Michael S. Tomczyk 
Technology - Innovation - Education
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CAREER PROFILE:  MICHAEL S. TOMCZYK

 
 
 
I was going to post a Bio here but decided that's a bit stodgy and self-serving - so if you want to see my career profile, you can check out my Wharton Profile - or - my LinkedIn Profile - or - find me on Wikipedia.  Anyway, I thought it would be more fun to include some personal insights and observations - this is still self-serving, but hopefully not stodgy. 
 
My current interest is to expand my involvement in high value growth initiatives that involve innovation ecosystems, radical technologies and emerging applications.  I am actively engaged in working with our faculty and staff to keep building the Mack Center at Wharton.  I am nearing completion of my book (NanoInnovation: What Every Manager Should Know) which is the first in a series of books that will help explain what's "really happening" in science and technology to managers across industries.

Managerial Leadership at the Mack Center for Technological Innovation

As Managing Director of the Mack Center for Technological Innovation since its inception, I've been privileged to provide managerial leadership at the world's leading center for the study of best practices and strategies for managing innovation.  One of my primary roles is to serve as the "bridge" between our faculty and industry partners. 
 
My proudest achievement in the past year was leading the recruitment of 10 new industry partners (despite the recession) in the Mack Center at Wharton: Air Liquide, General Motors, Lockheed-Martin, Medtronic, Merck, NASA, NSSC, Olympus America, Sanofi-Aventis, Tyco Electronics.  In the past year we redesigned our website, launched an electronic newsletter and published several magazine style conference reports - I do most of the writing and editing for these communication vehicles. 
 
The most fun part of my job is hosting an annual event I designed called the "Emerging Technologies Update Day" - a showcase of emerging technologies looming on the near horizon that have the potential to transform industries and markets.  The ET Update Day was entitled: "Turning Science Fiction Into Science Reality"  - the next ET Update Day will be held on February 24, 2012 and will focus on the Future of Nanoinnovation.  The ET Update is the most popular annual event in the Mack Center at Wharton.
In addition to my Mack Center activities, I serve on the Commercialization Core committee promoting translational medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and am an associate member of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics. I am also a senior member of an IEEE/IEC committee developing standards for the use of nanotechnology in electronics, and a Founding Strategic Advisor of the Nanotechnology Research Foundation.
 
Developing Educational Technology
 
Before joining Wharton I was chief operating officer at Better Education, which was founded by a group of former NASA scientists.  The company held the seminal patent for classroom networks and was a pioneer in distance learning.  My role ranged from product development and marketing to business development.  I forged strategic alliances with HP and Texas Instruments which included persuading T.I. to built communication utilities into their graphing calculators so they could be used with our Classtalk network.   I believe that better classroom technologies such as affordable nanotechnology systems and better uses of social media for education are still needed.  I am an admirer of the Telesecondario system in Mexico and distance learning programs at European business schools.
 
Leading the Charge in the Home Computer Revolution
 
I am probably best known for my role in the development and launch of the first home computers at Commodore in the 1980s, which is described in my Wikipedia listing and in my 1984 book, THE HOME COMPUTER WARS. To my surprise, this memoir has become a collector's item.  To see more about this part of my career, see Tech Pioneer
 
Management Consulting
 
Over the years, I have been a management consultant to clients in about 100 industries.  In addition to home computers, I've been involved in the launch of many well-known innovations including Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) and CT Scanning.  During the 1990s I was Chilton Publishing's Internet strategy consultant.  For half a decade I was also CEO of my own consulting firm (Aranda Corporation), involved in projects that ranged from product development and marketing to international business.  Earlier in my career I was an investor relations and business development consultant (in the Milwaukee-Chicago corridor and in Beverly Hills) and I also served a year as Vice President of a technology division of CIGNA.  I am currently limiting my consulting activities due to my busy schedule, although I serve as a sounding board on projects for friends, colleagues and Mack Center partner firms and affiliated companies. 
 
Military Experience and Philosophy 
 
I was privileged to serve as an officer in the U.S. Army for 3 years on active duty and several years in the Army Reserve, working mostly for general officers in military commands (highest rank, captain).  My tours of duty included: Public Information Officer in the XVIII Airborne Corps headquarters at Fort Bragg; Asst. Adjutant on the general staff of the lst Signal Brigade in Vietnam; and Assistant Adjutant on the general staff at USASTRATCOM/United Nations Command in South Korea.  I was promoted to captain after two and a half years.  My military commendations included a bronze star (for meritorious service in Vietnam, where I traveled extensively and experienced combat); Army Commendation Medal and Airborne Badge. 
 
Military Philosophy:  I believe that the lives of American combat troops need to be protected at all costs, and I am concerned that military leaders seem to be sliding into the obsolete philosophy that a certain percent of deaths and casualties are "acceptable."  My personal opinion is that technology was NOT used early and effectively to protect our troops in the second Iraq and Afghan wars, although such innovations as IED resistant vehicles and wireless jammers were eventually deployed.  Current needs include better aerial monitoring of enemy movements in remote areas of Afghanistan.  I note that a lot of technologies that are "routine" in video games such as Call2Duty seem to be lacking or under-deployed in real combat units!
 
Academic Degrees
 
Master's degree in environmental studies from the University of Pennsylvania (May 2010); M.B.A. from U.C.L.A.; B.A. in literature and journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
 
 
 
 








Recent Interviews
Doctoral Class Interview
Skype interview with doctoral class at Northwestern University - Stacey Gonzales is doing a doctoral paper on the VIC-20.
 
Film Documentary
6 hour long interview with a film crew shooting a documentary on the birth of the home computer, detailing my experiences at Commodore.
Interview - Stefan Egger
Interview with Stefan Egger who edits a "Commodore retro" site in Austria.

 
Venture Startups
 
I've been privileged to help start several entrepreneurial ventures since joining Wharton (as a founder, advisor and/or board member).  I am currently working on a book and my availability for venture involvement is extremely limited although (time permitting) I'm available as a "sounding board" on innovation/technology projects and strategies.
 
Consulting & Speaking
 
I occasionally serve as an advisor and sounding board for innovation teams at corporations, in areas where I have an interest and where I feel I can provide value.  If you would like me to address your group or present at an event, please contact me 3-6 months in advance.