Ed Zschau, Co-founder & Chairman of the Board
Dr. Zschau (pronounced like the first syllable of "shower") is a Visiting Lecturer with the rank of Professor at Princeton University in the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Operations Research and Financial Engineering and in the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education. After serving as a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Harvard Business School in the 1960s, Dr. Zschau was the founder and CEO of System Industries, a Silicon Valley computer products company, from 1968 to 1982. He served as a director and Chairman of the American Electronics Association in the 1970s and as a U.S. Congressman representing the Silicon Valley area for two terms in the 1980s. In 1987, Dr. Zschau became a General Partner of Brentwood Associates, a California-based venture capital firm, and in 1988 he left to serve as CEO of Censtor Corporation, one of Brentwood’s portfolio companies, until 1993, when he became the General Manager of the IBM Storage Systems Division. Dr. Zschau was a Professor of Management at Harvard Business School, teaching entrepreneurial management courses from 1997 to 2000, while also on the Princeton faculty. Dr. Zschau is the Founding Chairman, Emeritus, and a member of the National Advisory Board of the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California, is on the Board of Scholars of the ACCF Center for Policy Research in Washington, DC, and is a Fellow of the California Council on Science and Technology. Currently, he is Chairman of Princeton Power Systems, Inc. and StarTek, Inc. (NYSE), and a director and investor in several other private technology companies. Dr. Zschau received an A.B. degree from Princeton University, MBA, M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University, and a Doctor of Laws degree (honoris causa) from University of San Francisco.
Philippe Inagaki, Co-founder, CEO & Board Member
Prior to founding Polyera, Mr. Inagaki worked in operations and business development roles at high-tech start-ups in various fields, including biomaterials and embedded electronics. He has also led technology scouting and investment efforts in universities across the U.S., and has given guest lectures on Entrepreneuership at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management. Mr. Inagaki holds an A.B. in Physics magna cum laude and received the Allen Goodrich Shenstone Prize for excellence in research from Princeton University.
Pierre P. Barthélemy, Board Member
Dr. Barthélemy leads development efforts in Organic Electronics as Senior Vice President, Global Business Development at Solvay. He obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Liège, Belgium in 1987, working on lanthanide coordination chemistry. After one year of postdoctoral studies at Florida State University, he joined Solvay in 1988. He worked for several years in the field of fluorocarbons until he became the Technical Service Manager for Solvay Fluor und Derivate GmbH, Hannover, Germany in 1996. In 2000 he moved back to Belgium to join Peptisyntha SA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Solvay, and was the Managing Director of Peptisyntha SA. In 2008 he moved to his current position at Solvay. Dr. Barthélemy is a member of the Board of Plextronics, Inc., and of the Organic Electronics Association (OE-A).
William J. White, Board Member
Mr. White has been a Professor at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science since January 1998. He received Northwestern Alumni Association’s Teaching Excellence Award In 2004. He was named McCormick teacher of the year in 2001. Associated Student Government named him to the Faculty Honor Role in 2000, 2005 and 2008. Prior to Northwestern he served as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Bell & Howell Company from 1990. Previously he served as Chairman of Whitestar Graphics, Inc., an Executive Vice President and Director of USG Corporation, and President of Masonite Corporation. His latest book “From Day One: CEO Advice to Launch an Extraordinary Career” was released in November 2005. He is a sought-after speaker and frequent guest on TV and radio shows. Currently, Mr. White is a member of the Board of Directors of Intermatic Incorporated, and has served on the Boards of nine public companies and several start-ups, including The Reader’s Digest Assoc., Harris Bank, USG Corporation, Ivex Packaging Corporation and TJI Inc., ForestOne, and NextPart. He also has served on the Boards of several non-profit organizations, including, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, the Field Museum, and the National Association of Corporate Directors. Mr. White is an Industrial Engineering graduate from Northwestern University and received his MBA from Harvard University.
Michael Li, Board Member
Mr. Li is a partner of Tsing Capital, focusing on renewable energy, new materials, energy efficiency, smart grid, sustainable agriculture and transportation. He brings more than 20 years of combined experience in venture capital, investment banking and technologies. Previously, Michael was a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KPCB) China, making investment in cleantech and social internet. Prior to that, he was a general partner of Pine Tree Equity and a principal at Shanghai NewMargin Ventures, focusing on hi-tech investments in software, telecom, internet and semiconductor at various stages. He has backed a number of successful IPOs and M&A. He is currently serving on multiple boards. Before his career in venture capital, Mr. Li worked for Lehman Brothers in New York. In earlier years of his career, He worked for Royal Bank of Canada and Bell Canada. Mr. Li received his BEng degree in Computer Science from Tsinghua University, China and MASc degree in Electronic Engineering from University of Waterloo, Canada. Mr. Li is a member of Tsinghua Entrepreneur and Executive Club (TEEC), a prominent organization founded by Tsinghua Alumni, which promotes technology innovations and entrepreneurship.
Jean Pfau, Co-founder & Board Observer
Mr. Pfau is a successful Swiss inventor, entrepreneur, executive, and angel investor. Mr. Pfau began his career as a researcher at Charmilles Technologies, where he pioneered the field of electro-erosion machinery and became Head of Research & Development. He was instrumental in establishing Charmilles as the world leader in this technology market and served as the company’s CEO during the 1970s and early 1980s. In 2002, he retired as the chairman of Swissquote, the Swiss market leader in on-line banking, which he guided from its founding in 1992 to its IPO in 2000. He has also participated in many other entrepreneurial technology ventures as an advisor, board member, or angel investor. These ventures covered a large spectrum of products, systems, and services based on innovations in the fields of precision mechanical engineering, electrical discharge, electrochemical machining, micro and nano-machining, electronics, computer controls, robotics, CAD-CAM systems, electron-beam and ion-beam material processing, thermoplastic processing, and RFID. During the 1970s and 1980s, Mr. Pfau served as a Member of the Council of the Swiss National Bank and as Vice President of the Swiss Machine Association. Mr. Pfau received a ‘License en physiques’ from the University of Geneva.
Pei Kang, Board Observer
Mr. Kang is currently a managing partner of Chengwei Capital, a venture capital investment firm that focuses on investing in companies in the greater China region. Mr. Kang has sat on the board of more than 20 companies in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Mr. Kang has over 30 years of experience in the hi-tech industry, including over 18 years of experience in various technical and management positions with IBM across Asian countries. Mr. Kang received a Bachelor of Science degree from Chinese Culture University, Taipei.