Kevin Surace Profile

  • Named "Entrepreneur of the Year" by Inc. magazine, "a tech pioneer" by the World Economic Forum, and one of the "Top 15 Innovators of the decade" by CNBC, Surace is widely recognized as one of the most influential innovators of our time.

  • With 28 patents, Surace is responsible for numerous technologies that are commonplace today.

  • As the CEO of Serious Energy, Surace drove 63% CAGR while delivering high tech and environmentally-beneficial materials, products, and software to 70,000 projects.
  • Deemed “A Tech Pioneer who Will Change Your Life” by Time magazine, Kevin Surace has delivered disruptive technologies across a broad landscape including software, manufacturing, environment and consumer products. With 28 patents, Kevin is the inventor of the first mass-produced high R value windows, Ecorock drywall, the first cellular data smartphone, and many other innovations that have become fixtures of everyday life.

    As a serial entrepreneur, Kevin has built companies from $0 to $1B+ valuation. For 10 years he was the CEO of Serious Energy, where he helped develop, patent, and produce technologies that reduce energy usage in buildings, the largest contributor of CO2. Kevin grew the team to 420 people driving a 63% CAGR while delivering high tech materials, products, and software to 70,000 projects including the Empire State Building, the New York Stock Exchange, and thousands of homes.

    Prior to Serious Energy, Kevin led teams to deliver disruptive technologies including OnStar virtual advisor, Perfect Commerce (online auctions), and mobile data (Air Communications). He drove the introduction of a number of industry firsts including the modern “human-like”​ voice user interface (i.e. Siri), the first wide-area-wireless data smart phone (AirCommunicator) and the invention of soundproof drywall (QuietRock).

    Currently, Kevin is the CEO and President of Appvance, which has introduced the first DevOps test platform. An in-demand speaker due to his hands-on experience in multiple industries, he has delivered hundreds of talks at various venues including TED, many TEDx’s, INC 5000, FortuneGreen, and the Democratic Caucus (House of Representatives).

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      Kevin is a well known Silicon Valley entrepreneur and a disruptive innovator, awarded Inc Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year, listed as one of the top 15 innovators of this decade by CNBC, awarded Tech Pioneer by World Economic Forum – Davos, nominated as Innovator of the Year by PlanetForward and inducted into the Innovation Hall of Fame. He has been awarded 28 patents and is credited with pioneering work on the first human-like voice user interface, the first cellular data smartphone, the first mass produced high R value windows, the first soundproof drywall, and many other innovations which have become commonplace today. He has been featured in nearly every major publication including BusinessWeek, Time, Fortune, Forbes, and CNN as well as nearly every major network and keynoted hundreds of gatherings from INC 5000 to TED to the halls of Congress.

      Kevin Surace is currently CEO of Appvance, a technology company which is disrupting the way enterprises improve the quality, performance, and security of their software and applications. Kevin has led organizations to substantial growth in innovation, technology, revenue, and investor value, including Serious Energy, Perfect Commerce (provider of supply chain software/services), CommerceNet (industry consortium), General Magic (cloud based virtual assistant), WebKnight (Java authoring), and Air Communications (wireless hw/sw). At Serious Energy he led the organization to retrofit some 70,000 projects for improved comfort and energy savings including upgrading all the windows in the Empire State Building and the NY Stock Exchange, shipping over $500M of Serious-invented products by 2015.

      Kevin received his BS in Engineering Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology and serves on their Board of Trustees. Kevin has delivered 100’s of vibrant keynote speeches and presentations to groups from corporate executives to enterprise teams to universities. He loves igniting audiences’ creative spark and leaving people with real actionable ideas they can use the next day. He brings actual hands-on experience inventing and innovating across multiple industries at a level few others can match.

    Kevin Surace Speaking Videos

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    Kevin Surace's Speech Descriptions

    “Everything is up for reinvention,” according to Kevin Surace, a tech pioneer who has demonstrated this time and time again through his 28 patents, applied engineering, and leadership. His presentations share the valuable wisdom he gained hands-on in regard to driving disruption, breaking the paradigm of selling on price, and building great teams that have fun together. Furthermore, Kevin delivers his vision for a sustainable future through smart engineering and discusses how major shifts that are currently unfolding – such as the robotic takeover of human labor – will affect you, your team, and industry.

      Be an Entrepreneur
      What it takes to be that person, in large or small companies. And bring the energy and passion of entrepreneurs to your entire team.

