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Steve Walker - CEO Cobaltix

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When Did I Study My Degree?

I got my bachelors at UC Berkeley in 1990.  Although my degree was in History, I became a network engineer with a focus on security because I simply said yes when people asked me to figure something out.  I started my first real company in 2003.  I’ve greatly enjoyed my time guest lecturing at UL over the past few years.

Where Do I Work Now?

I own four technology companies in the US (Cobaltix, Manage Labs, SA935, and Cobaltix Compliance), and one in Ireland (Treehouse).

What Does A Typical Day Look Like For Me?

I spend the first 35 hours a week on Manage Labs.  It is a startup doing a SaaS product to help managers manage.  I’ve funded the first $1m myself, and just got a commit for another $1.5m which should get us through profitability.  It is a startup, so I do whatever needs to be done (sales, marketing, product management, finance, fund raising, recruiting, being the guy that gets donuts and coffee).  I also spend about 20 hours a week overseeing the other four companies.  It has been more than a decade since I did real technical work, but I still try to stay current.  I have to say, I am having a lot of fun right now.

What's My Favorite UL Memory?

I would have to say my first experience at UL was my favorite.  I was supposed to be meeting Professor John Nelson, but instead he introduced me to Chris Kelly.  Within minutes, I knew this 19-year-old kid would do great things, and I would help him.  Three months later, he was at Cobaltix through our Fellowship.  He has since gone on to found a highly profitable company, win awards for having cool products, raise venture funding, and hire multiple UL students.  His company makes very cool stuff.

Why Should You Consider Studying Electronic And Computer Engineering At UL?

If you have a mind for technology, you should not consider anything else. We recruit students from all over the world for our internships and fellowships in San Francisco, typically taking well under 1% of all applicants. UL ECE students have made up over 20% of the students we’ve chosen in the past 2 years. It is one of the best technical programs in the world. ECE has excellent classes and prepares students very well for the most challenging work environments.