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Shafy Eltoukhy has more than 40 years of experience in semiconductor industry including ASIC, FPGA, Analog Mixed Signal, and Memory Technologies. He is currently the SVP of operations at Rapid Silicon. He was the CEO of OpenFive (a SiFive company), that was acquired by Alphawave Semi, managing P&L for 350+ employees BU responsible for developing custom chips, RISC-V core processor, and several connectivity IP’s including HBM and Chiplets IO’s , covering wide range of applications from embedded, AI, Networking to enterprise markets. Prior to joining SiFive he served as VP and BU manager of Analog Mixed Signal group at Microsemi (Acquired by Microchip) , responsible for three diverse product lines including power management, sensors, and high reliability and safety products for automotive, space, and defense markets. He was the VP of Operations and Technology Development at Open Silicon where he released to production over 300 ASIC and complex SoC products. He was the VP of Technology at Lightspeed Semiconductor and one of the founding team that invented structured ASIC technology with a goal to simplify ASIC design cycle and reduce the development cost. He was the Director of Technology Development at Actel Corporation (Acquired by Microsemi), where he joined the founding team and participated in the early development of two generations of FPGA products. Prior to that, he has held senior engineering positions at Intel Corporation and Fairchild Research Center.
Shafy holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada and M.Sc., B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Cairo University.
Dr. Naveed Sherwani is a well-known semiconductor industry veteran with over 35 years of entrepreneurial, engineering, and management experience. He is widely recognized as an innovator and leader in the field of design automation of ASICs and microprocessors. Naveed has founded or co-founded over fifteen silicon companies which collectively have a valuation of over $ 4.5B.
Throughout his illustrious career, Naveed has demonstrated remarkable fundraising acumen, securing over $1 billion across 15 funding rounds from prestigious venture capital firms. His leadership has earned accolades, with Naveed being recognized as the leader of the "Most Respected Private Semiconductor Company" an unprecedented five times by the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA), the premier semiconductor industry membership body. Currently, Naveed serves as the Chairman of GS Group, where he spearheads initiatives to drive the next wave of silicon innovation and facilitates growth strategies for semiconductor companies. Additionally, he holds an advisory role with the American Frontier Fund (AFF).
In recent years, Naveed has played a pivotal role in catalyzing the global adoption of the RISC-V architecture during his tenure as Chairman, President, and CEO of SiFive. Under his guidance, SiFive underwent remarkable growth, evolving from a 20-person startup valued at approximately $20 million to a global entity with over 500 employees and a valuation surpassing half a billion dollars. Notably, he co-founded a Federation comprising four other silicon companies (StarFive, SemiFive, LeapFive, and ChinaFive), each strategically focused to maximize the value creation and adoption of RISC-V. This Federation, under Naveed's leadership, raised over $350 million through eleven financing rounds, collectively reaching a valuation exceeding $1.3 billion.
In 2003, Naveed co-founded Open-Silicon, an innovative company that streamlined ASIC development processes and reduced ownership costs. With investments totaling $45 million from prominent VCs such as Sequoia, Norwest, and Interwest, Open-Silicon was successfully exited at $252 million in a sale to a private equity group.
From 1993 to 2003, Naveed held various positions at Intel, commencing with design technology and culminating in the role of General Manager of Intel Microelectronics, a division he co-founded. His tenure witnessed the implementation of Athena, a transformative system that greatly enhanced automation in microprocessor projects. Naveed was honored with the prestigious Intel Achievement Award.
He served as a professor at Western Michigan University from 1988 to 1993, where his research encompassed ASICs, EDA, combinatorics, graph algorithms, and parallel computing. He authored several books and over 100 articles on VLSI Physical Design Automation and ASICs. His seminal work includes the widely adopted textbook, "Algorithms for VLSI Physical Design Automation," a standard in graduate courses at leading universities worldwide. Naveed also authored over 125 technical articles on various aspects of VLSI physical design automation and ASICs, several of which received best paper awards. Naveed earned his PhD in computer engineering from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, focusing on the application of graph algorithms for chip design automation.
