Earl D. Sacerdoti


The Copernican Group

   1996-present, 1988-1993  Principal Consultant

Provide management and technical consulting services to early-stage businesses that offer software products, applications, and internet-based services. Identify and assess business opportunities, create effective, fundable business plans, set development plans, recruit staff, conceive initial products, manage product development and product marketing, negotiate distribution agreements, and mentor executive staff. Executive Associate with San Jose Software Business Cluster, Executive Advisor with Women's Technology Cluster. Advisor or board member with several startups, helping create several hundred million dollars in market value. Expert witness and consultant in software patent and contract cases. Speaker and writer on practical use of advanced software technologies.


Apple Computer, Inc.

   1994-1995;    Manager, Apple Systems Architecture

Established group, reporting to Chief Scientist, to coordinate technology developments across business units. Developed technology roadmap. Led AppleSoft Architecture Council. Executed special projects for CEO's Product Strategy Council, including work on market and technical strategies for enterprise computing, client-server architecture for K-12 schools, and the Internet.


Tolfa Corporation

   1992-1993;    Chief Operating Officer

Managed sales, marketing, research and development, and manufacturing for medical device company. Set marketing, financing, regulatory, and technical strategies, raised $2 million in financing. Developed and executed sales plans, negotiated with creditors, implemented FDA-mandated Good Manufacturing Practices.


Teknowledge, Inc.

   1987;    Vice President, Corporate Development

Only full-time member of merger and acquisition team. Articulated strategic goals of m&a program, identified and screened candidate firms in the software industry, participated in due diligence process. Identified externally developed products for licensing or acquisition.

   1985-1986;    General Manager, Products and Training

Bottom-line responsibility for operating unit. Brought revenues from software products and training courses from approximately $2.5 million to over $4 million in 15 months. This level of sales enabled IPO as a software products company, raising over $30 million. Established regional sales force. Established marketing or distribution arrangements with five major hardware vendors. Set product strategy emphasizing integration with conventional computing over AI pizzazz.

   1983-1984    Chief Technical Officer

Managed 50-person engineering group developing products and turnkey systems. Accelerated product release to 7 months from original 20-month plan. Established management controls making custom development highly profitable.


SoftTouch Systems

   1985-1988;    Vice President, Marketing

Set niche strategy for computer training organization operated by spouse. Set pricing, developed sales literature. Established financial projection and tracking system.


International Machine Intelligence Corporation

   1982-1983;    President

Established joint venture with Machine Intelligence Corp. (MI) and Yaskawa Electric (now Japan's largest robot manufacturer). Defined business and product strategies, supervised product development, recruited robot sales and marketing team. Frequent interaction with Japanese parent. Reduced to a shell upon change in direction of MI.


Machine Intelligence Corporation

   1983;         Vice President, Engineering
   1978-1982;    Director, Research and Development

Co-founded MI; developed business plan and raised funds with core team. Managed both systems & product engineering and research & development. Built product development activities in machine vision and English-language data retrieval. Released first general industrial vision system, and first vision-guided robot. Spun data-retrieval activity out as Symantec, Inc., today a leading software publisher.


SRI International

   1976-1979;    Associate Center Director
   1972-1975;    Research Mathematician

Managed and performed research at Artificial Intelligence Center. Pioneered "modern problem solving." Developed, marketed and participated in research programs in automated and interactive problem-solving, natural-language interaction with data bases, distributed robotics, and programming languages.

Other Startup Experience

In addition to the organizations above, founded or served as active investor or board member with Professional Software (software products), Microbot (robotics), Software Partners (software products and services; evolved into OnSale, which merged with Egghead Software), AITech International (PC-video ICs and consumer products), CPM (management consulting), Interval Logic (software products and services for semiconductor manufacturing; was acquired by PRI Automation), Portola Dimensional Systems (data visualization software products), Decise (automated web site measurement services), and IDO Systems (infrastructure for creative 3D game and community sites).


B.A. (1969), Yale College, Psychology
M.S. (1972), Ph.D. (1975), Stanford University, Computer Science
Stanford-AEA Executive Education Program (1983)


Author of book and over 20 papers and articles on wide range of advanced software topics. Inventor of three US patents: 6,188,403, 6,222,540, and 6,954,728, and co-inventor of two others in the application process. Co-founder of American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). Former member of editorial boards of Cognitive Science, Robotics World, and AI Expert, Conference Chair for AIPS-96 (an international conference on automatic planning). Former member of Steering Committee of DECUS AI Special Interest Group, and program committees of numerous AAAI and IEEE conferences on both computer science research and applications. Presenter of 7 invited conference talks and 4 conference tutorials, frequent speaker for such groups as DPMA, DECUS, GUIDE, and SME on technical, management and business issues concerning AI, expert systems, and technology transfer.

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