Dean Drako

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Dean Drako
Dean Drako at Design Automation Conference Jun 2013.jpg
Drako at the Design Automation Conference 3 June 2013
Alma materUniversity of Michigan (BS,EE 1987)
UC Berkeley (MS,EE 1988)
OccupationParallel Entrepreneur
Board member ofEagle Eye Networks, IC Manage, Brivo, Drako Motors
WebsiteLinked in

Dean Drako is an American businessman and serial entrepreneur who has started more than five companies. Drako is best known as a co-founder, president and CEO of Barracuda Networks[1] from 2003 to July 2012. Drako is currently President and CEO of Eagle Eye Networks.[2] He is also an active angel investor.[3]

He graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MS in Electrical Engineering from UC Berkeley.[4] As of 2013, Drako is a holder of 27 patents, including patents in network security, network protocols, digital circuits, software, biochemical processes, and sporting equipment.[5]

Drako has been compared to Elon Musk, as relates to both running numerous parallel business ventures.[6]

Career history[edit]

In 1982, Drako founded his first company, which sold a bulletin board system software package called T-net, used to share messages via modems. Drako used the profits to fund his college education.[7][8]

In 1992, Drako founded Design Acceleration, Inc, served as its CEO,[9] and sold it to Cadence Design Systems in 1999.[10] Drako was also founder and CEO of Boldfish and Velosel;[11] Boldfish was acquired by Siebel Systems in 2003.[12] In 2003 Drako founded IC Manage,[13] where he continues to be president and CEO.[14]

Drako has written a number of articles on open source, big data, and system on chip design.[15][16][17][18]

Drako is a frequently invited speaker and contributor on the topic of entrepreneurship, including by UC Berkeley,[19][20][21] University of Michigan,[22] ISPD,[23] and Forbes.[24][25]

Barracuda Networks[edit]

Also in 2003, Drako founded Barracuda Networks and introduced their email spam and virus appliance product line.[26][27] Other Barracuda product lines launched during Drako's tenure were: web filters,[28] load balancers,[29] email archiving,[30] and digital PBXs.[31]

Drako executed six acquisitions by Barracuda Networks: In 2007, NetContinuum, an application controller company;[32] in 2008, BitLeap, a provider of cloud-based backup services,[33] and 3SP, an SSL and VPN company;[34] in 2009, Yosemite Technologies, for incremental backup of applications;[35] a controlling interest in phion AG, an Austria-based public enterprise-class firewalls company,[36] and Purewire Inc, a software as a service (SaaS) cloud-based web filtering and security company.[37]

Drako contributed to or supported 16 different open source projects while running Barracuda including Valgrind, Apache, and the Free Software Foundation.[38]

Barracuda was ranked #2 by Glassdoor in 2011, with Drako receiving an 88% approval rating.[39] Drako resigned from Barracuda Networks in July 2012 to found Eagle Eye Networks, while continuing to serve on Barracuda's board of directors until 2014.[40] At the time of Drako’s resignation, Barracuda stated it was profitable, generating hundreds of millions in annual revenue, close to 30% year-over-year growth since inception, and had surpassed 150,000 customers.[41][42]

IC Manage[edit]

In 2003, Drako also co-founded[43] IC Manage, which provides Design & IP Management, Big Data Analytics, and high performance computing Scale Out I/O & Cloud Bursting software. He continues to serve as President and CEO.

