Tim Bucher’s entrepreneurial drive has turned a love of computers and agriculture into a successful career.
Bucher ’86, a software executive who grew up on a farm in Healdsburg, Calif., came to UC Davis because he was interested in designing tractors. However, the aspiring engineer’s career goals changed when he took a required computer class during his freshman year.
“I quickly became fascinated by the subject and realized that this was something I might want to pursue further,” Bucher said.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, Bucher became a serial entrepreneur, creating several successful companies that either went public or were acquired by technology giants like Microsoft, Apple and Dell. Bucher also worked in executive positions under Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Michael Dell. Many iconic consumer tech products — such as Xbox, WebTV, various Macintosh personal computers and the iPod — have Bucher’s fingerprints on them.
Bucher also pursued entrepreneurial opportunities that have ties to his agricultural roots. He recently founded a business named TastingRoom.com that leverages a process he patented allowing wines to be repackaged into smaller bottles without spoiling. He also is the owner of wine and olive companies in Sonoma County, Calif.
Bucher credits UC Davis for introducing him to the world of possibilities in technology and entrepreneurship. For that reason, he and his family recently endowed the Tim Bucher Family Chair of Computer Science.
“I believe in making the impossible possible,” Bucher said. “I hope that the endowed chair we established in Computer Science can inspire the leader of that department to keep that spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship alive and well amongst the faculty and students for generations to come.”