San Jose State University

Past Events: Spring 2012

SVCE Speaker Event - April 9, 2012

Topic: How academia stimulates entrepreneurship: the founding of SunPower
Where: College of Engineering, Room 189, San Jose State Main Campus
Time: 6-7:30 pm, Monday, April 9, 2012
Speakers: Dr. Richard Swanson, Co-founder, President Emeritus and CTO, SunPower Corporation
Luis Mejia, Senior Associate, Office of Technology Licensing at Stanford University

Guest Speaker's Bio:

Dr. Richard Swanson

Dr. Richard Swanson

Dick Swanson was on the Electrical Engineering faculty at Stanford from 1976 to 1991. His research investigated the semiconductor properties of silicon relevant for better understanding the operation of silicon solar cells. These studies have helped pave the way for steady improvement in silicon solar cell performance. In 1991 Dr. Swanson resigned from his faculty position to devote full time to SunPower Corporation, a company he founded to develop and commercialize cost-effective photovoltaic power systems. He is presently President Emeritus of SunPower. Dr. Swanson has received widespread recognition for his work. In 2002, he was awarded the William R. Cherry award by the IEEE for outstanding contributions to the photovoltaic field, and in 2006 the Becquerel Prize in Photovoltaics from the European Communities. He was elected a Fellow of the IEEE in 2008 and a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2009. In 2010 he was awarded the IEEE Jin-ichi Nishizawa Medal for the conception and commercialization of high-efficiency point-contact solar cell technology, and in 2011 the Karl Boer Solar Energy Medal of Merit Award.

Luis Mejia

Luis Mejia Luis Mejia is a Senior Associate in the Office of Technology Licensing at Stanford University. He manages a portfolio of over 300 technologies ranging from biotech to cleantech. In his 23 years at Stanford, he has managed three major patent litigations, negotiated over 200 licenses, and evaluated over 600 inventions, including the PageRank Algorithm which was the instrumental IP that led to the creation of Google.
Mr. Mejia has been an advisor to Silicon Valley start-ups, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and is a Board Member of the Stanford University OTL, LLC. Mr. Mejia received his engineering degree in Energy Systems from Arizona State University and is a Certified Licensing Professional. Prior to joining Stanford he worked on solar energy systems and energy conservation at Honeywell and Pacific Gas & Electric.

SVCE Speaker Event - March 13, 2012

Topic: Global startups in sustainable energy: Israel and Silicon Valley
Where: College of Engineering, Room 189, San Jose State Main Campus
Time: 6-7:30 pm, Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Speakers: Akiva Tor, Consul General, Israeli Consulate
Erez Dolev, CEO, CALIS
Dr. Jacques Benkoski, Partner, US Venture Partners
Jason Wolf, Vice President, BetterPlace (SJSU Alum)
Moderator: Dr. David Steele, Dean, College of Business, SJSU.

Guest Speaker's Bio:

Akiva Tor

Akiva Tor Akiva Tor is the Consul General of Israel for the Pacific Northwest region. He has served as World Jewish Affairs Adviser to the President of Israel, as Director of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, as Deputy Director for Palestinian Affairs in the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is a graduate of the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and has written and lectured extensively on Jewish values in the foreign policy of Israel and on ethical considerations in international relations. He served as a paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces and as infantry captain in the IDF reserves. Akiva is married to Naomi, a community social worker. Their home town is Beit Shemesh, near Jerusalem, and they have four children - Yonah, Zohar, Yehudah and Roni.

Erez Dolev

Erez Dolev Erez Dolev is CEO at CALIS. Calis is an Israeli company which represents several leading Israeli companies and funds which are looking for investments opportunities in renewable energy projects in the US. Erez was relocated to California in July 2011 and since then he is searching for renewable energy projects at any stage of development. By February 2012, the portfolio includes a total of 525MW of solar projects at early investment stages. Before his current position at CALIS, Erez was CEO at Ledico Green from 2008 and was the board member and chairman of several Israeli companies. Earlier in his career, Erez was the CFO and Business Development manager of Ledico Bosch Group after several years of work at the accounting firms Deloitte and EY. Erez has an M.B.A. in Financial Management and a B.A. in Accounting and Economics from the University of Tel-Aviv. He is a Certified Public Accountant. His background in finance and renewable energy, enables him to understand the technical and financial aspects of different renewable energy technologies and projects and to bring huge added values for his partners in Israel.

