About the Chairman
Roger Strauch is Chairman of The Roda Group, a seed stage venture capital group, based in Berkeley, California. His firm, co-founded in 1997 with Dan Miller, provides entrepreneurs the resources, environment, and guidance to launch and grow their high technology businesses.
Mr. Strauch is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cool Systems, the manufacturer of Game Ready, a medical physical therapy system.
The Roda Group is the largest investor in Solazyme, a renewable oil and bioproducts company and the leader in algal biotechnology. The Roda Group led or co-led every round of the company’s financings. In 2011 Solazyme set an industrial biotech funds raising record of $227M when they priced their IPO.
He was the first CEO and former chairman of Ask Jeeves (now Ask.com) a leading search engine on the web. Mr. Strauch was a board member and former CEO of Symmetricom, a public telecommunications equipment manufacturer. In 1983 he co-founded TCSI Corp., a telecom software company. As TCSI’s chairman and CEO, Mr. Strauch led the company from a start-up to a successful IPO in 1991 and secondary public offering in 1996. Prior to TCSI, he was a communications system engineer and project manager for Hughes Aircraft's (now Boeing) Space and Communications Group.
Mr. Strauch is a member of the Engineering Dean's College Advisory Boards of Cornell University and University of California at Berkeley. He is the recipient of the 2002 Wheeler Oak Meritorious Award from the University of California at Berkeley. In 2006, Mr. Strauch and his wife Dr. Julie Kulhanjian were named and honored as "Builders of Berkeley". He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley and is on the Board of Trustees and is past President of the Berkeley Repertory Theater. Roger was the recipient of the 2010 Helen C. Barber Award from the Board of Trustees for a Trustee who serves the Berkeley Repertory Theatre with unique distinction. He is a Life Trustee of the Armenian Assembly of America.
Mr. Strauch is a member of the Madison Council, a philanthropic advisory board to the Librarian of Congress. He is also on the Board of Trustees of the Northside Center for Child Development, a mental health social services agency in Harlem, New York City. Rager is a member of Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies External Advisory Board.
Mr. Strauch endowed the Roger A. Strauch Chair in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and co-founded the William Saroyan Endowment for Armenian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. With Mr. Miller, he helped establish the Ask Jeeves Planetarium at the Chabot Space and Science Center and the Roda Theater at the Berkeley Repertory Theater, winner of the 1997 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre.
Mr. Strauch is the Chairman of the Paros Foundation which supports arts and education organizations in Armenia. Roger co-founded and was an owner of ICON Communications, a broadband ISP in Armenia utilitizing WiMax technology.
For forty years,
Roger has been a licensed amateur radio operator - he holds an extra class license. His current call sign is KD6UO and it was WA1KZE.
Mr. Strauch earned a Bachelor of Science degree, with distinction, from Cornell University and Master of Science degree from Stanford University, both in electrical engineering. He holds two patents in the area of wireless communications.