Robert Chess — Chairman
Rob currently serves as Chairman of Nektar Therapeutics, in addition to his work at OPXBIO. Nektar Therapeutics is a publicly listed company (NASDAQ: NKTR) that develops improved pharmaceutical products using its innovative drug delivery platforms. Rob joined Nektar in 1991 as its first non-founder employee, and was the company’s CEO through 1999. Since 1999, he has served as Nektar’s chairman and was also the acting CEO in 2006. Rob was previously the co-founder and president of Penederm, Inc., a publicly traded dermatological pharmaceutical company that was sold to Mylan Laboratories. He has held management positions at Intel Corporation and Metaphor Computer Systems (now part of IBM), and was a member of the first President Bush’s White House staff. Rob is chairman of Bio Venture for Global Health and a member of the Board of Directors of Metabolex, and is on the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Technology and the Committee for Economic Development. He is a member of the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he teaches courses in entrepreneurship and management of health care innovation, and is an adjunct fellow at Stanford’s Center for Health Policy. Rob received his B.S. degree in engineering from the California Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from Harvard.
Jon is a managing general partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures (MDV) in Menlo Park, California. He began his career as a software programmer for mainframe maker Amdahl Corp and was a vice president at Sun Microsystems prior to joining MDV in 1991. He is a Senior Fellow at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school) and lecturer teaching the Lean Launch Pad with Steve Blank in MS&E at Stanford University. Jon holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics and astrophysics from the University of Colorado.
William D. Lese
William is a co-founder and managing director of Braemar Energy Ventures, a venture capital firm headquartered in New York City that focuses exclusively on investing in early- to mid-stage energy technology companies, primarily in the United States and Canada. Mr. Lese has more than 24 years of research, operating, and venture capital experience in energy and environmental businesses. Prior to co-founding Braemar, Mr. Lese was a partner with Mantis Holdings, Inc., a venture capital firm focused on investing in environmental and energy efficiency companies, where he concentrated on emerging technologies for converting industrial waste streams into value-added products. Prior to Mantis Holdings, he was the director of business development for NPS Industries, Inc., an international manufacturer of engineered equipment for the power industry. Mr. Lese’s business development activities included managing a joint venture with Consolidated Edison Co., and managing other key customer relationships. Prior to joining NPS Industries, he was one of the original employees of Sithe Energies, Inc. (an affiliate of Vivendi, SA), which became one of the world’s largest independent power producers. At Sithe Energies, Mr. Lese had project and technical oversight responsibilities, including managing several power projects. Mr. Lese has both chaired and participated on numerous panels focusing on energy technology investment opportunities and major energy issues. He currently serves on boards of directors of EnerNOC, Celunol, Coaltek, and Utility Associates. He is chairman of the board of Solicore and serves as a board observer for Stion, Enerkem, and Fractal Systems. Mr. Lese has both a B.A. in physics and an M.S. in energy science from New York University.
Dirk is the Managing Partner of Altira Group LLC, a Denver-based venture capital firm focused on equity investments in the companies developing the enabling technologies of tomorrow’s energy world. Mr. McDermott has over 25 years as an investor, manager and scientist in the energy industry. His experience includes operating in the upstream oil-and-gas sector as the chief geophysicist of a major independent producer and participating in over 100 financings in the energy business. Mr. McDermott currently serves on the Board of Directors for Hyperion Power, MicroSeismic, DHI and Beyond Compliance. He is also a past director of Research Partnership for a Secure Energy America (RPSEA) and is the chairman of the Petroleum Investment Committee at Stanford University. In addition, he is a member of the Colorado Venture Capital Investment Advisory Committee. Mr. McDermott has an MBA and a Master of Science in Geophysics from Stanford University.
Jim has served as Managing Partner and Managing Director of US Renewables Group since 2003, a private equity firm that he co-founded. Before co-founding US Renewables Group, he worked as a private equities investor for Prudential’s Private Capital Group. As an entrepreneur, Jim has launched and run three software startups—Spoke Software, Archive, and Stamps.com (NASDAQ: STMP)—and invested in numerous others, among them NanoH2O, Inc., Real Practice, Inc., OH Energy Inc. and MagnaDrive. In addition, he has invested in more than 20 start-ups in the energy and internet sectors. He started his career as a public power banker with Credit Suisse’s Municipal Finance Group in New York. Jim also previously served as a director of the American Council on Renewable Energy, or ACORE. He holds a B.A. in philosophy from Colorado College and an M.B.A. from the Anderson School at UCLA.
Michael J. Rosenberg
Mike joined OPXBIO in December 2009 with more than 24 years of experience in the energy, alternative energy, and environmental industries and was appointed President and CEO in October of 2014. Most recently, Mike was vice president – business development at Evergreen Energy, a cleaner coal technology company. From 1998 to 2008, he held senior management positions at the leading hydrogen fuel cell company, Ballard Power Systems, including director – corporate development and strategy, director – business development, and business director – material handling. While at Ballard, he helped form Chrysalix Energy Limited Partnership, a leading venture capital firm in the cleantech industry. Prior to Ballard, Mike was senior treasury manager with Genentech, Inc., and held various positions in finance, environmental project management, and engineering with McKesson Corporation and ExxonMobil Company USA. Mike earned an MBA degree from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and he holds a B.S. degree in chemical and petroleum refining engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.