      Disruptive Innovation
      Don’t just innovate, DISRUPT. How your team can overcome fear and shame, and disrupt any market.

      The Coming Age of Robotics
      How will your team cope with the coming onslaught of AI and robotics. And how can you use it to your advantage!

      Sustainability and Climate Change
      Why it matters. What you can do today.

      High Power Sales Workshop
      The 5 steps that you will go through…and how to get through them faster than ever and close more deals.

      Custom Team Motivation
      Motivate that unmotivated or lost team. Within 1 day, your team members will find new passion, and run with more excitement than ever before.

    Kevin Surace on Speaking

    Spending time with any presentation should invoke actions which positively impact their company and their lives.

    SPEAKING.COM: What do you want people to learn/take away from your presentations?

    SURACE: Action. I don’t give talks to have people say “oh that’s nice” and go back to work. Spending time with any presentation should invoke actions which positively impact their company and their lives.

    SPEAKING.COM: What kind of special prep work do you do prior to an event? How do you prepare for your speaking engagements?

    SURACE: I always spend time with the people who have set up the event: a company manager, CEO, VP, or whomever. I want to know what they want out of this. What will be the call to action? How do they hope their team members will change as a result of my talk? Then I use those as the outcome which drives everything backwards up the stack.

    If the outcome is to invent more, or sell more, or have better teamwork or embrace automation, or whatever, I use that to craft the entire presentation to get to that final point and have people say “of course I WANT to do that or be that or feel that or live that”.

    No one should stop learning. When you do, you might as well be dead.

    SPEAKING.COM: What types of audiences would most benefit from your message?

    SURACE: I have spoken to politicians, sales teams, development teams, management, customers…you name it. People who are willing to embrace a little change and add some tools to the toolkit are great audiences. And if they don’t want to change anything, I will try and change their mind on that point as well. We can all grow and learn every day. No one should stop learning. When you do, you might as well be dead. If I can inspire people to learn more, and then teach them a few new things, we all win.

    SPEAKING.COM: Which of your keynote speaking topics are your favorites and why?

    SURACE: Automation is huge now. Every company is thinking about how they embrace it. I can help them see where they can automate processes and how that will produce a better outcome before their competitor does it.

    And of course Silicon Valley disruptive innovation is a favorite topic – because everyone wishes they could innovate that fast and few do. They have brought in consulting firm after consulting firm and nothing really changed. There are just a few things people from the top down must embrace to disruptively innovate and I help them see that light. sometimes I will work with them longer term to continue to push the limits. This can change a company completely and it’s exhilarating to watch it happen and be a part of that change.

    We have all seen amazing content fall flat with a sleepy presenter. The one thing I hear is that I bring very high energy to a room.

    SPEAKING.COM: What inspired you to start doing speaking engagements?

    SURACE: I have been on stage my whole life in theater and later was a regular on TV so being on stage comes naturally to me. Combine that with 31 years in Silicon Valley in senior roles plus tons of inventing and people just started calling me. We have all seen amazing content fall flat with a sleepy presenter. The one thing I hear is that I bring very high energy to a room. In the end, if the content is solid, it works, and you can deliver it with immense excitement, people are likely to retain a fair bit.

    SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the successes you’ve helped clients achieve?

    SURACE: Increasing sales is a big one. I’ve gotten teams excited and working together, with some new tricks, but I’ve also helped increase sales by talking to a company’s customers at say their annual customer gathering. As a 3rd party I can bring credibility to their offering and talk about it in a new way (of course I have to believe in what they have).

    Another big one is helping companies embrace automation. I’ve watched several companies rush to start after sitting still for years doing nothing, and finally embracing a culture of disruptive innovation. This is absolutely critical for companies to thrive in the future and it is the hardest to achieve. I try and take what has come easy to me, embrace and instill many Silicon Valley tricks, and give their teams all they need to run. It is like a gift and it’s great to watch. And they do run and develop amazing product as a result, which is very satisfying to all of us! Exclusive Interview with Kevin Surace
    Disruption and Invention, with Innovation Speaker Kevin Surace
    In this interview, Kevin Surace discusses:
  • How to figure out if the time is right for your business idea.
  • Going from an idea to a sellable product.
  • Why A.I. will make human labor obsolete.
  • What society might look like as we phase out work. Read the Full Interview
  • "Most markets have been untouched for years or even decades. They are ripe for disruption and we can see it everywhere."
    - Kevin Surace

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