Walter is a Senior Advisor and former Managing Director of Summit Partners. He joined the firm in 1989, and he has invested in more than 30 companies, including 15 public companies. Over the course of his tenure at Summit, Walter helped to establish Summit’s West Coast office, served on the firm’s executive committee and was a Managing Director until 2010. In addition, Walter served as a member of Summit’s Board of Managers until 2017.
Walter’s prior Summit board directorships and investments include E-TEK Dynamics, McAfee, Finisar, HMT Technology, Diamond Multimedia Systems, AltoCom, NetCom Systems and Xylan.
Prior to Summit, Walter was a Vice President and Associate at Crosspoint Venture Partners and a software engineer in the computer graphics field. He received a BS in engineering, with honors, from Oregon State University, an MS in engineering from Caltech, and an MBA from UCLA.
In 2013, Walter helped launch SignalFire as the first seed fund using a proprietary AI data platform to source investments and track technical talent across the globe. He served as Executive Chairman and Chief Investment Officer until 2023, when he transitioned to Chairman Emeritus and Founding Investor of SignalFire. Today as a private investor, Walter invests in pre-seed and seed stage companies in the developer tooling, infrastructure, open-source, cybersecurity, and ML/AI infra sectors.
Walter was named to the Forbes Midas List from 2007 to 2010. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees at Caltech and a former director of the National Venture Capital Association.
Walter and his wife Marcia are active philanthropists having established the Kortschak Scholars Program for incoming Ph.D. students in computer science at Caltech and the USC Kortschak Center for Learning and Creativity at the University of Southern California. They also endowed the Division Chair in Film and Television Production at USC Cinematic Arts.