investors in Web 2.0 startups. Since 2004, Jeff has invested in more than 80 consumer Internet companies in areas like social media, monetization, search, gaming or B2B/B2C web services. These investments are typically located in Silicon Valley, New-York and Boulder. With over 20 years of operational, entrepreneurial and venture capital experience, Jeff is able to add relevant perspective and value to his companies as they grow from inception to maturity, and hopefully, success. 

In 2007, Jeff was recognized as one of the 13 “Web 2.0 King Makers” by (late)Business 2.0. BusinessWeek named him one of "The 25 Most Influential People on the Web" in 2008, and one of the "Top 25 Angels in Tech" in 2010. He is often noted for his investments in categories such as “passion-centric communities” or online gaming, or for having sold a number of his Web 2.0 startups to the likes of Yahoo, AOL, Intuit or more recently Twitter and Groupon. 

In September 2007, Jeff announced the formation of SoftTech VC II, L.P. – a $15M seed fund backed by a mix of institutional and private investors that will invest in 60 consumer Internet companies over 3 years. Some of Jeff's representative investments are Mint, Brightroll, Truveo, Userplane, Rapleaf, Ustream, Milo, Blekko, Eventbrite, Songkick, Tapulous, DNANexus, FanBridge, BillFloat,... 

A popular speaker and moderator, Jeff appears at dozens of industry events per year. Ranging from local Silicon Valley keynotes or panel discussions to international conferences, he shares his passion for building Internet startups, angel and VC investing, innovation and entrepreneurship. Jeff has produced a number of technology conferences and is a founding co-chair of the SDForum Search Special Interest Group. 

Believing that you have to practice what you invest in, and vice-versa, Jeff started Software Only in 2004, one of the early venture capital blogs where he primarily covered social media, search, online communities and investing. After a few years of active posting, Jeff switched to micro-blogging, and a less time consuming production, mostly through @jeff on Twitter. 

Prior to founding SoftTech VC, Jeff spent more than 16 years in the enterprise software world as an entrepreneur, senior executive and venture capitalist. Throughout his career, he was exposed to global markets leading development teams in Europe and on Wall Street, designing products sold internationally and investing in software infrastructure startups across the U.S. and Europe. 

In 2000, Jeff became President of RVC Capital, the firm managing the Reuters Greenhouse Fund with $600M invested in 82 companies, including Yahoo!, Verisign, and Infoseek. He joined the venture arm of Reuters from the company’s product development division, where he was leading a 250+ staff in Paris, London and New York, and was responsible for the Risk Management and Desktop products. Jeff joined Reuters through the acquisition of Effix Systems, a Paris-based startup company he helped develop in 1989 while still in school. 

Jeff was born, raised and educated in France, earning a MS in Computer Science and a research degree in Distributed Computing. He has been happily living in Silicon Valley since 2000 with his wife @Bernadette and their two children. When he is not busy working, Jeff likes to spend time with his family and friends, cook, collect wine and wander around Northrend on his hunter. He also skis, hikes, dives and plays golf so poorly it is not even funny. 

SoftTech VC is an early stage venture capital firm managing a $15M seed stage fund, SoftTech VC II. Jeff Clavier, one of the most active Web 2.0 seed stage investors - often dubbed a "micro-cap VC", announced the fund and its four initial investments, at the TechCrunch40 conference in September 2007. SoftTech VC II is backed by a mix of institutional and private investors. In its 3 years of activity, the fund has invested in 60 companies, a number of them still operating in stealth/pre-launch mode.

January 31

Vassilis Nikolopoulos (Greece)

Vassilis Nikolopoulos - CEO & Founder, Intelen

Vassilis is CEO and founder of Intelen, one of the most dynamic and emerging Greek start-ups, in the domain of smart grid applications and energy information systems. He also acts as a Chief Innovation Officer, responsible for the innovation transition and creation of new advanced services for the future cleantech market. He has seven years experience in big multinational companies as an IT consultant, Chief Innovation Officer and Innovative Business Development manager. 

From 2005 to 2008, Vassilis worked on technical trend forecasting methodologies and innovation management procedures, focusing on the cleantech domain, smart metering, modern applications of web 2.0, semantics and captology principles for energy behavioural control. He has also served as external consultant to the Greek government, regarding energy ICT strategies and digital planning of relevant Green ICT national actions. 

