Michael Ballard is an Executive Advisory Board Member with About The Kids Foundation. A proud father of 2 accomplished adult daughters, Michael has spent over forty years involved exclusively in high tech computer and telecom, food and wine and medical device startup ventures. PacketCable, Packet Technologies, Telebit, Stratacom, Metricom/Ricochet, UUNet, Cisco, Sunrise, FoodSwing, and Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards are among a list of companies that Michael has founded, assisted in developing and/or found exits for. He is currently leading ALeyeGN Technologies LLC, an ophthalmic, surgical-laser device startup. ALeyeGN is developing new treatments for Glaucoma and other chronic, degenerative retinal disorders such as Diabetic Retinopathy and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
Considered a renaissance man, Michael has seen success in a range of fields which have resulted in a deep understanding of business processes, entrepreneurial stages, disruptive technologies and the patient management of the creative process. “You can’t schedule invention” is the mantra he manages by.
Beginning in 1979, Michael worked closely with Silicon Valley pioneer Paul Baron, who in the mid-sixties, was the individual credited with the invention of “packet switching” while working for the Rand Corporation on Second-Strike capabilities for the United States Air Force. This telecommunication revolutionizing technology formed the basis of what would become the ARPAnet, which would shortly morph into the Internet as we know it today. Email, the original “killer app” began at Bell Labs and Berkeley in the form of the Unix to Unix Copy Program (UUCP) email program. UUNet was positioned as the first commercial email service, spawned with funding from the USENIX – The Advanced Computing Systems Association. UUNET was then serendipitously positioned to evolve into the first ever TCP/IP commercial service provider. They built AOL’s and Microsoft’s dial-up networks, the commercial Internet was well underway. The rest is Internet history.
Today, in addition to running ALeyeGN, Michael lives in Saratoga, California with his wife Kellie, at Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards, the 127-year-old Santa Cruz Mountain’s, award winning Pinot Noir producer. The Renaissance goes on…