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Faculty and Staff

Chris Norris, Executive Director, Ciocca Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Chris Norris Executive Director of CIE

Chris Norris is a CEO and entrepreneur with a proven track record of building companies and leading organizations.  His expertise is built around years of direct, hands-on experience innovating, delivering products to the market, and building diverse, high performing teams.

Mr. Norris joined Alta Devices, a solar cell manufacturer, in May of 2008 as President and CEO shortly after its founding.  He led the company through multiple rounds of financing, raising over $100M, ultimately leading the company to a successful acquisition in 2014.  Prior to Alta Devices, he was a Venture Partner at Blue Run Ventures, focused on hardware investments.  Chris was the President and CEO at MicroDisplay Corporation, and led the transformation of the company from chip maker to high definition TV (HDTV) manufacturer. 

Before becoming a startup CEO, Chris served as the Vice President and General Manager of the consumer, computation, data-com and programmable products divisions at Cypress Semiconductor Corporation.  Chris started his career at Intel, where he worked in both manufacturing and development.  He has 7 issued patents, a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s in Computer Engineering.


Morgan Slain, Director, Bronco Venture Accelerator


Morgan Slain is a Silicon Valley investor and technology executive with over 25 years of experience in venture capital, mobile and Internet applications, open standards, software as a service, security, international business development, and entertainment. As an operator, Morgan has been the CEO of three Silicon Valley companies: SplashData, SPARC International, and Mobile Digital Media/Quickoffice. As an investor and advisor, Morgan has been a partner at UP2398, a seed stage VC firm launched by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, and the Chief Digital Officer of the global consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. 

In other experience, Morgan was a senior executive at Palm, Inc., where he worked on the IPO and with Palm Ventures on M&A activity, and Vice President of New Media Development at The Walt Disney Studios, where he was responsible for developing video on demand services and establishing sales, marketing, and distribution for interactive product lines throughout Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Morgan graduated with honors from Stanford University and also holds a Master's degree from Stanford in International Policy Studies.


Christopher Kitts, Faculty Director, Ciocca Center


Dr. Christopher Kitts is an Associate Professor at Santa Clara University where he serves as the Director of the Robotic Systems Laboratory and as the Associate Dean of Research and Faculty Development for the School of Engineering. He is also the Director of the Center for Robotic Exploration and Space Technologies, a multi-institution consortium of academic institutions focusing on aerospace research and education and which is located at the NASA Ames Research Park. In addition, he holds an Associate Researcher appointment at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, in conjunction with whom he and his students develop several advanced marine robotic systems. Dr. Kitts is also the Mission Operations Director for a series of NASA small spacecraft, which are controlled on-orbit by students in the Robotic Systems Laboratory.