In 2010, Guidewire Group (USA) short-listed Intelen as one of the Innovate100 contest finalists for the top-100 innovative start-ups worldwide and Intelen services were proposed as candidate best practices in Eco Innovation OECD-EU 2010. Recently, the US VC magazine Red herring voted Intelen as one of the top-100 most innovative companies in Europe and on the same year Intelen wins the global award 2010 from red herring, as being in the top-100 in the world. 

He is a valedictorian Electrical Engineer from Dundee University, Scotland. He also holds a Master and Diploma in Control theory from Imperial College London, specializations in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from LSE, Engineering majors from the Ecole Polytechnique of Paris and a PhD in Energy Knowledge Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens. He speaks English, French and Spanish; he has over 20 publications in journals and conferences worldwide and holds three national patents in web 2.0 energy information systems.

Juha Christensen (Denmark)

Juha Christensen - Co-Founder and Partner, Progression Partners

Juha is a serial entrepreneur with a remarkable track record in both Europe and the U.S. Currently, he is CEO of Cloudmade, an intriguing startup that is pioneering the use of location to enable developers and OEMs to create compelling location enabled products. Juha is also Chairman of Cogniance, a pioneer in the rapidly growing outsourced software development market. In addition Juha is a board member at Teleca, the world’s largest mobile software services company, a founding Venture Partner at Sunstone Capital as well as an investor in numerous other start-ups.

Juha led the initiative that brought Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson and others together to create the operating system company Symbian. Later he ran Microsoft’s mobile platform efforts, bringing to market Pocket PC and Smartphone. After Microsoft, Juha served as President at Macromedia, bringing to market a diverse range of Internet and mobile tools and products.

February 7

Xabier Uribe-Etxebarria (Basque Region, Spain)

Xabier Uribe-Etxebarria - CEO & Founder, Anboto

Xabier Uribe-Etxebarria is CEO and Founder of Anboto company. Anboto is the company leader in Semantic and Natural Language technology applied to Web Customer Service and eCommerce. The products of Anboto are: Virtual Sales Agents and Intelligent Chats and this system been named as the best dialogue technology by Gartner. Anboto has been also the best rated company and awarded as the Start-up of the year 2010 world wide by Guidewire Group innovate!100 ranking driven by Chrish Shipley. 

Xabier is also an active advisor in World Wide Web Consortium. He has been the CEO on Interlan Systems. Some of his studies are: Industrial Organization Engineer, Industrial Technical Engineer, Industrial Electronics Speciality, PhD Course, in Language processing, Entrepreneurship Development Program (MIT Sloan), Marketing Digital (Harvard Business School), Negotiation (TEC Monterrey), Global Sales Strategies for Ambitious Entrepreneurs, (Chicago Booth School of Business).

Lasse Andresen (Norway)

Lasse Andresen - CEO & Co-Founder, ForgeRock

A powerhouse of tireless can-do enthusiasm, Lasse brings a unique blend of business, technical and people skills to leading Forgerock. His twenty-plus years of experience in the software industry include leadership roles at both Sun Microsystems and Texas Instruments, most recently as CTO for Sun Central and Northern Europe. His passion and vision combine to ensure ForgeRock is always ready to execute and deliver. From 2000-2003, Lasse served as Co-Founder and CTO of

His special skills span being an entrepreneur, "the network is the computer" (cloud computing), identity and access management, web 2.0, infrastructure software, open source, distributed organizations, and leadership. Lasse has also played keyboards in several bands.

Anne Worsoe, Innovation Norway (Norway)

Anne Worsoe - Innovation Norway, San Francisco

Before joining Innovation Norway in San Francisco, Anne was Head of New Business at Statkraft Development. Prior, she was the Secretary General of the Norwegian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. She has been an entrepreneur and partner in a startup, and worked as a Management Consultant in Gemini Consulting for 8 years, as well as in Bene Agere, and as a Strategic Branding Consultant in JBR/McCann. 

Anne has served as a board member in several companies, and is still a board member of DnB Nor Private Equity ASA. She holds a Master degree from the Norwegian School of Management and a B.Sc. in Political Science from the University of Oslo.

