Ron Baecker

Software Entrepreneurship

Ron Baecker is Emeritus Professor of Computer Science, Emeritus Bell Chair in Human-Computer Interaction, and founder and director of the Technologies for Aging Gracefully lab (TAGlab) at the University of Toronto.

He has been named one of the 60 Pioneers of Computer Graphics by ACM SIGGRAPH, has been elected to the CHI (Computers and Human Interaction) Academy by ACM SIGCHI, has been given the Canadian Human Computer Communications Society Achievement Award and a Canadian Digital Media Pioneer Award, has been named an ACM Fellow, and was recently given a Canadian Association of Computer Science Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also previously done research or taught at Xerox PARC, Apple Computer, the MIT Media Lab, and in Management at the University of Toronto and UBC and in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. His B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. are from MIT. He is Editor of the Synthesis Lectures on Assistive, Rehabilitative, and Health-preserving Technologies (Morgan & Claypool, Publisher).

He has started five software companies, three of which he led as CEO. HCR was a world-class UNIX systems software firm that he co-founded in 1976. It was sold in 1990 to the Santa Cruz Operation. Expresto Software failed, and was sold in 2002 to a shareholder for its tax losses. Captual Technologies successfully commercialized the ePresence rich media webcasting and archiving system, and was sold in 2011 to Desire2Learn. Founded in 2011, MyVoice Inc. is a vendor of context-aware mobile speech aid apps. Currently, Communications Inc. seeks to address problems senior citizens have with social isolation and loneliness using the InTouch app. He also started in 1986 and taught for 25 years the university’s first course on high technology entrepreneurship.