As a Managing Director with GE Ventures, the venture capital unit of General Electric, Ralph leads financial investments in innovative sensors, robotics, and data-com technologies for applications in factory automation, advanced manufacturing services, and digital health, in collaboration with GE's business units.
Before GE Ventures, Ralph was a General Partner of Battelle Ventures. In his 10 years at Battelle, he covered all aspects of investment, including deal sourcing, due-diligence, deal negotiation and transaction closing, Board of Director duties, startup company development, and financial exits. He successfully exited numerous investments: BioVigilant Systems (acquired by Azbil-Yamatake), Nistica (acquired by Fujikura), SafeView (acquired by L-3 Communications), Sypherlink (acquired by Saama Technologies), Hi-G-Tek (acquired by Eagle Technologies Private Equity Holdings). He serves on the Board of Directors for the following active companies: BlueFin Robotics, SeeByte, CosmosID, GridQuant, Rajant, and RemoteReality.
Before his career in venture, Ralph spent a decade at Bell Labs as a research scientist, engineer, and technology manager, focused on semiconductor microelectronics processing, photonics components and fiber-optics devices, advanced materials, and nanotechnology. He authored over 40 scientific publications and presentations, had his research featured in BusinessWeek and Fortune and was cited by MIT Technology Review as one of the top 100 technology innovators in the U.S.
In addition to R&D, Ralph worked on business development teams at Lucent, and after that worked at at GoldmanSachs and at JPMorgan.
Education, Personal, and Fellowship
Ralph gained his academic training from Princeton and MIT, earning a PhD in chemical and biological engineering and an MBA in corporate finance and strategic planning, respectively.
He holds 12 patents for innovations in semiconductor microelectronic devices, optical-fiber and photonics, fuel cells, flat panel displays, and nanotechnology systems. He was appointed a Robert Toigo Fellow in Finance & Technology Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan and was appointed a Price-Babson SEE Fellow in entrepreneurship education and university curriculum development.
Ralph remains active in higher education as a University adjunct professor and senior lecturer in engineering innovation management, entrepreneurship, and science/technology commercialization. He also serves as advisory board member or trustee for organizations including Lawrence Livermore National Labs and Princeton University Engineering; he works regularly with the National Science Foundation (NSF) on SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) and STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) programs.
Ralph Taylor-Smith is a member of Kauffman Fellows Class 9 and served his fellowship under mentor Dr. Mort Collins at Battelle Ventures in Princeton, New Jersey.