Eagle Eye Networks[edit]

In July 2012, Drako founded Eagle Eye Networks, a cloud-based video security company, and serves as its President and CEO.[44][45]

In January 2014, Drako formally launched Eagle Eye Networks and introduced its cloud-managed video surveillance system. Eagle Eye’s goal was “to do for video surveillance what Dropbox did for file sharing by making video more available and far easier to use.”[46][47]

Drako has been credited with establishing the concept of ‘true cloud’ in the physical security industry, to emphasize the differences between applications designed specifically for the cloud and legacy-design applications being run on a cloud-hosted virtual server.[48]


Drako acquired Brivo,[49] a provider of cloud-based physical access control systems, in June 2015 for a reported $50 million. Brivo will sell its cloud-based access control systems along with Eagle Eye’s cloud-based security camera system, although the companies will continue to operate as separate entities.[50]

Drako Motors[edit]

Drako is co-founder[51] and CEO of Drako Motors, an electric sports car software platform provider, which on August 6, 2015 announced its first product, the Drako DriveOS, a single VCU (vehicle control unit) operating system which controls all four wheels independently. [52]


In December 2016, Drako acquired LivingTree, a K-12 family engagement platform provider.[53] The acquisition was described as a "multimillion-dollar investment."[54] LivingTree provides a secure, community-wide platform for educators and parents to engage, independent of language preference, and is stated to address directives set by the Every Student Succeeds Act.[55]

Swift Sensors[edit]

Drako founded Swift Sensors, a cloud-based wireless sensor company, in May 2015. In Dec 2016, Drako formally launched Swift Sensors and introduced its cloud wireless sensor system.[56] Swift Sensors’ goal is to eliminate the pain and cost of Internet of Things sensing applications by offering a unified solution that requires no programming skills or technical expertise.[57] Drako will serve as the company's Executive Chairman.[58]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 1984, Drako won finalist in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search for his solar energy research.[59]

In 2007, Drako was named Entrepreneur of the Year for Northern California for Networking and Communications by Ernst & Young.[60]

In 2011, during Drako's tenure as CEO, Barracuda Networks was ranked #2 of the 2011 Best Tech Co's to Work For in 2011 by Business Insider.[61]

In 2012, Drako was elected to be a director of the Electronic Design Automation Consortium (EDAC) board in 2012.[62]

Since 2012 Drako has served on the University of Michigan Advisory council. [63]

In 2014, Drako was selected as Keynote speaker for UC Berkeley Engineering Week.[64]

In 2014, Goldman Sachs named Dean Drako as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2014.[65]

In 2016, Dean was commencement speaker at University of Michigan Engineering School.[66]