February 14

Ruggero Frezza, M31 Italia

Dr. Ruggero Frezza - President & CEO, M31 Italia

Ruggero Frezza is President and CEO of M31 Italia. In 2006 he founded M31 in order to support young people to establish innovative technology projects. After graduating in Electrical Engineering at the University of Padova, he received a Master of Science and Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. During his career he was visiting scientist and researcher in several Universities: the International Institute for Applied System Analysis in Laxenburg (Austria), the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, the University of Groningen in Holland, and the University of California Berkeley. 

In Italy he was Professor at the Department of Information Engineering in the University of Padova. While at the University of Padova, with his students he founded six companies that operated in high tech industries, from biomedical to wood industry to CAE instruments for the automotive industry. In 2008 Ruggero Frezza chose to abandon his teaching post in order to focus on M31 and to help young entrepreneurs.

Vladimir Marik (Czech Republic)

Prof. Vladimir Marik - Czech Technical University

Vladimir Marik was appointed a professor of Control Engineering at the Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic in 1990. Later, he founded the Department of Cybernetics, which has been recognized as an EU Center of Excellence (in 2000). He acts as the Head of this Department which belongs to the strongest research department in the country (with 110 FTE of staff). This Department has a long-term contracted cooperation with such companies like Toyota, Volkswagen, Medtronic, Google, Honeywell and others as well as with FAA and the US defense services (US Air Force Research, ONR, CERDEC- US Army or MDA). 

Besides this, V. Marik helped to found the Rockwell Automation Research Center Prague as a part of the Rockwell Automation Advanced Technology organization and he acted as its Managing Director in the period 1993-2009. Since 2010 he acts as a Managing Director of CertiCon, a.s., a large spin-off supporting the know-how transfer. 

His main fields of interest include artificial intelligence, agent-based, multi-agent and holonic systems, planning and scheduling, and knowledge representation and management. He is an author or a co-author of 7 books and more than 130 scientific papers. 

He acts as the member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE SMC Society and the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Trans. on SMC, part C since 2005.

Ramine Darabiha (Finland/France)

Ramine Darabiha - Advisor, Aalto Entrepreneurship Society, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland

Ramine Darabiha is a French entrepreneur, gamer and blogger. He is the founder and CEO of, and is expert in cloud computing. His past experience is in large scale gaming communities, and he recently mentored the Summer of Startups and Garage48 programs at Aalto University. He also blogs regularly about the Finnish startup scene.

February 28

Rain Rannu (Estonia)

Rain Rannu - Co-Founder, Fortumo Ltd.

Rain Rannu is co-founder of Fortumo, and is responsible for the company’s strategy and new business development. Rain has been involved in the mobile industry for 10 years. Prior to founding Fortumo, he was also the founder and head of business development for the leading Baltic mobile service provider Mobi Solutions. Rain has also worked in several innovative enterprises in the fields of sales, web development and project consulting. 

Rain has an MBA degree in Entrepreneurship and Technology Management from the University of Tartu. He lectures frequently at the E-Governance Academy and speaks at industry events like Mobile World Congress. Since 2010, Rain is one of the founding organizers of the Garage48 startup bootcamps.

Irina Anghel (Romania)

Irina Anghel - Secretary General, South Eastern European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (SEEPEA)

Irina Anghel is Secretary General of the South Eastern European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (SEEPEA), and sits in the Representative Group of the European Venture Capital Association. Lawyer and Law Professor, Irina founded 10 years ago the first Romanian law firm dedicated to advising funds and entrepreneurs for their VC transactions and during the past years she became an active supporter of entrepreneurship in South Eastern Europe. 

In 2008 she was one of the 4 Global Ambassadors of the Global Entrepreneurship Week, covering 77 countries. During the past 10 years Irina lectured, organized workshops, was a speaker at or an organizer of local, regional and international events in more than 21 countries. Her most recent public speaking engagements were in El Salvador, Republic of Georgia, Canada, US, Romania and Turkey. Irina also has an academic career teaching civil law in Bucharest and a special course, that she developed herself, specifically aimed at Romanian MBA students.

Andrus Viirg (Estonia)

Andrus Viirg - Director, Enterprise Estonia - Silicon Valley

Andrus Viirg is the Director of Enterprise Estonia, Silicon Valley (from 2007), which is the representative office of Enterprise Estonia - a state foundation for business, trade as well as technology support and development. Mr. Viirg has also served as the Director of the Estonian Investment Agency (2001-2003). 

