Carnegie Mellon University

Integrated Innovation Institute

Engineering + Design + Business

Integrated Innovation Institute

Keith Cotterill, FCA

Dr. Keith Cotterill, FCA

Adjunct Faculty

Mountain View, CA


Keith is an adjunct lecturer at CMU Silicon Valley in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He is also currently Vice President of Sales at San Francisco-based start-up, In a 25-year technology career he has worked with EY, Accenture, Oracle, SAP, Netscape and other leading firms. A Chartered Accountant, he has managed Product Strategy and Sales and Technology, as well as acted as CEO, CFO, and founder in a number of Silicon Valley start-ups, leading to multiple successful exits via IPO and trade sales. He founded a Cambridge-based material science company and acts as partner in a California-based seed fund. He lives in Menlo Park, California.

Advice for Future Innovators

"Give up now (and ignore this advice)."

Areas of Expertise

Investing, starting and mentoring new ventures; aligning startups with corporate requirements and organizations; hands-on sales and development of new products, customers and partners; design thinking and its practical implementation. 

Integrated Innovation Courses

  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship I
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship II


  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Engineering/Technology Management - University of Cambridge
  • Master of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics - Oxford University 
  • Chartered Accountant (Fellow)


  • Ongoing collaboration with University of Cambridge on practical applications of Design Thinking
  • Working with a portfolio of startups based in San Francisco Bay Area and London, England.


  • Cotterill, K., & da Silva, J. F. (2011). (2011). Platform Design: How the Increasing Importance of Platforms Impacts Design Management. In Cambridge Academic Design Management Conference (CADMC). Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge.
  • Cotterill, K. (2011). Entrepreneurs’ Response to Failure in Early Stage Technology Ventures: A Comparative Study. In IEEE ITMC. San Jose, CA.
  • Cotterill, K. (2012). A Comparative Study of Entrepreneurs’ Attitudes to Failure in Technology Ventures. International Journal of Innovation Science , 4(2), 101–116.
  • Cotterill, K. (2012). How do attitudes of habitual high-technology entrepreneurs to early-stage failure differ in Silicon Valley, Cambridge and Munich? PhD Final Thesis. University of Cambridge. Retrieved from


  • Fellowship, The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), 2013