  1. ^ SJ Mercury News Biz Break: Barracuda Networks IPO primes pump for Twitter
  2. ^ Security Info Watch Michael Dell bankrolls Eagle Eye Networks
  3. ^ Dow Jones Serial Entrepreneur and Ex-Barracuda CEO Launches Eagle Eye Networks to Take Video to the Cloud
  4. ^ Richard Newton Distinguished Innovator Lecture Series, Dean Drako Sept 2008
  5. ^ US Patent Collection database search July 2013
  6. ^ EDA Cafe IC Manage: A Roadmap out to Forever
  7. ^ CTAN January 2013
  8. ^ Apple II Computer Info Page 67
  9. ^ EETimes: DAI Reorganizes for Next Stage Growth Jul 1997
  10. ^ EETimes: Cadence acquires verification tool vendor DAI Jan 1999
  11. ^ Deepchip: How Dean Drako's 1/2 billion dollar "side hobby" might change EDA August 2012
  12. ^ Bloomberg Businessweek: Boldfish Retrieved March 2013
  13. ^ Deepchip: How Dean Drako's 1/2 billion dollar "side hobby" might change EDA August 2012
  14. ^ IC Manage management page: Retrieved April 2013
  15. ^ DeepChip: Big Data analytics coming for chip design May 2014
  16. ^ DeepChip: Design and IP management metrics May 2014
  17. ^ NetworkWorld Open Source Developers Must Chart Clear Defense in the Patent Wars Nov 2007
  18. ^ EETimes: IP reuse requires both design reuse and verification reuse April 2013
  19. ^ Berkeley Innovators Fresh off of Barracuda's IPO, Dean Drako MS '88 launches Eagle Eye & talks entrepreneurship with Berkeley Innovators
  20. ^ UC Berkeley CET 2015 Dean Drako, CEO Eagle Eye Networks
  21. ^ UC Berkeley Newton Lectures Dean Drako, CEO Barracuda Networks
  22. ^ University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship Dean Drako Entrepreneurship Talk
  23. ^ ISPD Concept & Research to Revenue: An Entrepreneurial Story
  24. ^ Forbes 7 CEOs Reveal Lessons Learned as a Chief Executive
  25. ^ Forbes 7 CEOs Give Advice to First-Timers
  26. ^ CTAN January 2013
  27. ^ Deepchip: How Dean Drako's 1/2 billion dollar "side hobby" might change EDA August 2012
  28. ^ InformationWeek Barracuda Rolls Out Spyware-Blocking Appliance
  29. ^ IT & Security Portal Barracuda Networks Launches Barracuda Load Balancer
  30. ^ Reseller News November 2007
  31. ^ Enterprise Networking Planet: Barracuda Launches CudaTel PBX August 2009
  32. ^ SCMagazine Barracuda Networks buys NetContinuum
  33. ^ eweek Barracuda Networks Buys into Data Backup Business
  34. ^ Eweek Barracuda Networks Breaks into SSL VPN Space
  35. ^ PCWorld Backup Merger Unites Barracuda, Yosemite
  36. ^ Silicon Valley Business Journal Barracuda Networks takes controlling interest in Phion
  37. ^ Atlanta Business Chronicle Barracuda buys Purewire Inc.
  38. ^ Barracuda Open Source Community Retrieved 2012
  39. ^ Business Insider The 25 Best Tech Companies To Work For In 2011
  40. ^ CRN Former Barracuda Networks CEO Acquires Cloud Access Control Company For $50M
  41. ^ Bloomberg October 2012
  42. ^ CRN Barracuda CEO Resigns
  43. ^ "Company - ICMANAGE". Retrieved 2016-08-28.
  44. ^ Barracuda management page: Retrieved Sept 2013
  45. ^ Venture Beat Michael Dell is funding this company to move surveillance cameras onto the cloud
  46. ^ The Wall Street Journal: Barracuda Networks Co-Founder Launches Video Surveillance Startup Jan 2014
  47. ^ MarketWatch: Startup puts video surveillance in the cloud Jan 2014
  48. ^ Security Info Watch Real words or buzzwords?: True Cloud
  49. ^ "Brivo acquired by Dean Drako of Eagle Eye Networks".
  50. ^ ”Austin’s Dean Drako Buys Maryland-Based Security Manager Brivo for $50M,” Xconomy, June 11, 2015 [1]
  51. ^ "Leadership - Drako Motors Inc". Retrieved 2016-09-07.
  52. ^ ”Drako Motors Debuts Company and Introduces Drako DriveOS Platform for Electric Sports Cars”[2]
  53. ^ EdWeek K-12 Dealmaking: Eagle Eye Networks CEO Acquires LivingTree
  54. ^ Austin Business Journal Austin entrepreneur buys developer of a social network for moms and dads
  55. ^ District Administration K12 family engagement company bought
  56. ^ Manufacturing Connection Swift Sensors Launches Cloud Wireless Sensor System
  57. ^ DesignNews No Programming Required: Start-Up Rolls Out Simple IoT Solution
  58. ^ Channel e2e Swift Sensors Launches Cloud-based IoT Monitoring System
  59. ^ CTAN January 2013
  60. ^ Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the year Hall of Fame: July 2007 Archived October 7, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  61. ^ Business Insider The 25 Best Tech Companies To Work For In 2011 Sept 2011
  62. ^ EETimes Kathryn Kranen elected chair of EDA Consortium June 2012
  63. ^ Michigan EAC Members and Term of Service Retrieved April 2013 Archived 2013-04-05 at the Wayback Machine.
  64. ^ Berkeley Engineering Channel Retrieved May 2014
  65. ^ Security Systems News: Goldman Sachs names Eagle Eye Networks founder one of '100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2014' Oct 2014
  66. ^ Commencement Speaker. University of Michigan Engineering. Retrieved 2016-04-30.