The longest-tenured professional venture capitalist in New Mexico, Tom has been investing in and growing New Mexico businesses since 1997.
Prior to founding Verge Fund, Tom had been a General Partner of various funds of Murphree Venture Partners, after serving as the Director of Education and Research for the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), a world-recognized leader in fostering the development of high-technology start-up companies. At ATI, he prepared entrepreneurs for raising angel and venture capital, evaluated businesses for entry into the incubator and provided business consulting to ATI companies. Stephenson served as an invited speaker to the National Business Incubation Association’s National Conference, and assisted the Russian Academy of Market Management’s Morozov Project in the formation of six pilot incubators in that country by providing on-site advice, generating local government support, and authoring their “Incubator Operations Manual.” Tom also spent time teaching at his high school alma mater, the Albuquerque Academy, and worked summers during college at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
While running the New Mexico office for Murphree Venture Partners, Tom led the investment in Mesofuel, a New Mexico company focused on producing hydrogen reformers for the fuel cell industry. Mesofuel was subsequently sold to Intelligent Energy, a UK developer of fuel cell systems. At Intelligent Energy’s IPO, the investment produced a 7.2x return on investment.
In addition to serving as the Managing General Partner of all the Verge funds, Tom was the lead Principal in Wellkeeper, the firm’s most recent exit in September of 2014. He also serves on the board of Verge companies Altela, attachedapps, boomtime and TruTouch Technologies. Building upon his success in the fuel cell industry with MesoFuel, Tom founded and serves as the CEO of Verge II.5 portfolio company Pajarito Powder.