Steve NelsonManaging Partner, Wakefield Group
Steve joined Wakefield Group in 1999 and is now Managing Partner. He established the venture capital firm’s Research Triangle Park, NC office. Steve joined Wakefield after 19 years of executive and general management experience in technology, software and Internet-based businesses. During the last three years of his professional career before starting at Wakefield, Steve was at Quokka Sports, a digital sports media company, in several executive capacities. Quokka raised over $140M in capital and successfully completed an IPO in 1999. He served as the San Francisco-based top executive and general manager of a joint venture company between NBC Sports and Quokka Sports, NBC/Quokka Ventures, where legendary and former NBC Sports Chairman, Dick Ebersol, served as the JV’s chairman.
Prior to Quokka, Steve worked in Silicon Valley as a Vice President with Informix Software in Menlo Park, California. His first business experience was 14 years at IBM, ultimately as Vice President and General Manager in San Francisco. Steve is a former member of the board of directors of many companies, including Constella (sold to SRA International), APEX Analytix (sold to PNC), RxMedic (sold to QS/1) and Motricity (NASDAQ – MOTR). He is currently a board member or observer at Appia, FrontStream, Liquidia (where he also served as CEO), SciQuest (NASDAQ – SQI), and is chairman of BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina. He is a past Chairman of North Carolina’s Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED). He is also a Foundation Board member and chairman at the North Carolina School of Science & Math. From 2001-2009, Steve served on the Investment Advisory Committee for two consecutive popularly elected State Treasurers of North Carolina.
Steve was also invited by the Chancellor of the UNC-CH to be a member of the Innovation Circle, named co-champion for their commercialization and collaboration initiatives. He is also a member of the Board of Visitors of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and is a Trustee at Wake Forest University. Then Governor of the State of North Carolina, Beverly Perdue, created the first ever North Carolina Innovation Council and asked Steve to be its co-chair with a goal to advise the Governor on:
• coordinating public and private investments and policies to promote innovation;
• moving innovative ideas from the lab to the marketplace more efficiently;
• strengthening collaboration among business, academia, state and local government.
Steve is now working with Governor Pat McCrory and his senior advisors to implement the Council’s recommendations. Steve received his B.S. degree in Business from Wake Forest.