During the 1990s Andrus followed an international career with the World Bank Group (IBRD and IFC) heading the Bank Group Office in Tallinn, Estonia (1995-2001); and with the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC, as an Assistant to the Executive Director (1992-1994). Mr. Viirg has also worked for the Bank of Estonia (the Central Bank) on relations with international financial institutions. 

Andrus holds a diploma of engineering from the Tallinn University of Technology (1983) in the areas of automation and software engineering. He has also graduated from the Estonian School of Diplomacy (1992) in foreign trade relations. Mr. Viirg combines technical and economics knowledge with hands on experience in software development and electronics.

As the Director of Enterprise Estonia, Silicon Valley, Andrus is responsible for building up the network of contacts enabling Estonian tech companies to access the US market, as well as promoting Estonia for foreign direct investment.

March 7

Prof Gerhard Casper, Stanford University (USA/Germany)

Prof. Gerhard Casper - President Emeritus, Stanford University

Gerhard Casper is President Emeritus of Stanford University. He is also the Peter and Helen Bing Professor, Emeritus, and a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford. 

Mr. Casper studied law at the Universities of Freiburg and Hamburg, where, in 1961, he earned his first law degree. He went to Yale Law School in 1961, obtaining his Master of Law degree a year later. He then returned to Freiburg, where he received his Doctorate in 1964. That same year, Mr. Casper emigrated to the United States, spending two years as Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1966, he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School (and, one year later, also the Political Science Department). Between 1979 and 1987, he served as Dean of the Law School. In 1989, Mr. Casper became Provost of the University of Chicago, a post he held until he accepted the presidency of Stanford University in 1992. He has written and taught primarily in the fields of constitutional law, constitutional history, comparative law, and jurisprudence. From 1977-91, he was an editor of The Supreme Court Review. His most recent book is Separating Power: Essays on the Founding Period (Harvard University Press, 1997). 

Mr. Casper is a member of the Council of the American Law Institute, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Philosophical Society, and a member of the Order Pour le mérite for the Sciences and Arts. At present, he serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Terra Foundation for American Art, as a trustee of the Central European University in Budapest, and as a trustee of the Committee for Economic Development. In addition, he is a member of the International Advisory Councils of both the Israel Democracy Institute and the Global Center for Development and Democracy. From 2000-2008, he served as a successor trustee of Yale University; from 2000-2009, he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Academy in Berlin. During the fall of 2006, he held the Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance at the Library of Congress.

Additional information on Professor Casper's current projects may be found at his Stanford website.

Burton Lee

Dr. Burton Lee - Lecturer, Stanford School of Engineering

Dr. Burton Lee PhD MBA, Lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Lee's professional credentials span over 15 years of senior executive leadership and advisory positions with venture-backed startups, global technology corporations, venture capital and private equity firms, federal S&T agencies, state economic development offices, leading research universities, foreign governments and industry associations. His management and technical experience includes senior executive and research positions with Hewlett Packard, GE Global Research, DaimlerChrysler AG and NASA in the United States, Europe and Japan. Burton's research interests include Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), diagnostics, prognostics, maintenance and customer support for complex industrial systems; product design and development, including DfX, design-for-sustainability and -environment methodologies; artificial intelligence (Bayesian networks, ontologies, knowledge representation); aerospace systems; unmanned vehicles, robotics, electric transportation systems; open innovation in mechatronic systems; and innovation policy.

Dr. Lee is Managing Partner of Innovarium Ventures, a strategic, financial and technical advisory services firm based in Silicon Valley. He also served as Principal and co-founder of Space Angels Network, a professionally managed national network of accredited investors focused on seed- and early-stage aerospace-related ventures. 

Dr. Lee's European experience includes 10+ years of professional and academic assignments in Dublin (Member, National Innovation Taskforce, Office of the Prime Minister, Govt of Ireland - 2009/2010), Stuttgart (DaimlerChrysler Research Labs), Munich (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Vienna (Bundesamt für Eich- und Vermessungswesen), Geneva (International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations - IUF), Prague (Univerzita Karlova v Praze), Barcelona and London. 

Burton holds a PhD in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (minor) from Stanford University (2002), and an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship (Cornell, 2004). He speaks German and Spanish.

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