Marti McCurdy, CEO of Spirit Electronics, is a veteran not only of the semiconductor business but also a veteran of the United States Air Force. Marti’s career has been an entrepreneurial path that has driven her to start and run multiple companies. Marti acquired Spirit Electronics in September 2017, a distribution company serving military and space contractors. Marti’s focus as CEO at Spirit Electronics has grown Spirit into a manufacturing company with custom product design with exclusive access to closed foundry with advanced packaging and test as well as circuit card assembly and destruct physical analysis to deliver finished products to the industry. Marti has built Spirit into the number one value add, end to end turnkey solutions provider to the aerospace and defense industry for high reliability components in just five years. Featured in Forbes magazine, Marti is a coveted speaker presenting on radiation effects, electrical test and qualification as well as leading distribution channel of FPGA’s, ADC’s, DAC’s, memory and GaN. She exercises her engineering knowledge of space qualified flows and sophisticated testing to deliver space qualified components serving DOD and DOE prime contracts. Throughout her career as a business owner and past positions as VP, Marti’s goal is to bring her high standard of customer service and cultivated relationships to serve the aerospace sector she is so familiar with. Marti holds a current patent on a child car seat alarm and is a published author in ultrasonic applications.
Monty Ali is a serial entrepreneur who has experience in various sectors in Pakistan and the UK. His passion for innovation drives him to explore investment opportunities in the US Chips industry. Monty’s successful investments and strategic guidance have made him a trusted and sought-after investor.
With over 40 years of executive and engineering leadership experience, Zef has played a pivotal role in leading some of Silicon Valley's top OSAT companies. As the founder of STS, he established it as the nation's premier Test Lab, serving as a direct supplier for over two decades and providing critical Deep Space ASICs for the Department of Defense (DOD).
Throughout his career, Zef has held significant leadership roles at successful startups and eventual exits in the OSAT domain. In his current roles, Zef serves as the General Manager at Itest Inc., a cutting-edge test lab in Milpitas, providing development and deployment support to startup companies in the US and Europe. Currently, he enables ASICs, AASPs, and custom products for a range of commercial applications. Additionally, he holds the position of Vice President at Spirit Electronics, a leading OEM product and value-added distributor in the Military and Hi-Rel markets. Notably, Spirit Electronics has emerged as the nation's leading distributor in the prime full-service, value distributor, with a customer base that includes the DOD.
In the early 2000s, Zef founded Silicon Turnkey Solutions (STS) and served as its CEO. Under his leadership, STS became the top engineering and IC test lab in the USA and a premier supplier to Military and DOD Deep space programs. The lab delivered ASICs, digital, and mixed-signal components for every Deep Space Satellite launched by Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin for over three decades. Furthermore, it played a vital role in advanced design, validation, and qualification testing on various mixed-signal wafer processes, specializing in GAN, Sige, GaAs, and analog technologies. STS also developed specialty modules and packages for high reliability and deep space applications, known for its ability to accelerate time-to-market deployment on new IC designs and technologies. This venture achieved profitability since its early days and was successfully sold to a Private Equity firm in 2017.
During the early 2000s, Zef served as COO at Alpha Tec USA, overseeing high-volume IC assembly operations in California. The facility provided hermetic, Plastic, and FCP packages for Military and Hi-Rel markets and also served as a specialty automotive parts supplier to major domestic markets such as GM and Delphi.
Between 1994 and 2000, Zef founded IQL Labs, later known as ISE Labs, a semiconductor and reliability services test lab that serviced 90% of all semiconductor startups and IC manufacturing for the US markets. This lab played a pivotal role in facilitating the migration of subcontracting from the US to Taiwan when it was successfully sold to ASE in Taiwan.
Between 1991 and 1994, Zef held the position of Corporate Director, Reliability Engineering and Product Assurance, and Military Business Unit Director at LSI Logic Corporation, where he was at the forefront of introducing digital ASICs to the Military and High Reliability markets globally. Throughout his career, Zef has also held various roles at companies like Ferranti Inter Design, Precision Monolithic, AMI Systems, and others.
Zef holds a BS in Science and an MBA.
Ray Mahmood, a successful entrepreneur with Mahmood Investment Corporation, is a prominent figure in U.S.-Pakistan relations. While highly regarded among American political leaders, he's an "unofficial" ambassador, cherishing his U.S. citizenship. Known for his backroom diplomacy skills, Mahmood fosters interfaith relations and builds bridges between cultures, earning him an honorary Doctor of Business from The Catholic University of America for his contributions to diplomacy and understanding.