Mr. Walter Kortschak (MS '82)
Walter grew up in Geneva, Switzerland and is a dual citizen of Austria and the United States. He is an engineer, venture capitalist, executive chairman and chief investment officer of SignalFire and former managing partner of Summit Partners.
Walter has 36 years of experience as an investor from seed through growth stage. He started his VC career at the first seed venture capital firm (Crosspoint) in 1985 and then helped build one of the first growth private equity funds (Summit) in 1989. In 2013, he helped launch SignalFire as the first institutional data-driven seed fund tracking movements of technical talent across the globe.
Walter's passion is working with founders tackling ambitious technical challenges and growing their early-stage companies into disruptive enterprises. He has invested in more than 70 companies and helped more than 60 companies exit profitably for founders and investors alike. He was selected 6 times to the Forbes Midas List of top venture capital investors in the United States.
Walter received a BS from Oregon State University, an MS from Caltech, both in engineering, and an MBA from UCLA. He serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at Caltech and is a past director of the National Venture Capital Association.
Walter and his wife Marcia are active philanthropists having founded the Kortschak Scholars Program for PhD students in computer science at Caltech and the USC Kortschak Center for Learning and Creativity at the University of Southern California. They also endowed the Division Chair in Film and Television Production at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Standing Committees: Advancement and Institute Relations Committee