An Engineer's Discovery and Pursuit of his Passion

McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium

Winter Quarter 2014 Entrepreneurship Seminar Series

Featuring James P. Spoto

President and CEO

Sunrise Micro Devices, Inc.

Free and open to the public

Bio: James Spoto has over 30 years of executive and technical experience in the semiconductor and EDA industries at companies like Conexant, Rockwell, Harris and Cadence. In 2009, he co-founded Sunrise Micro Devices and served as President  & CEO until 2013. During his tenure as CEO, he was instrumental in the company’s successful growth, capturing multi-million dollar contracts from top-tier commercial semiconductor and government customers. He also presided over Sunrise’s recent closure of strategic partner investment.  Going forward, James will continue to advise the company in both business and technical matters.  From 2001 to 2007, James was president and CEO of Applied Wave Research where he led the company to profitability and sales growth from $7M to over $20M. At AWR, he concluded two highly valued funding rounds and a successful acquisition of a European EDA company. Before AWR, James served as Senior Vice President of Platform Technologies at Conexant Systems from 1997 to January 2001. 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. He was responsible for the R&D and operational support of some of Cadence’s most unique and lucrative custom IC EDA products. James started his engineering career with six years as an analog circuit designer and later became Director of CAD at Harris Semiconductor (now Intersil). James Graduated from the University of Florida with Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Electrical Engineering, James is on the Engineering Advisory Boards of the University of Florida and UC Irvine.


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