Dr. Jacques Benkoski

Dr. Jacques Benkoski

Dr. Jacques Benkoski is Partner at US Venture Partners. He joined USVP in 2005 and focuses on fostering USVP position as an active investor in the Israeli market. He is working with several USVP companies such as BPT, Factery, HelloFax, Kilopass, Mobbles, Qnovo, Trusteer, and Zerto. Previously, he has advised several portfolio companies including ClearShape (Cadence), Dune Networks (Broadcom), LightSpeed, and Yoomba, and served as executive chairman of Certess (Springsoft) and Synfora (Synopsys).

Before joining USVP, Jacques was President and CEO of Monterey Design Systems from 1999 until its acquisition by Synopsys (SNPS) in 2004. Prior to that, he founded and served as General Manager of the European subsidiary of Epic Design Technology (EPIC) and became Vice President of European Sales following its acquisition by Synopsys. Earlier in his career, Jacques held a number of research and management positions at IMEC in Leuven, Belgium, at IBM's Scientific Center in Haifa, Israel and STMicroelectronics in Grenoble, France.

Fluent in English, French and Hebrew, Jacques holds a B.Sc. in computer engineering from Technion Israel Institute of Technology, and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and has published over 30 technical papers.

He is currently Chairman of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Technion Society, on the board of the California Israel Chamber of and was vice-chairman of the EDA Consortium from 1999 through 2005.

Jason Wolf

Jason Wolf Jason Wolf is vice president of North America for Better Place. His responsibilities include overseeing the company's efforts in California, Hawaii and Ontario and developing other North American markets. Within the energy and transportation ecosystems, Wolf works with federal, state and local governments as well as utility, business and non-governmental stakeholders to make the vision of zero- emission EVs powered by renewable energy a reality. Wolf built a strong management track record in the IT industry before joining Better Place. His experience includes various positions in senior management, strategic planning, product launch, sales and professional services. He most recently served as president of Sterna Technologies USA, the pioneer of Business Positioning Systems software. Before joining Sterna, Wolf held a number of positions during a 10-year career at SAP AG, including senior vice president of Strategic Initiatives and senior vice president of New Product Introductions. Wolf has a B.A. in Economics and Psychology from the University of Tel-Aviv and an MBA from San Jose State University.

Dr. David M. Steele

Dr. David Steele

Dr. Steele joined San Jose State University (SJSU) in July, 2008 as Dean, College of Business and Lucas Graduate School of Business. Previously, he was Dean of the Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University, the largest private university in New Jersey. It includes the prestigious Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies. Dr. Steele was also Professor and Dean of the College of Business at Florida Institute of Technology, a leader in science, engineering and business in the Florida "Space Coast".

Dr. Steele also has over 25 years of richly varied executive experience in Global business development, finance, and engineering in the petroleum and IT industries. He rose through the ranks of Chevron Corporation (ranked Fortune # 3 today) to become President of Chevron Latin America. He had a broadly diversified career track in R&D, project engineering, finance, strategic planning, and IT before moving to senior executive management as Vice President Finance of a $7.3 billion division; and operational positions, including President of Chevron Latin America. Responsible for activities in over 30 countries, he managed complex engineering projects with capital outlays of $950 million over 3 years in countries with difficult social, economic and political environments; and chaired the operating committee of an international consortium.

After leaving Chevron, Dr. Steele was an Executive Consultant to the founders of 4 international early-stage ventures, providing strategic, financial, and operational expertise and developing and executing worldwide strategic alliances. He also served as Interim CEO of one of these ventures, Online Resolution, Inc., a software startup. In addition, he was Interim CEO of a non-profit educational foundation based in The Netherlands, Kids 2020 Foundation, that helps children make better choices for themselves based on values.

At SJSU, he is building on the College's strengths by enhancing academic quality and student success; and by emphasizing practical business knowledge and global business education - the Internaticoncentration, the Study Abroad program, the new Thompson Global Internship Program, the new Global Leadership Advancement Center, and the SJSU Salzburg Program. Other priorities are to increase the size and reputation of the Lucas Graduate School, dramatically increase external funding, and strengthen ties with corporate, employer and industry associations. He is a member of the advisory boards for 1st ACT (Arts/Creativity/Technology) Silicon Valley and the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley; and is a judge for the Silicon Valley "CFO of the Year" competition.

Born in Venezuela of Hispanic heritage, Dr. Steele-Figueredo attended Birmingham University in England, receiving BS and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering. He later completed graduate business training at UC Berkeley and at the Wharton School. He has achieved distinction as an industry leader for programs on safety, educational, and environmental issues and was awarded the prestigious Rafael Urdaneta Medal for outstanding public service in Venezuela. He has lived in 8 countries in South America, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean and is fluent in Spanish.


