John Ryan, Chairman
John was born in Tipperary, Ireland and attended University College Galway where he studied Physics and Mathematics. During his time at university he developed a strong interest in electronics, particularly its application to the telecommunications field. On leaving university he worked as an electronics engineer, initially at RTE, the Irish television broadcasting authority and later at Yorkshire Television in England.
In 1974, John and his family moved to California’s Silicon Valley to engage his love of electronics in earnest. Initially he worked as a staff engineer in the television camera development group at International Video Corporation. In 1976 he moved to Ampex Corporation, then a world leader in broadcast television technology, where he eventually became head of development for television cameras.
In 1983, in the tradition of many Silicon Valley engineers, John left Ampex and co-founded a technology company, which he named Macrovision Corporation. At Macrovision, John invented a technology which eventually became the world standard for video copy protection, and which up to a few years ago was built into virtually every DVD player and cable/satellite decoder world-wide. Macrovision grew to become the world’s leading provider of technologies that protect video and software for rights owners. The company was floated on the NASDAQ in 1997. In 2007 Macrovision acquired Gemstar Corporation, then the leading provider of electronic program guides. This moved the company away from its traditional markets and in 2009 it re-branded itself as Rovi Corporation. Today Rovi employs about 1500 people. John served as Macrovision’s CEO from 1993 to 2001 and as chairman of its board of directors from 1993 until he retired in 2008.
John is the inventor of over sixty U.S. patents in the fields of video copy protection, video scrambling and television camera technology. In 1997, John was named Inventor of the Year by the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Lawyers’ Association.
Today, he is involved with several start-up companies in Silicon Valley and in Ireland as an investor, advisor or director. He is also a general partner in Silicon Valley Group Partners. He has a house near Kenmare in County Kerry where he spends a few months each year reconnecting with his roots and enjoying the ever-changing Irish weather.
Conor MacCormack, Director
As former site manager for a 5th Framework European project with Airbus and principal investigator with SPS Technologies in the US in the aerospace sector, the company CEO, Dr. MacCormack has a blend of general management and project management experience and, with a PhD in mechanical engineering, has in-depth experience in the CAD/3D printing field. He has worked as a consultant with companies such as Boston Scientific, ABS Pumps, Aisle Master, Mantis Cranes, Tanco Autowrap, Keenan Systems and Dromone Engineering. Conor has been CEO of Mcor Technologies since 2007, and in that time the company has ran a very lean operation, winning two national competitions, launched a world beating product and generated worldwide demand.
Tom Clay, Director
Tom joined Xtalic as CEO in March of 2008. Prior to joining Xtalic Tom spent 10 years growing another successful MIT start up, Z Corporation, from early commercialization phase through to market leadership in the 3D printing space. Tom served Z Corporation as President, CEO and board member. Tom is a former Airborne Ranger and led reconnaissance teams while stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Tom holds a BA from Princeton University in Mathematics and an MBA with high distinction (Baker Scholar) from the Harvard Business School.
Joerg Sperling, Director
Joerg or “George” leads Alpina Partners, a London and Munich based investment firm, and is responsible for overall operations at the company.
Before joining Alpina Partners, Jörg was a venture partner with Munich based private equity firm, Target Partners, and prior to that a partner at the US-based power and energy fund manager, Ridgewood Capital. Previously he ran the Silicon Valley office for Infineon Ventures.
Jörg has worked for a number of semiconductor companies in Europe and the US, most recently as Global VP Sales for Dresden-based ZMD. His track record includes 28 investments and successful exits via NASDAQ IPOs and LSE listings, in addition to numerous trade sales.
Jörg has a masters in Electrical Engineering from RWTH Aachen. He worked as a researcher in the field of semiconductors at the Technion in Israel and at AT&T Bell Laboratories in the USA.