Bob Epstein is an entrepreneur and engineer with a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a co-founder of four information technology companies: Sybase, GetActive Software, Zight, and Britton-Lee. Bob currently splits his professional time between his roles as co-founder of Environmental Entrepreneurs, a Director at GetActiveSoftware, private investor; and Trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Bob’s community activities are focused on the environment, public education and opera.
Bob holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science, specializing in distributed database systems (with a minor in music). His early career was focused on the commercialization of databases and networking. From 1976-1979 he was the manager of the INGRES project at the University of California at Berkeley. From 1979 – 1984 Bob was vice president of development and principal architect for Britton-Lee, a developer of database machines. In 1984 he was a leading architect and proponent for client/server computing with the creation of Sybase and the development of SQL Server which eventually grew into a billion dollar business with the inclusion of middleware and development tools.
Recently, Bob has been focused on mobile and "wearable" computers and new businesses enabled by the Internet. In 1996, he co-founded Zight (previously named Colorado Microdisplay) which now delivers industry-leading micro-displays for entertainment and mobile computing as a division of 3-5 Systems. In 2000, Bob became a co-founder and seed investor in GetActive Software – a provider of membership relationship management software enabling membership based organizations (such as non-profits, labor unions, etc) to create active, on-line members.
Bob is a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the leading U.S. environmental organization. In June of 2000, he co-founded Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) with Nicole Lederer. E2 is a national community of professionals and business people who believe in protecting the environment while building economic prosperity. It serves as a champion on the economic side of good environmental policy by taking a reasoned, economically sound approach to environmental issues. Through active support of Natural Resources Defense Council, E2 works to influence state and national environmental policy.