Partner, Sierra Ventures
Dr. Walker joined Sierra Ventures in 2007. From 2005-2007, he was CEO of BridgeLux, a venture-backed high power LED lighting company. In 2003, Dr. Walker founded YEBY Associates, a Silicon Valley-based consultancy specializing in the Solid State Lighting industry. He served as a Senior Advisor to the Chinese government's SSL program, pioneered Intematix's phosphor sales, raised BridgeLux's first venture round of financing, authored a number of market research reports for Strategies Unlimited, and chaired several global LED conferences. From 2001-2004, he was Managing Director-USA of Vincera Ventures, a US $150M venture capital fund based in Taiwan. He held a variety of sales and marketing positions at EMCORE Corporation (now Veeco MOCVD), a leading provider of MOCVD equipment to the LED and compound semiconductor industry, where he ramped sales in the Pacific Rim from $4M to >$100M during his 8 year tenure through 2001. Previously, he spent 10 years conducting high energy physics research, including several years working for the Japanese government. He is an author of the paper announcing the discovery of the "Top" quark, one of the fundamental particles of nature.
Born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, Robert received a triple major in math, physics and computer engineering from the UW-Madison in 1984. He received his Masters and then Ph.D. in Physics from Caltech in 1989. He speaks Japanese, along with some Chinese and Thai, has traveled extensively throughout the Pacific Rim region, and has been involved with the solid state lighting industry in Taiwan, Korea and China since its inception. He currently serves as a senior advisor to the Governing Committee on Solid State Lighting in PR China, and as a catalyst for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and MIT's Desphande Center.