Roger Strauch is chairman of The Roda Group, a seed stage venture capital group based in Berkeley, California. Co-founded in 1997 with Dan Miller, The Roda Group is currently focused on investment opportunities that address the consequences of climate change, increasing demand for low carbon energy, and stress on the Earth’s natural resources. They are lead investors in mOasis which has developed a polymer-based soil amendment that increases water and nutrient retention around the roots of plants, and in Inventys, which has developed a post-combustion CO2 capture technology for power plants.
The Roda Group is the lead investor in Solazyme (NASDAQ:SZYM), a renewable oil and bioproducts company and the leader in algal biotechnology. Biofuels Digest named Solazyme as the Hottest Bioenergy Company of the Year. The Roda Group has successfully incubated companies that were sold to Hewlett Packard, Logitech, and American Greetings.
Mr. Strauch was the first CEO and former chairman of Ask Jeeves (now Ask.com), a leading search engine on the web. He 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.
Mr. Strauch is a member of the Engineering Dean’s College Advisory Boards of the University of California at Berkeley and Cornell University. 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 an executive member of the Board of Trustees of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, a member of the Advisory Board to the Yale Institute of Biospheric Studies and 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.
Mr. Strauch endowed the Roger A. Strauch Chair in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, co-founded the William Saroyan Endowment for Armenian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and is the Chairman of the Paros Foundation, which supports arts and education organizations in Armenia.
Mr. Strauch hold two US patents in wireless communications and has earned engineering degrees from Cornell (BS) and Stanford (MS) Universities.