Norman Winarsky is an advisor to SRI Ventures, a group he led from 2001 to 2015 first as vice president, and then as president. He has been responsible for creating some of SRI's highest-value venture opportunities.
Winarsky is a founder of SRI's venture process, which includes venture and license incubation, seed funding, an entrepreneur-in-residence program, and the nVention venture capital forum. Winarsky was co-founder and board member of Siri, which spun out from SRI in January 2008 and was acquired by Apple in 2010. He also served on the boards of SRI spin-off companies Desti (acquired by Nokia) and Tempo AI (acquired by Salesforce).
Winarsky helped found more than 30 ventures in areas ranging from artificial intelligence, natural language, and computer vision to medical devices, robotics, and nanotechnology. He has published approximately 50 papers, and holds three patents, with several pending. His particular focus is on natural language, computer vision, and artificial intelligence technologies (Related: "A Technology Innovator's Mobile Move," The New York Times, 6/27/10). With Henry Kressel (a partner at Warburg Pincus), Winarsky has co-authored If You Really Want to Change the World: A Guide to Creating, Building, and Sustaining Breakthrough Ventures, which will be published in October 2015 by Harvard Business Review Press.
His specialty areas include development of ventures and licensing opportunities from concept through market development, team building, seed funding, identification of investors, and launch.
Winarsky was a visiting scholar at Stanford University, chairman of the University of Chicago's Visiting Committee to the Division of the Physical Sciences, and a member of the National Academy's Committee on Forecasting Future Disruptive Technologies. He was also a National Science Foundation Fellow, an invited member of the mathematics department of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and an assistant professor at University at Albany, State University of New York.
In 2011, Winarsky received the University of Chicago's Alumni Service Award. In 2000, he and his team at Sarnoff Corporation (formerly RCA Laboratories, now part of SRI) received an Emmy Award® for outstanding achievement in technological advancement. He also received RCA's highest honor, the Sarnoff Award.
He graduated with a B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Chicago, and was awarded summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa honors. He was also awarded the Paul J. Cohen Award for the outstanding student in mathematics.