Laura Smoliar became a Founding Partner of the Berkeley Catalyst Fund because it combines her passion for mentoring technical entrepreneurs with her interest in philanthropy. Laura founded a start-up in 2005 called Mobius Photonics (acquired by NASDAQ:IPGP), where she served as Chairman and CEO, and where she raised several rounds of funding from investors in the USA and Japan. She has worked in diverse hardware industries including data storage, displays, lasers, and biotech instrumentation. In 2017 Laura was elected a Senior Member of the SPIE and was awarded the Judith Pool award by the Association for Women in Sciences for her mentoring work. Laura earned her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from UC Berkeley’s College of Chemistry with Yuan T. Lee. She also holds an A.B. Summa Cum Laude in Chemistry from Columbia College, Columbia University.