Dean Drako

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Dean Drako
Dean Drako speaking at ES Design West, SF Moscone Center, July 2019.jpg
Drako at the ES Design West 10 July 2019
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], IC Manage and Drako Motors. 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 36 patents, including patents in network security, network protocols, digital circuits, software, biochemical processes, and sporting equipment.[5]

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.[6][7]

In 1992, Drako founded Design Acceleration, Inc, served as its CEO,[8] and sold it to Cadence Design Systems in 1999.[9] Drako was also founder and CEO of Boldfish and Velosel;[10] Boldfish was acquired by Siebel Systems in 2003.[11] In 2003 Drako founded IC Manage,[12] where he continues to be president and CEO.[13]

Drako has written a number of articles on open source, big data, and system on chip design.[14][15][16][17]

Drako is a frequently invited speaker and contributor on the topic of entrepreneurship, including by UC Berkeley,[18][19][20] University of Michigan,[21] ISPD,[22] and Forbes.[23][24]

Barracuda Networks[edit]

Also in 2003, Drako founded Barracuda Networks and introduced their email spam and virus appliance product line.[25][26] Other Barracuda product lines launched during Drako's tenure were: web filters,[27] load balancers,[28] email archiving,[29] and digital PBXs.[30]

Drako executed six acquisitions by Barracuda Networks: In 2007, NetContinuum, an application controller company;[31] in 2008, BitLeap, a provider of cloud-based backup services,[32] and 3SP, an SSL and VPN company;[33] in 2009, Yosemite Technologies, for incremental backup of applications;[34] a controlling interest in phion AG, an Austria-based public enterprise-class firewalls company,[35] and Purewire Inc, a software as a service (SaaS) cloud-based web filtering and security company.[36]

Drako contributed to or supported 16 different open source projects while running Barracuda including Valgrind, Apache, and the Free Software Foundation.[37]

Barracuda was ranked #2 by Glassdoor in 2011, with Drako receiving an 88% approval rating.[38] 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.[39] 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.[40][41]

IC Manage[edit]

In 2003, Drako also co-founded[42] 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 CEO.[43][44]

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.”[45][46]

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.[47]

In November 2019 Eagle Eye Networks ranked #133 on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list of fastest growing technology companies in North America, with 936% growth from 2015 to 2018.[48][49]


Drako acquired Brivo,[50] 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.[51] In March 2020, Brivo announced that it acquired Parakeet as part of its expansion into smart buildings.[52][53]

Drako Motors[edit]

Drako is co-founder[54] 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.[55] In June 2019, Drako Motors pre-announced their Drako GTE electric quad-motor supercar, claiming speeds of up to 206 MPH and 1200 horsepower.[56] [57] [58] [59] In August 2019, Drako Motors formally launched the all-electric production Drako GTE.[60][61]


In December 2016, Drako acquired LivingTree, a K-12 family engagement platform provider.[62] The acquisition was described as a "multimillion-dollar investment."[63] 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.[64]

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.[65] 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.[66] Drako will serve as the company's Executive Chairman.[67]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 1984, Drako won finalist in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search for his solar energy research.[68]

In 2007, Drako was named Entrepreneur of the Year for Northern California for Networking and Communications by Ernst & Young.[69]

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.[70]

In 2012, Drako was elected to the Board of Directors of the Electronic Design Automation Consortium board.[71]

Since 2012 Drako has served on the University of Michigan Advisory council. [72]

In 2014, Drako was selected as Keynote speaker for UC Berkeley Engineering Week, where he reviewed his 5 principles of entrepreneurship.[73] During the keynote, he stated his favorite business principle was keeping customers happy.[74]

In 2014, Goldman Sachs named Dean Drako as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2014.[75]

In 2016, Dean was commencement speaker at University of Michigan Engineering School.[76]


