Donor Spotlight – Mike Markkula

by | Oct 3, 2016 | Alliances, Funding

Mike Markkula has the golden touch when it comes to associating with successful early-stage companies – finding them, working for them and investing in them.

After a successful career in marketing at Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel Corporation, he retired early, yet his interest and investment in the tech world was just beginning.

What followed was an introduction to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, which led to his involvement and early funding of Apple, where he eventually became the company’s second CEO.

In addition to helping build Apple into the tech behemoth it is today, one of Markkula’s proudest accomplishments is founding the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, which was launched to help students and professionals develop the tools to tackle challenging situations in a conscientious way. It has grown to be the world’s largest ethics entity in terms of staff, footprint and curriculum.

Markkula’s penchant for early-stage companies and organizations that generate a concrete benefit led to his involvement with the Fogarty Institute. First introduced to Dr. Tom Fogarty at one the Institute’s Wine with Heart fundraisers, Markkula was quickly impressed by the nonprofit’s ability to support “real people, making real products that have a positive impact on patients.”

“The Fogarty Institute is so unique – there isn’t another organization helping medtech startups get their products to market so quickly and successfully,” Markkula says. “The Institute has been a very worthwhile ‘investment,’ and Linda and I thoroughly enjoy visiting the startups to track their progress and learn more about the cutting-edge technologies they are developing.”

Markkula’s gifts and philanthropic involvements are always thoroughly vetted by his wife and daughter Kristi, to ensure that they are truly accomplishing their mission — “where the rubber meets the road.”

Today, Markkula enjoys working on his golf game, skiing, traveling, spending time with his family and two grandkids, and enjoying his (second) retirement. He also dabbles in a small number of investments in companies that fulfill a personal interest, rather than a business return.

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