James Spoto on Entrepreneurship

Winter Quarter 2009 Entrepreneurship Seminar Series

"Discovery and Pursuit of a Passion- The Life and Times of an Electrical Engineer"

Featuring James Spoto
President and CEO
Kairos Microsystems

Location: McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium
Free and open to the public

The Entrepreneurship Seminar Series provides a real-world introduction to the theory and practice of entrepreneurship.  Through a series of presentations by prestigious entrepreneurs and industry leaders, participants will explore the various organizational, strategic and financial challenges facing successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs.  Topics include start-up strategies, business idea evaluation, business plan writing, and introduction to venture capital.

For a complete listing of Entrepreneurship Seminar Series guest speakers, please visit http://www.eng.uci.edu/events/entseminars.

Abstract:
The making of a career and discovery of a life's passion are not planned or straight forward processes. There are twists and turns along the way that will require course corrections. There are even times that you may question your fundamental career decisions. However, unless you are truly unhappy with your situation over a very long period of time, you should not radically change course. The grass is rarely greener on the other side.
 
In this presentation, you will share the journey of an engineer through the ups and downs of his career. Throughout the many job changes, a common mission was pursued and refined. Though unremarkable, this journey has resulted in a career that brought great satisfaction and pride to the traveler.  The hope is that the lessons learned along the way will help make your career and life’s journey as enjoyable and rewarding.  
 
About the Speaker:
James Spoto has over 30 years of executive and technical experience in the semiconductor and EDA industries at companies like Conexant, Harris and Cadence. He is presently an independent investor and advisor for several companies in a variety of areas including semiconductors, medical devices, materials, EDA, and logistics.

Spoto recently completed a six-year stint as the president and CEO of Applied Wave Research, where he led the company to profitability and sales growth from $7 million to over $20 million. At AWR, he concluded two highly-valued funding rounds and a successful acquisition of a European EDA company.

Before AWR, Spoto served as senior vice president of platform technologies at Conexant Systems from 1997 to January 2001. In that position, he managed a central technology organization consisting of about 300 employees. His responsibilities included the development of the core technology portfolio for Conexant, including semiconductor processes, packaging, design automation, and intellectual property reuse.

From 1988 to 1997, he was vice president of engineering and co-founder of the Analog Division of Cadence. In this role, he was instrumental in building this new division from conception to an organization of 100 electrical and software engineers. He was responsible for the R&D and operational support of some of Cadence’s most unique and lucrative products.

Spoto started his engineering career with six years as an analog circuit designer and later became director of CAD at Harris Semiconductor (now Intersil). He graduated from the University of Florida with bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering.  Spoto is on the Engineering Advisory Boards of the University of Florida and UC Irvine. He is also a member of IEEE and Tau Beta Pi.

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