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Kurt Beyer

Lecturer (Continuing), Haas School of Business

headshot of Kurt Beyer

Dr. Kurt Beyer is a faculty member of UC Berkeley’s Haas Business School and faculty director for the Haas Executive Program. Kurt teaches Cal’s prestigious Entrepreneurship Program to MBAs, undergrads, and graduate students. The program produces multiple promising startups each year including recent successes Pokemon Go Niantic, Lime, Freewire, Catena Bioscience, Traveling Spoon, and Plushcare. Former students hold prominent positions at successful startups throughout the Bay Area. Kurt is also the founder and General Partner of the Cal Innovation Fund ( CIF is a $25 million dollar Series A+ Venture Capital Fund that gives 50% of GP return back the UC Berkeley Entrepreneurship. Investments include Kyte, SixMap Cyber Security, Sequin, and Engage Biotech.  Prior to CIF Kurt was a principal and part owner of Parallel Advisors where he advised executives at a variety of successful public and private Bay Area companies including Yelp, AirBNB, Facebook, and Google. Parallel actively manages $6 billion in assets. 

Prior to joining Berkeley and Parallel Advisors Kurt was a faculty member at the United States Naval Academy and founder of Riptopia Digital Media where he served as CEO for 6 years. During the 1990s Kurt flew F-14 Tomcats and was assigned to a fighter squadron at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach. Injury cut his naval career short, and Kurt was honorably discharged, receiving a Navy Commendation Medal and National Defense Service Medal.

Kurt is the author of Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age, published by MIT Press in 2010, which highlights the rise of the Digital Age through the amazing career of Grace Hopper, the woman responsible for the development of computer programming. The book was in the Top 10 Science/Technology books for 2010/2011 and turned into a documentary by ESPN 30 for 30 in 2015. The book will also be the basis for a big screen bio-pic by Casey Affleck/John Middleton Productions in conjunction with Google

Kurt earned his BS in engineering and history from the U.S. Naval Academy where he served as Brigade Commander senior year and played baseball for Annapolis. He received an MA in economics and philosophy from Oxford University and rowed and played basketball for Oxford. In 2002 he completed his PhD in the history of science and technology and economic history from the University of California, Berkeley. Born and raised by an immigrant working class family on Long Island, Kurt now makes his home in Marin County with his wife Johanna and two sons Charlie and Gus. 

Papers, Articles and Publications

Awards & Honors
  • Graduation Commencement Speaker, CDTM Technische Universitaet Munich 2016
  • ESPN 30 for 30 Documentary Grace Hopper 2015 
  • Keynote Speaker Berkeley Haas Homecoming 2014 
  • NPR Special on Grace Hopper 2010
  • Grace Hopper top ten science and technology book of 2009/2010, Booklist
  • Google Author Series, 2010
  • Computer History Museum Soundbytes Keynote Speaker, 2010
  • Naval Postgraduate School MOVES Keynote Speaker, 2010
  • USAA Nexus for IT Distinguished Speaker Series, 2010
  • Evening Keynote Speaker Commonwealth Club/NPR, 2010
  • Keynote Speaker ICCA National Conference, 2009
  • Nominated for Annapolis award naming best new faculty teacher
  • Navy Commendation Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal
Academic Background
  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley, History of Science and Technology, emphasis: Technical Innovation
  • MA, Oxford University, Economics and Philosophy
  • BA, United States Naval Academy (Annapolis), Engineering/History