Santa Clara University

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

CIE Advisory Board Profile

Irwin Federman

Irwin Federman
General Partner
U.S. Venture Partners

Irwin Federman is a General Partner of U.S. Venture Partners, a 30-year old Silicon Valley early-stage venture capital firm.  Irwin began his career as a CPA, having been awarded the Forbes Gold Medal for attaining the highest grade in California on his CPA exam.  He worked in public accounting in New York and California, before becoming CFO of three successive startups, the last being Monolithic Memories (MMI).  When MMI went into what was perceived to be a terminal spiral, Irwin was named President.   The first non-engineer CEO in the semiconductor industry, he presided over a startling turnaround.  The Company prospered, went public in 1980 and in 1987 merged with AMD, of which Irwin became Vice Chairman.  

Irwin was also two-term Chairman of the U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association, has served on the Board of Directors of the National Venture Capital Association and served two terms on the Dean's Advisory Board of the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University.   He serves on the Boards of Directors of SanDisk, Inc., CheckPoint Software Technologies and Mellanox, Inc., in addition to several private companies. 

Irwin has received the Anti-Defamation League's Torch of Liberty Award, and the Brotherhood Award from the Silicon Valley Conference for Community and Justice.  In 2004, Irwin was inducted into Junior Achievement's Silicon Valley Hall of Fame. In 2008, he received the International Business Forum's Special Achievement Award.   He serves as a trustee of San Francisco Ballet.  Irwin received a B.S. in Economics from Brooklyn College, of which he is now a trustee, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering Science from Santa Clara University.

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