Once a month we feature a member of our US based alumni community. We hope this serves as a way to stay in touch and get to know one another despite the grand size of the US.

Alumni and AFAM board member Jean-Luc Nauleau (AN 81) is our next AFAM member profile.
Thank you Jean-Luc for sharing with us!

1. Tell us about your career path and area of expertise today. How did it come about?

I graduated from  Arts & Métiers in 1984.  I completed  my  internship at a Computer Aided Design software firm (a company called Applicon , the CEO then  was a GadzArts). Computer Architecture was of great interest to me and in early  '85 ,  I enrolled  in a  Masters  program  in Computer Graphics  at Santa Clara University  in California,  I completed my  Master  in 1987 and   worked for a Semi-conductor firm  for a few years; in late 80’s I  founded a CAD  software company  right in the Silicon Valley. The Business grew rapidly; we were one of the few companies to offer a comprehensive  set of software tools to design Microchip on a personal computer!   In 1991 the company made a strategic move  and  started to offer  not only software Engineering  but also chip design services and Manufacturing .  In a few years 90% of the revenue came from semi-conductor components sales.  Our expertise was in analog and mixed signal chips for telecommunication.   We were growing fast with revenue doubling every year   , we expanded in Europe and Asia and opened design centers in Budapest, Lisbon and in the U.K .  In 2008,   the company was finally acquired by a Public company with its offices in Austin Texas.

2. What do you do every day at work? How does being a Gadz’Arts help you in your everyday tasks and team management?

Starting a new business is always very exciting, in 1985 I was a young entrepreneur and I was at the right place at the right time.  Business today is very competitive and to succeed you need to  get an edge,  As a GadzArts  I  have been taught to think outside the box,  being an expert in  a single field  limits your search  for solutions to complex problems ,  You need a broad Engineering expertise,  being a Gadzart brings you this edge.  After the sale of the business  I took a break and spent time with my kids, I am not ready  for a new venture yet  but I would love to share my business experience with other entrepreneurs.

3. How did you come to the US- why and when? How is your work life different than in France?

Right after school  I did software consulting for a subsidiary of Elf Aquitaine , and the following year  I was offered a grant  by  the same company, Elf  sponsored my Post Graduate studies  in the U.S  and now  twenty five years later I am still in the Silicon Valley .  I love going back to France but I believe the U.S still offers a more friendly business environment for Entrepreneurs.

4. What is the best advice someone ever gave you? Why?

Best advice?   In Business relations, you want to help your customers become more successful then everyone wins.  Second best advice:  Failure is never a good option…

5. What is one favorite way to spend your free time (hobbies, weekend activities)?
I love all kind of outdoor activities, I love fly fishing, kayaking and skiing.  From the bay area you can fly straight north to Alaska and catch the biggest trout in the world or go way  south to Baja Mexico and explore the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez.

Thank you again Jean-Luc for your sharing your experience and advice with. AFAM is grateful for your support!