My American Dream Program – Engineer to CEO to Professor

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See New Posts: 1. Thoughts on Failure    2 New Path to Business/Enterprise Creation Part 1           3. Economic views of the Entrepreneurial Activity                  

I have had the benefit of 35 years of business experience in the high tech world of Silicon Valley working with significant companies and ultimately deciding on an entrepreneurial path starting several startup companies. My engineering education centered in the telecommunications space where I ended up spending most of my career. I  built a network of colleagues, mentors and advisers all who were supporters of the technology growth companies. My connections included Angel and Venture Capital investors, experts in design engineering, operations and manufacturing, IP and corporate formation attorneys, and many other helpers.

My startup businesses were global in nature. I learned what it meant to have a diverse team of employees and where and how to utilize the manufacturing and engineering strengths of companies around the world. My most sScreen Shot 2014-05-10 at 9.39.49 PMuccessful startup was Teledex Corporation who became a leading communications company in the hotel industry. My team, with the support of an angel investor, reached a major milestone of producing annual revenues of nearly $40 million. We sold the company in 1999 to a significant investment banking company.

I continued working with several communications companies where I was able to introduce several of them to the world of niche marketing in the hotel space launching new lines of communications products.

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In my new career, I moved from the corporate world into the world of teaching at the collegiate level where I had the chance to share my knowledge and experiences from my business career.Without teaching experience and credentials, I went back to school and picked up a doctoral degree in leadership and organizational behavior. As luck would have it, I was introduced to the University of California Berkeley though a friend and found a teaching position in the Center of Entrepreneurship and Technology, pretty much right in alignment with my teaching dream. I have been teaching leadership classes for a number of years at UC Berkeley and also landed a teaching role with Santa Clara University in their graduate engineering  program focussing on engineering management classes. Many of my colleagues have spend time in my Berkeley classes as guest lectures sharing their wisdom and experiences.

img15_SealPres_3 I am eager to work with all different types of startup companies and to support the teaching needs of entrepreneurship and customer discovery at the university level. I am also advising several small companies looking for a growth path and funding opportunities. My network of experts has a great deal of value in this space.

Today I also work with the National Science Foundation teaching small academic research teams how to take their ideas from the laboratory into commercial reality. This work along with my teaching has broadened my abilities to work with startup and small companies from a wide variety of disciplines. The art of building a company has many similar components across all different types of companies and technologies. I am also fortunate to be providing some hands on consulting work for small and medium sized companies seeking to scale their efforts into larger companies.

I look forward to getting to know you and to determine how I might be able to support your effort.

Ron Lesniak