Naeem Zafar is tech entrepreneur in Silicon Valley who has led five companies as the CEO, has raised over $100M in venture capital and been involved with dozens of startups as an investor, board member or an advisor. He has been teaching entrepreneurship and innovation for over 15 years.
Naeem has been teaching entrepreneurship at the University of California Berkeley since 2007 (first at Berkeley-Haas and now at the College of Engineering and department of Sociology). He is also a Professor of the Practice at Northeastern University (D’Amore McKim School of Business) in its San Francisco campus. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and advises entrepreneurs all over the world.
Naeem founded and led TeleSense, an IoT company creating real-time wireless sensing and predictive analytics solutions for the stored grain industry. TeleSense was acquired by UPL (a food sustainability company with revenue exceeding $6b) in 2022.
Naeem has been advisor to and invested in over 20 companies (recent exits include Luminar (IPO in 2020) and Electriphi acquired by Ford in 2021)
After graduating from Brown University with a degree in electrical engineering, Naeem designed chips and electronic systems at Honeywell before starting XCAT, a hardware accelerator company in 1985. Naeem moved to Silicon Valley in 1988 to join Quickturn Design Systems and designed the world’s first emulation system for chip design verification, which had an IPO in 1994 and was acquired by Cadence in 1999. Naeem spent 10 years in various marketing roles before becoming CEO at Veridicom, a pioneer in silicon fingerprint sensors (eventually acquired by Apple). After two more CEO roles at EDA companies, Naeem co-founded Bitzer Mobile and served as the CEO of this enterprise security company that was acquired by Oracle.
Naeem has authored five books on entrepreneurship. He has a graduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota after receiving his Sc.B. degree in EE from Brown University.