Founder, entrepreneur, investor and entrepreneurship educator with over 40 years of experience in technology venture formation, venture capital, entrepreneurial startups and training entrepreneurs at Stanford including a worldwide online program. As Operating Partner of Riphean Investments, Mike supports the growth of its partner companies. This includes providing mentorship and support to their leadership teams, bringing on investors that align to their interests as well as identifying new potential partners and synergy opportunities.
Mike is also Chairman and CEO of RapidAscent, a Cybersecurity Academy and WorkForce Acceleration program providing individuals with a true on-the-job education that solves the largest hiring crisis in corporate America: the cybersecurity workforce. In addition, he is a Partner with the Ratio Academy, a developer of online and corporate entrepreneurship and technology company management programs delivered worldwide, and a Managing Director of Newline Ventures, a management consulting firm. He serves as Chairman of Westlight AI, an advanced AI driven information assurance and security platform. He also serves in Board of Director roles for PrecisionOS, a VR enabled surgical education platform, and Real-Time Innovations, focused on advanced real-time integration of complex systems and a major thought leader in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Concurrently, Mike is an Adjunct Professor at the Stanford University Departments of Management Science and Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering. Serving in the Stanford position since 1988, he was a co-developer and founder of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program and the founding professor of Technology Venture Formation – now merged with Entrepreneurship for The Real Economy. Both of these courses are some of the highest rated courses in the School of Engineering. He is the co-creator of the Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship two-week program for existing high-tech companies produced and managed by the Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD) and has co-produced and delivered numerous other SCPD and STVP programs. He is a co-founder of the Ratio Academy focused on creating training platforms for entrepreneurial education that has co-developed an online program with SCPD called Idea to Market (I2M) which is now available online, worldwide.
From 2008 to 2011, Mike served as a Venture Partner with the Paladin Capital Group in Washington, D.C. and as a Venture Partner for ePlanet Ventures I and II. He was a co-founder and General Partner of Zilkha Venture Partners (fund closed out in 2003 and was top 5 percentile rated by Cambridge), an early-stage venture capital partnership focused on seed and first-round investments in IT and biotechnology companies, principally located in Silicon Valley. In 2002, Mike founded SafeView, a Government Laboratory (PNNL) spinout, to address aspects of the anti-terrorist physical security market. The company closed A and B rounds totaling more than $23M led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, ePlanet Ventures, GE/Invision, Paladin Capital Group, and Novak Biddle. He served as Chairman until its sale to L3 Harris in March 2006. This technology is now the security standard in airports worldwide.
From 1980 to 1991, he was a co-founder, a Vice-President, and a Director of Integrated Systems Inc. (INTS, founded 1980), a leading implementer of high-performance real-time control systems for aircraft, automotive, and manufacturing applications. INTS was fundamentally a spinout from the Lockheed Palo Alto Research Lab and Systems Control, Inc. The Company was merged with WindRiver Systems in 1999. WindRiver was acquired by Intel in 2009.
He previously also served as Chairman of CypherPath, a converged infrastructure virtualization company, sold to Mantech, and former Chairman of Shadow Networks, Inc. a cybersecurity company acquired by Alcalvio in 2016; both were based on technology developed through a technology transfer partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Mr. Lyons received a Bachelors and Masters (equivalent) in Engineering Physics from Cornell University, an MSEE from Stanford, did Ph.D. research in Aero/Astro at Stanford (ABD), and an MBA, with Distinction, from the Pepperdine Presidential/Key Executive Program. He is a graduate of the Stanford/AEA Institute for the Management of High Technology Companies and a Price-Babson Fellow in Entrepreneurship Education. He holds an FAA Multi-Engine Airline Transport Pilot License and Certified Flight Instructor Certificates for Instrument and Multi-Engine Aircraft and was a line instructor for Flight Safety International. He is an avid sailor and motorcyclist.