  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 Archived 2014-03-31 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ US Patent Collection database search February 2019
  6. ^ CTAN January 2013 Archived 2013-08-25 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Apple II Computer Info Page 67
  8. ^ EETimes: DAI Reorganizes for Next Stage Growth Jul 1997
  9. ^ EETimes: Cadence acquires verification tool vendor DAI Jan 1999
  10. ^ Deepchip: How Dean Drako's 1/2 billion dollar "side hobby" might change EDA August 2012
  11. ^ Bloomberg Businessweek: Boldfish Retrieved March 2013
  12. ^ Deepchip: How Dean Drako's 1/2 billion dollar "side hobby" might change EDA August 2012
  13. ^ IC Manage management page: Retrieved April 2013
  14. ^ DeepChip: Big Data analytics coming for chip design May 2014
  15. ^ DeepChip: Design and IP management metrics May 2014
  16. ^ NetworkWorld Open Source Developers Must Chart Clear Defense in the Patent Wars Nov 2007
  17. ^ EETimes: IP reuse requires both design reuse and verification reuse April 2013
  18. ^ Berkeley Innovators Fresh off of Barracuda's IPO, Dean Drako MS '88 launches Eagle Eye & talks entrepreneurship with Berkeley Innovators
  19. ^ UC Berkeley CET 2015 Dean Drako, CEO Eagle Eye Networks
  20. ^ UC Berkeley Newton Lectures Dean Drako, CEO Barracuda Networks
  21. ^ University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship Dean Drako Entrepreneurship Talk
  22. ^ ISPD Concept & Research to Revenue: An Entrepreneurial Story Archived 2015-07-06 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Forbes 7 CEOs Reveal Lessons Learned as a Chief Executive
  24. ^ Forbes 7 CEOs Give Advice to First-Timers
  25. ^ CTAN January 2013 Archived 2013-08-25 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Deepchip: How Dean Drako's 1/2 billion dollar "side hobby" might change EDA August 2012
  27. ^ InformationWeek Barracuda Rolls Out Spyware-Blocking Appliance
  28. ^ IT & Security Portal Barracuda Networks Launches Barracuda Load Balancer Archived 2010-03-23 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ Reseller News November 2007
  30. ^ Enterprise Networking Planet: Barracuda Launches CudaTel PBX August 2009
  31. ^ SCMagazine Barracuda Networks buys NetContinuum
  32. ^ eweek Barracuda Networks Buys into Data Backup Business
  33. ^ Eweek Barracuda Networks Breaks into SSL VPN Space
  34. ^ PCWorld Backup Merger Unites Barracuda, Yosemite
  35. ^ Silicon Valley Business Journal Barracuda Networks takes controlling interest in Phion
  36. ^ Atlanta Business Chronicle Barracuda buys Purewire Inc.
  37. ^ Barracuda Open Source Community Retrieved 2012 Archived 2014-07-07 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ Business Insider The 25 Best Tech Companies To Work For In 2011
  39. ^ CRN Former Barracuda Networks CEO Acquires Cloud Access Control Company For $50M
  40. ^ Bloomberg October 2012
  41. ^ CRN Barracuda CEO Resigns
  42. ^ "Company - ICMANAGE". Retrieved 2016-08-28.
  43. ^ Barracuda management page: Retrieved Sept 2013
  44. ^ Venture Beat Michael Dell is funding this company to move surveillance cameras onto the cloud
  45. ^ The Wall Street Journal: Barracuda Networks Co-Founder Launches Video Surveillance Startup Jan 2014
  46. ^ MarketWatch: Startup puts video surveillance in the cloud Jan 2014
  47. ^ Security Info Watch Real words or buzzwords?: True Cloud
  48. ^ "Here Are the Austin Companies on the Deloitte Fast 500 List". Austin Inno. November 7, 2019.
  49. ^ "4 Austin Companies Made Deloitte's Technology Fast 500". Built In Austin. November 7, 2019.
  50. ^ "Brivo acquired by Dean Drako of Eagle Eye Networks".
  51. ^ ”Austin’s Dean Drako Buys Maryland-Based Security Manager Brivo for $50M,” Xconomy, June 11, 2015 [1]
  52. ^ "Brivo makes first acquisition in 20-year history” Security Systems News, March 3, 2020 [2]
  53. ^ "Brivo Adds Smart Building Capabilities With Parakeet Buy” Security Sales & Integration, March 3, 2020 [3]
  54. ^ "Leadership - Drako Motors Inc". Retrieved 2016-09-07.
  55. ^ ”Drako Motors Debuts Company and Introduces Drako DriveOS Platform for Electric Sports Cars”[4]
  56. ^ "The Latest EV Startup Promises a 206-MPH Four-Seater With 6490 Lb-Ft of Torque". Road & Track. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  57. ^ "Another EV startup is introducing a sports car with over 1,000 horsepower". Autoblog. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  58. ^ "Barracuda Networks founder plans to unveil electric 'supercar' this summer". Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  59. ^ "The Drako GTE electric supercar allegedly boasts 6,491 lb.-ft. of torque". Driving. 2019-06-23. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  60. ^ Automobile Mag Automobile's 20 Best Car Stories of the Year
  61. ^ Inside Evs See All The Slick And Wild EVs Revealed In Pebble Beach.
  62. ^ EdWeek K-12 Dealmaking: Eagle Eye Networks CEO Acquires LivingTree
  63. ^ Austin Business Journal Austin entrepreneur buys developer of a social network for moms and dads
  64. ^ District Administration K12 family engagement company bought Archived 2017-01-05 at the Wayback Machine
  65. ^ Manufacturing Connection Swift Sensors Launches Cloud Wireless Sensor System
  66. ^ DesignNews No Programming Required: Start-Up Rolls Out Simple IoT Solution
  67. ^ Channel e2e Swift Sensors Launches Cloud-based IoT Monitoring System
  68. ^ CTAN January 2013 Archived 2013-08-25 at the Wayback Machine
  69. ^ Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the year Hall of Fame: July 2007 Archived October 7, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  70. ^ Business Insider The 25 Best Tech Companies To Work For In 2011 Sept 2011
  71. ^ Kathryn Kranen elected chair of EDA Consortium , EETimes
  72. ^ Michigan EAC Members and Term of Service Retrieved April 2013 Archived 2013-04-05 at the Wayback Machine
  73. ^ Berkeley Engineering Channel Retrieved May 2014
  74. ^ BestTech Views Retrieved March 2019
  75. ^ Security Systems News: Goldman Sachs names Eagle Eye Networks founder one of '100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2014' Oct 2014
  76. ^ Commencement Speaker. University of Michigan Engineering. Retrieved 2016-04-30.