Sandra Kurtzig

"I think luck is seizing opportunities. There are opportunities all around. There are millions of good ideas, but it's those people who seize the ideas and seize the opportunities that appear lucky." – Sandra Kurtzig (Chairman and CEO Kenandy)

Biography

Have you ever met an extraordinary and phenomenal American businesswoman, technology and pioneer entrepreneur? Well, look no further; her name is Sandra Kurtzig who’s been called “a legendary figure in the tech world” and “the first lady of computers”. Sandra is one of Silicon Valley’s first female entrepreneurs, and as the founder of the business and manufacturing software producer ASK Group in 1972, she’s the first woman to take a Silicon Valley technology company, a $450 million company in annual sales from the ground up and public in 1981. Sandra Kurtzig is not only known for being the first woman to take a technology company public, she also has a wonderful sense of humor and outlook on life and business.


In 1971, Sandy'' Kurtzig was a 24-year-old working wife with two years experience selling computers and time-sharing and some knowledge of programming, she started her own business with only $2000 capital to help small to mid-size companies streamline their own manufacturing and accounting operations. Working in a two-bedroom, ASK Computer Systems was built into the fastest-growing software company in the United States, with clients that includes Eastmen Kodak, Hughes Aircraft, and Emerson Electric to name a few. In 1981, Kurtzig became the first woman to take a high-tech company public, bringing off a successful public offering in the midst of a Wall Street slump.

Education

Kurtzig earned her B.S. in mathematics from UCLA and an M.S. in aeronautical engineering from Stanford University.

Employment

In 1972, Sandra founded ASK Computer Systems and created a groundbreaking MANMAN product family. During her twenty years as founder, chairman and CEO of the ASK Group, she grew the company into of the ten largest software companies in the world.


In 2010, Sandra Kurtzig founded Kenandy and as Chairman and CEO with a vision to once again transforms the world of enterprise management software. She is helping to create and drive the new industry paradigm of enterprise management in the social cloud, supporting a growing, global, social community of companies that design, manufacture and distribute products.


Since Sandra retirement from ASK in 1993, she has been serving on as a managing partner for SLK Investment Partners, a private equity investment partnership, a mentor for and investor in entrepreneurial technology companies and has taught the Business for Engineering class at Stanford University.


Sandra also served on various boards such as the boards of Harvard Business School, Hoover Institution, Stanford's School of Engineering, Stanford Engineering Strategic Council, UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management, and UC Berkeley's Haas School of Management.

Honors

Long time software industry pioneer Sandra Kurtzig was extensively covered in the media and has received numerous business awards throughout her career as from media outlets. She the first woman to take a technology company public, she was included on Business Week’s list of the top 50 corporate leaders and her best-selling autobiography, CEO: Building a $400 Million Company from the Ground Up is published by Harvard Business School Press and Amazon.com as well.

Publications

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