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David Tarver    

Technology Business Executive, Entrepreneur and Author of “Proving Ground: A Memoir”

David Tarver is a highly successful technology business executive with an incredible entrepreneurial journey and amazing success in corporate R&D, technology business startup and social entrepreneurship. Growing up in Flint, Michigan, David had dreams of one day starting a company that would make “electronic stuff.” Ten years later, the University of Michigan engineering graduate—then a product development engineer at AT&T Bell Laboratories—persuaded two colleagues to join him in launching a technology company from his basement.

In 1983, David launched Telecom Analysis Systems, Inc. – a high-tech telecommunications instrumentation business. In 1995, he engineered the sale of TAS to Bowthorpe (now Spirent) plc for $30 million. From 1996-99, Tarver spearheaded the creation of a $300 million Spirent telecommunications test equipment unit worth over $2 billion. David left the corporate sector in 1999 to pursue community service and family interests. To this end, he founded the Red Bank Education and Development Initiative, a community-based not-for-profit organization that catalyzed dramatic improvements in academic performance and opportunities for children in Red Bank, New Jersey.

Tarver has served on numerous civic and nonprofit boards—including the Board of Education in Red Bank, New Jersey; the National Advisory Committee for the University of Michigan (U-M) College of Engineering; the National Commission on NAEP 12th Grade Assessment and Reporting; the U-M Alumni Association board of directors and several other civic and not-for-profit organization boards. A quiet philanthropist, David Tarver endowed the Fred and Louise Tarver Scholarship Fund at the University of Michigan— which provides a full, 4-year scholarship to an incoming engineering student.

Today, David lectures in the U-M College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship, and speaks at colleges and universities around the country sharing principles from his book, “Proving Ground: A Memoir.” In addition, David devotes time to coaching and supporting entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship programs throughout Southeast Michigan and beyond. David earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

David resides in Michigan with his wife and young daughter.

Speech Topics


My story: how I built a multi-million dollar tech company from the ground up

Are you ready for entrepreneurship?

The million-dollar idea: find it, test it, do it

Keep 100%: finance your business without giving up ownership!

Turbocharge your career: act like an owner

Taking the plunge: when is it time to leave the "safe" corporate job?

Don't fear failure-- use it!

Beyond the "isms": building a powerhouse multicultural organization

Turbocharge your organization: act like a startup

Should my first job after college be a startup?

News


Flint native David Tarver joins Ruth Mott Foundation's board of trustees

Flint native W. David Tarver joined the Ruth Mott Foundation's board of trustees.

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