Michael Lutz graduated with a BA in physics
from the University of California at
Berkeley and completed a PhD on the physics
of fluids (plasmas) at MIT. He worked as a
Senior Staff Physicist and Section Head at
the Hughes Research Labs in Malibu,
California where he headed a program to
develop a high voltage DC circuit
interrupter for DC power transmission lines.
He then transferred to the Lawrence
Livermore Labs and worked in the field of
laser isotope separation.
After 12 years in research, Michael chose
the Stanford Graduate School of Business for
his MBA degree, finishing in the top 10% of
his class (Miller Scholar). Within 2 years
of graduation, he decided to give high tech
entrepreneurship a try. With fellow MIT PhD
alum, GammaLink was founded, specializing in
data communications hardware and software.
The first product was an add-in board and
software for IBM PC compatible computers
which provided 9600 bps data transfer over
ordinary dial-up phone lines. These were
purchased in quantity by BMW of North
America and Toyota for their dealer
networks, allowing each dealer to
communicate to their HQ mainframe using
their newly purchased IBM PC.
The second product added a great deal of
software to allow an IBM compatible PC to
send and receive messages to/from fax
machines. This was the PC/FAX modem,
introduced in 1985. It was a revolutionary
breakthrough, enabling computer-based fax.
The product was “disruptive” in that
computer-based fax was a primary contributor
to the demise of Telex.
As CEO, Michael grew GammaLink profitably
and steadily and in 1994, GammaLink was
acquired by Dialogic Corp., allowing them to
offer voice and fax communications on one PC
add-in board. Dialogic was subsequently
acquired by Intel Corp. in 1999.
Living in San Diego, California, Michael was
very active in the Tech Coast Angels which
finances early stage high and bio tech
startups. Michael started and ran the
BioMedTrak which met every three weeks to
hear pitches from “biopreneurs” and many of
these deals were funded.
In 2004, Michael took over as CEO of
AwarePoint. The company had technology for
locating equipment inside buildings (imagine
GPS inside a structure). Michael turned the
company around and within a year and a half
had raised $4 million in venture capital.
Michael has a keen interest in disruptive
technologies and value innovation and
although he is now sailing on his catamaran
through SE Asia, he has found the time to
MT5880C during semester 2 of the