SVCE Speaker Event - February 13, 2012

Topic: From Innovation to Execution: Building the Ideal New Venture Team
Where: College of Engineering, Room 189, San Jose State Main Campus
Time: 6-7:30 pm, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012
Speakers: Andy Coan, co-founder & CEO, Splice Communications (& SJSU alumnus),
Scott Bischoff, COO & CFO, and
Carol Kimura, Director Marketing (SJSU Alumna).
Event Flyer: Flyer.pdf

Guest Speaker's Bio:

Andy Coan

Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer

Andy Coan Andy Coan is a eighteen-year telecommunications industry veteran who co-founded Splice Communications in 2002, with the goal of providing superior network solutions for customers that depend on data-rich applications in today's Internet economy. Since then, Mr. Coan has positioned Splice as one of the fastest growing companies in the country. Prior to Splice, Mr. Coan served in an executive management role for three years at Telseon IP Services, (acquired by OnFiber Communications, and is now Qwest Communications, Inc.). At Telseon, Mr. Coan was responsible for its largest Carrier and Strategic partnerships, which include industry giants comprised of AT&T, Sprint, Exodus Communications, Cable & Wireless, Savvis, WorldCom, and Internap. Prior to Telseon / OnFiber, Mr. Coan worked for eight years in diverse sales and management roles at MCI / WorldCom. Mr. Coan also serves on the Boards of Pacific Business Centers and Bridge Works, Inc. in San Mateo, California. He holds a BS degree in Psychology and a Minor in Business from San Jose State University.

Scott Bischoff

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer

Scott Bischoff Scott Bischoff oversees corporate operations for Splice. He brings more than twenty years of experience in operations and financial management. Among his responsibilities are sales management, human resource policies and procedures, accounts receivable and payable, all financials and P&L accountability. Prior to joining Splice, Mr. Bischoff worked in multiple industries including corporate retail, software / technology, and corporate franchise. For seven years he was the District Manager of Operations / Finance for DHE Inc. Mr. Bischoff has also held management positions at CrossCommerce and Fortune 100 companies including Southland Corporation and ServiceMaster Corporation. He holds a BA degree in Communications from California State University at Chico and an MBA from St. Mary's College of California.

Past Events: Fall 2011

View the complete list of events here

SVCE Speaker Event - November 2nd, 2011

Topic: Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Sustainable Living
Where: MLK Library, Room 225/229 San Jose State Main Campus
Time: 6-7:30 pm, Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
Speakers: Andrew Williamson, Physic Ventures,
Peter Yolles, co-founder & CEO, WaterSmart Software, and
Logan Green, co-founder & CEO, Zimride.
Moderator: Steve Bennet, SJSU Lecturer.

Guest Speaker's Bio:

Andrew Williamson

Andrew Williamson Andrew Williamson is a Director at Physic Ventures. He invests in companies that enable consumers to adopt more sustainable lifestyles, including energy and water technologies and biomaterials. Andrew is a board member of Chromatin, EnergyHub, Gazelle, Halosource, Impinj and Novomer. Prior to joining Physic, Andrew performed materials science research at DOE labs, NREL and LLNL. He holds a BA and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Cambridge and a MBA from UC Berkeley.

Logan Green

Logan Green Logan Green is co-founder and CEO of Zimride. He has a background in transportation and web development. He created the first car-share program at UC Santa Barbara, and served on the board of the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District. His favorite Zimride is Palo Alto to Los Angeles. Logan holds a BA in Business Economics with Accounting emphasis from the University of California, Santa Barbara

Peter Yolles

Peter Yolles Peter Yolles is Co-Founder of WaterSmart Software. He is also the Founder and Principal of Water Insight, a water management consultancy. His fifteen years of experience include water conservation and efficiency, water rights and transfers, environmental regulation, finance, economics and policy. Prior to Water Insight, Peter was Director of Water Resource Protection for The Nature Conservancy, where he led river restoration efforts throughout California. As Vice President at Western Water Company, Yolles partnered with California agricultural water districts to conserve and lease water to municipal water districts. He executed contracts with half a dozen municipal water districts in northern and southern California, leading negotiations and overseeing regulatory approvals from state agencies. These transfers represented the state's first profitable agricultural-to-urban water transfers conducted by a third party. At GE Capital Solutions, Yolles analyzed water investment opportunities in the municipal and corporate markets. He also helped launch a new timber investment strategy. At Environmental Defense Fund, Yolles conducted cost-benefit analyses of municipal water supply projects and water transfers. Peter's interest in water, energy and climate began at the Pacific Institute, where he researched industrial, agricultural and domestic water use. He earned his MBA in Finance from Yale School of Management and MES in Water Science, Management and Policy from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge (SVIC) - November 30 & December 1, 2011

What: SVIC Exhibits, Elevator Pitch Contest, Awards Ceremony
Where: Barrett Ballroom, Student Union, San Jose State Main Campus
Time: 9 am- 5 pm, Thursday, December 1, 2011

SVCE Speaker Event - October 17th, 2011

Topic: Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Silicon Valley: the past, present, and future
Where: MLK Library, Room 225/229 San Jose State Main Campus
Time: 6-7:30 pm, Monday, October 17, 2011
Keynote Speaker: Ed Oates, co-founder, Oracle Corp. and SJSU alumnus
Registration: Registration is Closed Now!

Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Silicon Valley: the past, present, and future - Video Album

Guest Speaker's Bio:

Edward A. Oates

Edward A. Oates Edward A. Oates co-founded Oracle Corporation, which was started as Software Development Labs along with Larry Ellison, and Bob Miner in August 1977. Ed Oates graduated with a BA in mathematics from San Jose State University in 1968. He worked at Singer, the US Army Personnel Information Systems Command (PERSINSCOM), Ampex, and Memorex before co-founding Oracle. He retired from the company in 1996. He is currently a member of the board of advisors of Auguri Corporation and Gloolabs, in addition to volunteering his time on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Zoological Society and the Tower Foundation Board of San Jose State University.

SVCE Speaker Event - September 7th, 2011

Topic: How Entrepreneurs Evaluate Ideas
Where: MLK Library, Room 226/229 San Jose State Main Campus
Time: 6-7:30 pm, Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Speakers: Shamini Dhana, founder & CEO of Dhana Inc.
Jai Rawat, co-founder & CEO of
Event Flyer: Event Flyer Link

How Entrepreneurs Evaluate Ideas - Video Album

Guest Speaker's Bio:

Shamini Dhana

ShaminiDhana Shamini Dhana is Founder and CEO of Dhana Inc. an eco apparel company and creators of the Wearin' the World collection - a lifestyle brand of clothing for tweens, celebrating nature, people, cultures globally via organic, fairtrade wearable art. With 20 years of corporate management experience, Shamini has expertise in business development, marketing, finance, operations, strategy and working in government, software, banking industries as well as academia and consulting. From 1999-2006, she was Senior Vice President at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) Global Financial Services where she managed SVB's India operations, team and venture capital relationships. Shamini has a Masters in International Affairs (CSUS) and Bachelors in Economics (National University of Singapore), is an avid athelete (runs, bikes, golfs), and has served on a number of non-profits including UNA-USA Sacramento President and SVB Foundation Board of Directors.

Jai Rawat

jai_rawat Jai is a serial entrepreneur with over 18 years of experience. His latest venture, ShopSocially is socializing online shopping and has already won several awards and accolades. Jai's first company, Obongo was acquired by AOL where Jai lead their eCommerce and mobile strategy. Subsequently, Jai co-founded AirTight Networks, which is the leader in enterprise Wi-Fi security with over 2,000 customers. Jai is an advisor/mentor to several startups and holds 14 patents.

He has won several awards, including being recognized as one of the top 10 South Asian business and technology leaders. Jai holds a B.Tech in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur and an MS in Computer Science from Iowa State University.

Spring 2011 Events

Past Events: Spring 2011

April 26th, 2011
SVCE Speaker Event

Topic: Entrepreneurship and Family Business in the Silicon Valley
Where: San Jose State Main Campus, Engineering 189
Time: 6-7:30 pm, Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
Speakers: Carmelo Sigona, President, Sigona Markets & SJSU alumnus;
Jimmy Sigona, Manager, Sigona Markets & SJSU student;
Francis Santora, Organization Development Consultant.

April 21st, 2011
Finance Workshop

Topic: Finance Workshop
Where: San Jose State Main Campus, BBC 003
Time: April 21st, 3:00pm-5:00pm
Presenter: Steve Bennet, Lecturer in Finance, College of Business, SJSU & Member, Sand Hill Angels

For hands-on assistance in building a compelling financing model, assessing what investors are looking for in the projections, validating assumptions behind the business model. Students are encouraged to come prepared with their draft model and financial plan, to gain from the workshop. To assist students entering the 2011 Silicon Valley Business Plan Competition

April 14th, 2011
Business Plan Prep: Information Session

Topic: Business Plan Prep: Information Session
Where: San Jose State Main Campus, BBC 032
Time: April 14th, 3:00pm-5:00pm

To address any queries on the Business Plan Competition and provide tips on how to write a "killer" Business Plan.

