Recognized as "one of the top boys in his class" from this days at Milwaukee Country Day School, to his time as a technology pioneer in Silicon Valley, Dick Kramlich MCDS '53 has made an incredible impact throughout his academic and entrepreneurial career.
A visionary venture capitalist who has been involved with 10 companies that have grown from the start-up or near start-up stage to accrue market value in excess of $1 billion, Kramlich was recently inducted into the inaugural class of the Global Silicon Valley Hall of Fame in 2015."I consider myself an entrepreneur, not a financier," Kramlich said. "I always approach new opportunities with a 'we' mindset rather than a 'they' mindset."
Described as a "venture capitalist trailblazer", Kramlich's induction took place during the Pioneer Summit, an annual gathering of the world's foremost technology leaders, investors, and rising stars who are working together to build a stronger society.
A steward of countless highly profitable organizations, Kramlich has been involved with Juniper Networks, Ascend Communications, ImmuneX, Macromedia, Financial Engines, and Xoom, among many others. He was also a seed capital investor in Apple in 1977.
Kramlich currently serves as co-founder of New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA), a leading venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley, and is chairman of the NEA Management Company. He began is venture career in 1969 as a general partner with Arthur Rock and Co. following nine years in general and investment management.
"I don't accept failure. If something doesn't go your way, you need to pull it in a different category, perhaps you were aiming at the wrong target," Kramlich said. "Perseverance is one of the keys to success and the ability to address and overcome obstacles is critical."
Following his family's move to Milwaukee from Appleton to expand Krambo, the family-owned grocery chain, Kramlich entered Milwaukee Country Day School as a freshman in 1949 and excelled both inside and outside the classroom. He was a member of the student council and served as class president for his sophomore, junior, and senior years, and also as an athlete in football, basketball, and tennis.
He reflected most fondly on his time playing for legendary MCDS and USM football coach Ken Laird, who implored a young Kramlich to add weight. Working as a "pea pusher" at a factory in Waukesha over the summer, Kramlich took Laird's advice, developed as a student and an athlete, and was subsequently named Most Improved Player and second team all-conference during his senior year.
Following his distinguished career at MCDS, Kramlich earned a BS in History at Northwestern University and obtained his MBA from the Harvard Business School. He currently resides in San Francisco with his wife Pamela, and enjoy collecting art, hiking, traveling, swimming, playing tennis, and spending time with his four children and six grandchildren.