Newton Lecture Series: 2014 Spring

A. Richard Newton Distinguished Innovator Lecture Series

This lecture series recognizes the entrepreneurial vision of A. Richard Newton, Dean of UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering from 2000 to 2007, by inviting distinguished innovators to share lessons from their own successes and failures. Hosted by the Pantas and Ting Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology, the lectures take place at UC Berkeley on Tuesday evenings, 5pm - 6:30pm in Sibley Auditorium/Bechtel Hall. Syllabus and course information available on bcourses. CLICK HERE to see the past speakers from previous semesters.


Bobby Yazdani

Bobby Yazani

Cal grad, successful entrepreneur and angel investor.  In 1997, Mr. Yazdani founded Saba Software – a company that pioneered multi domain learning management systems. He took the company public in 2000 and it now boasts more than 23 million users in across 150 countries. For the past 25 years, Mr. Yazdani has also been an active supporter of startups. He introduces the founder of one of the companies he collaborates with as an early investor, Soulaiman Itani, founder and CEO of Atheer Labs.

Soulaiman Itani

Soulaiman Itani

Mr. Itani, who did his post doc work at Cal, speaks to Atheer Labs’ latest technology ready to be introduced to the market in the coming months.


Bill Ruh

Vice President and Corporate Officer for GE Global Software is responsible for setting and leading GE’s software services and solutions portfolio strategy, development and operations.  He has more than 25 years of industry experience and has held senior positions at Cisco, IBM, Concept Five Technologies, Inc. and Software AG, Inc.  He is an expert and frequent speaker on enterprise application integration and object oriented technology.

Holly Liu

Holly Liu

Cofounder and Chief of Staff  for Kabam.  Kabam is the leader in free-to-play core games and Holly led the design for one of Kabam’s most profitable franchises – Kingdoms of Camelot.  She is a a Cal grad who has been featured in both Forbes and Fortune as one the top women entrepreneurs in gaming.  `


Steven Sinofsky

Boardpartner Andreessen Horowitz (A16z), advisor to and former President of Microsoft, Windows.  At Microsoft, Mr. Sinofsky oversaw Microsoft Windows and HP development.


Heather Franzese

Director of Good World Solutions shares insights about her work at the intersection of technology and social entrepreneurship.  Good World’s mobile product, Labor Link has helped tens of thousands of laborers in dozens of countries and the impact continues to grow.


Charles Fan

SVP, VMware leading global R&D.  He is also co-founder of Rainfinity, later acquired by EMC. He went to work for EMC, opening their EMC China Center of Excellence. Charles is an expert in distributed systems and network storage technologies and shares his insights on working in companies Small to Big.



Greg Horowitt

Co-author of the award winning book, The Rainforest – The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley, cofounder and Managing Director of T2 Capital and cofounder of Global CONNECT, a think tank based at the University of California, San Diego.