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Bob Metcalfe Joins RFID Investor Seminar

The inventor of Ethernet, now a partner with Polaris Ventures, will moderate two panel discussions at RFID Journal LIVE! 2005.
By Ari Juels
Mar 08, 2005Bob Metcalfe, the legendary Internet pioneer, has joined the "Investing in RFID" preconference seminar that will be held on Apr. 10, as part of RFID Journal LIVE! 2005, RFID Journal's third annual executive conference. Metcalfe will host two panels on the current RFID startup landscape and on RFID in 2010.

Metcalfe helped build the early Internet. In 1973, while working as a scientist-engineer at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, he invented Ethernet, the local-area networking standard on which he shares four patents.

Bob Metcalfe
In 1979, Metcalfe founded network-equipment maker 3Com Corp. At various times, he was the firm’s chairman, CEO, division general manager, and vice president of engineering, sales and marketing. He helped build 3Com into a billion-dollar company. In January 2001, he joined Polaris Ventures, a venture capital firm, as general partner in the firm's Boston office.

Metcalfe will receive the National Medal of Technology from President Bush during a White House ceremony on Mar. 14. He was selected for the award for inventing, standardizing and commercializing Ethernet, which is the "plumbing" for the Internet and foundation for the World Wide Web.

"The Startup Landscape" panel features Jeff Evanson, a senior research analyst in the equity capital markets unit of Dougherty & Co., Dave Shrigley, a partner in Sevin Rosen Funds; and Edward Schneider, a director at Quan Ventures. The panel will discuss the most successful RFID startups today, why they have succeeded thus far and what their market position and potential is going forward.

The "RFID in 2010" panel includes Daniel Engels, research director of the MIT Auto-ID Labs; Nobel Laureate Arno Penzias, a venture partner with New Enterprise Associates; and Sanjay E. Sarma, chief technology officer at OATSystems and cofounder of the Auto-ID Center at MIT. The panelists will discuss what they believe will be the most promising new RFID product areas over the next five years and when the market for RFID software, middleware and other products will take off, and they will provide guidance for investors based on current RFID adoption patterns and the evolution of the technology.

The “Investing in RFID” preconference seminar begins with a session on RFID basics, for those new to the technology, and a session on the business benefits of the technology. Other panel sessions will examine the position of startups versus incumbents in the market, startup strategies and new RFID-driven business models.

Among the other participants in the “Investing in RFID” preconference seminar are Reik Read, senior research analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co.; Rick Segal, a partner with J. L. Albright Venture Partners; Mike Hirsland, a general partner with Polaris Ventures; Brian Ascher, a senior principal with Venrock Associates; Terry Rock, a general partner with CenterPoint Ventures; Stav Prodromou, CEO of Alien Technology; and Piyush Sodha, general manager and VP for RFID at Symbol Technologies.

Other preconference seminars being held as part of RFID Journal LIVE! 2005 include:

RFID Journal University: A tutorial designed for those relatively new to RFID who, before participating in the main conference, want to understand the terminology and how RFID systems work.

The EPC Developers Conference: Copresented with VeriSign, this a one-day conference for in-house developers and independent software vendors focuses on creating applications that turn the evolutionary technologies of EPC and RFID into practical, real-world solutions for inventory, asset and supply chain management solutions.

RFID in the Health Care Industry: This seminar will look at tracking pallets, cases and unique items in the health care and pharmaceutical industry supply chains. Speakers will address the special deployment challenges faced by companies in these industries.

Packaging and Printing: This seminar explores the changes that are in store for the packaging and printing industries. Speakers will address the specific issues that packaging and printing companies need to understand to meet the challenges of embedding RFID tags in packaging.

RFID in Commercial Aviation: Presented in conjunction with Boeing and Airbus, this seminar explains the RFID guidelines the two manufacturers have established for suppliers, examines the business case for the use of RFID in the aviation industry and provides a roadmap for RFID implementation.

Intellectual Property and RFID: Hosted by the Intellectual Property Society, this seminar explores critical intellectual property issues that companies selling, deploying and investing in RFID technologies face today.
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