Mar 09 2014
Monte Jade Tien’s Forum (Apr. 2014): My Life Journey as an Entrepreneur in Building up Companies in Silicon Valley for the Past 34 Years
- Event Date: Thursday, April 10, 2014
- Time: 6:30PM-9:00PM
- Speaker: Robert I. Chen (陳一之), Founder, President, CEO and Chairman of RAE Systems Inc.
- Location: ITRI International, 2870 Zanker Rd., Suite 140, San Jose, CA95134
- Contact Info: email@example.com
- Register: Link to Registration Page
- Please register in advance and pay on site
- Member & Student $10, Non-Member$20, extra $5 for site registration
- Light dinner, soft drink and water provided
Mr. Bob Chen will share his rich experiences as an entrepreneur building up companies in Silicon Valley. He personally lives through various surviving and growth stages in building up successful companies: Start up phase, Dealing with VCs, Acquisition by HP, IPO via Reverse Merger, formal secondary public equity offering to raise $40M in down market, partnering with PE firms to take the public company private, redirect the company’s focus on business fundamentals, after 18 months, select a perfect timing and carefully manage the bidding/ selling process to have the company acquired by Honeywell with great enterprise value.
Robert I. Chen (陳一之)
Robert (Bob) Chen co-founded RAE Systems in 1991 and served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer from its inception until its acquisition by Honeywell in June 2013.
Chen led the rapid growth of the Silicon Valley-based company, a global developer and manufacturer of rapidly-deployable, multi-sensor chemical and radiation detection monitors and networks, which surpassed $100 million in revenue by the end of 2011. Amongst other achievements, Chen successfully took the company public via a reverse merger in 2002 and led a secondary equity offering that raised $40 million cash for the business, enabling Chen to complete the company’s first acquisition in China. Within a few years after the September 11 attacks and subsequent passage of the US Homeland Security Act, RAE Systems had achieved a market cap close to $500 million and was honored as one of Silicon Valley’s fastest growing companies, receiving the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Award in 2006 and in 2007. After 10 years managing the company under US public company corporate governance requirements and becoming increasingly frustrated with the disproportional audit and compliance costs for smaller-sized companies, Chen worked with the RAE board to take the company private in 2011 via a merger with San Francisco-based private equity firm Vector Capital. As a private company, the company continued its double-digit organic YoY revenue growth and delivered strong EBITDA growth, reversing a negative trend.
Prior to founding RAE Systems, Chen founded Applied Optoelectronic Technology, a manufacturer of computer-aided test systems. He served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer from 1981 to 1991. In 1991, the company became a division within Hewlett Packard’s Instrumentation Organization after Chen sold the business to Hewlett Packard. Chen served as Division General Manager to manage the business integration for another 2 years until he left Hewlett Packard to pursue the business opportunity with RAE Systems.
Prior to founding Applied Optoelectronic Technology, Chen held various engineering and management positions at General Motors, General Electric, Tektronix and Fairchild Semiconductor.
Chen has founded and participated in various Silicon Valley business community activities. He recently served on the board of Monte Jade, a Silicon Valley High-Tech Professional Organization and continues to participate in its executive mentorship program to advise rising young professionals. He was one of the founding board members of AAMA (Asian American Manufacturers Association) and a former board member of CIE (Chinese Institute of Engineers). Chen also served as a member of the board of the Shanghai Ericsson Simtek Electronics Co., Ltd., a telecommunications and electronics company based in Shanghai. Chen received a B.S.E.E. from Taiwan National Cheng Kung University, an M.S.E.E. from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and an Advanced Engineering degree from Syracuse University. He also completed the Owner/President Management Program at the Harvard School of Business. He is married and has two children. He enjoys mentoring young professionals, photography and travelling.