Raul Valdes-Perez (Vivisimo)


Raul Valdes-Perez (Vivisimo)



Raul Valdes-Perez is an entrepreneur and com-puter scientist. Currently he is owner of Advice is for Winners, LLC which he organized to pub-lish a forthcoming book Advice is for Winners: How to Seek, Get, and Use Advice. Raul co-founded Vivisimo Inc. in June 2000 and served as its CEO and Chairman for nine years until recruiting a new leadership team in June 2009. He then served as Executive Chairman until Vivisimo’s acquisition by IBM in May 2012. In the company’s early days, he raised National Science Foundation grants totaling nearly $1M and $500,000 from Inno-vation Works (a Pennsylvania state investment agency), launched Vivisimo to consistent double-digit revenue growth, profitable quarters, and prominence as an enterprise search company (Leader on the Gart-ner Magic Quadrant) without ever raising equity investment up through the acquisition.

Raul’s entrepreneurial contributions have been acknowledged with these awards:

Top Ten Reader Favorite for Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. magazine

CEO of the year finalist (twice: ‘06 & ‘07) by the Pittsburgh Technology Council

100 Most Important Hispanics in Business and Technology by Hispanic Engineer mag-azine (3 consecutive years)

CEO Communicator of the Year (for-profit) by the Public Relations Society of America (Pittsburgh Chapter)

Outstanding Alumni Career Achievement, UIC College of Engineering, 2006

Carnegie Science Center Information Tech-nology Award for Excellence, 2006

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year E-commerce, North Central Area, 2007

Citizen of the Year, 2007, Squirrel Hill Ur-ban Coalition


Before starting Vivisimo, Raul was a faculty member (research) from 1991 through 2000 at Carnegie Mellon’s computer science department, where he remains an Adjunct Associate Profes-sor. His research on new methods and applica-tions of knowledge discovery led to publishing 50 scholarly journal articles and book chapters in natural, social, and computer science, such as in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Brain and Language, Journal of Theoretical Biology, Organometallics, Physical Review E, Anthropo-logical Linguistics, and Communications of the ACM. He saw Vivisimo as a continuation of his work on making knowledge workers – whether scientists or not – more productive at finding patterns and new knowledge from data and text.

Raul has been a Principal Investigator on seven grants from the National Science Foundation, served on its advisory committee for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, and was an action editor of the journal Ma-chine Learning. Representing Vivísimo, he has spoken at the Wharton Technology Conference, Search Engine Strategies, KM World & Intranets, FOSE, Busi-ness4Site, and many others dis-cussing search technology and its future, and he represented Vivisimo at the White House’s Jobs summit in Dec 2009, hosted by President Obama. He is on the Board of Di-rectors of the Pittsburgh Technology Council and the Pittsburgh World Affairs Council, and the Advisory Board of Safaba Translation Solutions.

Raul received a computer science Ph.D. at Car-negie Mellon in 1991 with a thesis on “Machine Discovery of Chemical Reaction Pathways” ad-vised by Herbert A. Simon (Nobel Laureate in Economics, 1978). He spent 1984-86 as a Re-search Scientist at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab in Randy Davis’s expert-systems group, and 1983-84 as a software engineer at Itau Tecnologia in Sao Paulo, Brazil, designing and implementing a Logo interpreter in Z80 assem-bly language for a 64kB RAM machine. He graduated with a B.S. (1980) and M.S. (1982) in information engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He holds one patent in search technology.

Raul was born in Havana, Cuba and attended school in Chicago and its suburbs. He has stud-ied or worked in Spain, Brazil, and China and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. He lives with his family in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighbor-hood.