March 21st, 2011
SVCE Speaker Event

Topic: Entrepreneurial Opportunities in a converging world
Where: San Jose State Main Campus, MLK 225/229
Time: Monday, March 21st, 6:00pm-7:30pm
Speaker: Sue Siegel, General Partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures. Former CEO, Affymetrix

Guest Speaker's Bio:
Sue Siegel

Sue Siegel Susan Siegel is a General Partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures. She joined the firm in 2007. Ms. Siegel arrived after a distinguished career as a corporate leader and with a background in biochemistry and molecular biology. She partners with entrepreneurs and companies that offer solutions to pressing healthcare challenges like age-onset conditions, lifestyle-induced health trends, consumer-driven wellness preservation, and those that improve healthcare economics. She has over 25 years experience commercializing key enabling technologies in biomedical research and healthcare. Ms. Siegel was the President and Director of Affymetrix Inc., which she joined in 1998 to lead the commercialization efforts for the company's state-of-the-art GeneChip technology. From April 1998 to August 1999, she served as its Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales. After this, Ms. Siegel took the helm as President and shortly after was appointed a Board Member. She led the company through a tremendous growth phase. During Ms. Siegel's presidency, the company scaled to almost $400 million in yearly revenue and was valued as a multi-billion market cap growth company.

Ms. Siegel serves on the Board of Directors of Corventis, Crescendo Bioscience, Navigenics, On-Q-ity, Pacific Biosciences, and RainDance Technologies. She is a Member of the Presidents' Circle of the National Academies and serves as an Advisor to the Institute of Medicine. She serves on the Gladstone Institutes Advisory Council and the Stanford ITI Council, is a YPO member, and is an Emeritus Board Member of The Silicon Valley Tech Museum of Innovation. She is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute since 2003 and was named a Silicon Valley Woman of Influence. Ms. Siegel and her husband co-founded with Stanford Hospital, Checking-In. She holds an M.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Boston University Medical School, and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico.

March 10th, 2011
Business Plan Prep: Marketing Workshop

Topic: Business Plan Prep: Marketing Workshop
Where: San Jose State Main Campus, BBC 003
Time: Thursday, March 10th, 3:00pm-5:00pm
Speaker: Bob Goedjen, Marketing Chairperson, Silicon Valley SCORE
Mark Levi, Counselor, Silicon Valley SCORE
Business Plan Prep - Workshop #1: Marketing Workshop
To address: How to conduct effective market research and analysis?
How to identify the customers? How to assess market size and growth potential?
To assist students entering the 2011 Silicon Valley Business Plan Competition.

Guest Speaker's Bio:
Bob Goedjen

Bob Goedjen

Bob's career included over 40 years in the Semiconductor Industry. During that time he worked for a Fortune 500 company as well as two smaller integrated circuit companies. Beginning his career as a field application engineer, then sales engineering and finally product marketing becoming the Director of Marketing and World-wide sales. Bob has also directed various high tech manufacturing operations both domestically and internationally. He has been a volunteer at Silicon Valley SCORE for 7years. Prior to that he was a managing consultant for MANEX. Bob has also been involved with several non-profit corporations as CFO and Treasurer. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in business and was an officer in the Navy.

Mark Levi

  Mark Levi is a counselor at Silicon Valley, SCORE.

February 28th, 2011
SVCE Speaker Event

Topic: Never Trust a Skinny Brewer
Where: San Jose State Main Campus, Engineering 189
Time: Monday, February 28th, 6:00pm-7:30pm
Speaker: Dan Gordon, Co-Founder Gordon Biersch Brewing Company

Guest Speaker's Bio:
Dan Gordon

Dan Gordon Dan Gordon has earned a reputation as one of America's leading brewing engineers. As the director of brewing operations for Gordon Biersch, he supervises the company's state-of-the-art brewing and bottling facility in San Jose, Calif. He is the first American in more than 50 years to graduate from the prestigious five-year brewing engineering program at the world-renowned Technical University of Munich at Weihenstephan, West Germany. Before earning his brewing engineer's degree there in 1987, he interned at Spaten Brewery in Munich and served as a technical translator at Lowenbrau Consulting. Gordon entered the program after earning a resource economics degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1982 and spending a year as an exchange student at the Georg August University in Gottingen, Germany. He also worked for a year at the Anheuser Busch plant in Fairfield, Calif., to gain the brewing experience he needed to apply to the Technical University of Munich. After completing the world's most advanced brewing program, Gordon returned to California and joined forces with restaurateur Dean Biersch to take advantage of a new state law allowing brewery restaurants. In 1988, the partners opened their first Gordon Biersch brewery restaurant in Palo Alto, Calif.