Steve Semelsberger, founder of Alder Growth Partners, has spent the last 20 years working with a collection of software, media, non-profit and services companies in the US and UK. His experience spans practice leadership, general management, mergers and acquisitions, business development, consulting, sales, marketing, angel investing, teaching, board and advisory work.
With both public and private company experience, including growth into and through two IPOs, Steve understands organizational dynamics. And with two sell-side acquisitions, a spinout/asset transfer, major OEM/reseller partnerships, and a buy-side acquisition under his belt, Steve's well versed in inorganic growth.
Steve has also helped numerous client companies successfully navigate acquisitions. And for the last several years, he has focused on human possibilities, covering behavior change, leadership design and individual transformation.
With a balanced portfolio of human, financial and market skills, Steve's a good guy to consider for a variety of early stage, large/complex, and/or turn-around situations.
Semelsberger has enjoyed a multi-decade career, living and working in Austin, Silicon Valley, NY and London:
Testlio (2015 - 2018, CEO): Steve originally invested in Testlio in 2014 and served as an advisor. He happily joined Testlio full-time in October 2018.
SYPartners (2015 - 2018, President/Advisor): after serving SYP as an advisor for a year, Steve joined full-time in late 2015 as one of several presidents, focused on helping the firm deepen product capabilities and fuel individual transformation offerings. He also served clients like AARP, Apple, Center for Healthy Minds, CVS, Facebook, Kellogg, On Being, and USA Today. In late 2018, Steve moved back into an advisor role for SYP.
Alder Growth Partners (2014 - Present, Founder): Steve started Alder based on his passion for helping people and companies evolve, optimize, expand and prosper.
YouEarnedIt (2013, CEO): Steve learned a great deal (both via accomplishments and mistakes) as a first time CEO while helping the employee engagement SaaS startup spinout from its parent company and tackle its first growth wave.
Demand Media (2008 - 2013, SVP & GM): joining via the acquisition of Pluck, Steve served as a senior executive during DMD's explosive growth to $350M in revenue, 800 employees and a $1.8B IPO.
Pluck (2004 - 2008, VP Sales & Business Development): building a team of 12 Sales Directors, Steve helped fuel rapid growth from $0 to $10M+ in revenue, an all-cash $67M acquisition, and 13 straight quarters of on or above target bookings growth.
Motive (1999 - 2004, Roles Included Director, EMEA and Director, Alliances): Steve helped Motive grow from ~$10M to ~$100M in revenue and complete a $700M IPO in 2004. Steve was promoted three times in four years, including an international field marketing & alliances stint in London.
Earlier Work (1992 - 1999): companies and roles included iChat (Alliances), NetRatings (Product Marketing), Mercury Records (Marketing) and Pencom Systems (where Steve was the #1 revenue producer in his last 2 quarters of sales).
Steve's engagements with Alder clients have included Starcom MediaVest Group, the Linux Foundation, Koupon Media, OutboundEngine and Spiceworks. Please visit our Clients section to learn more.
Steve has been honored to present at various global events in cities like Berlin, London, Seoul, New York, Chicago, and Venice. He's also been active with press, industry & analyst teams (Forrester, Internet Retailer, Mashable, NPR, NRF, Shop.org, STORES Media, TechCrunch, Entrepreneur, TechTarget, etc.).
After scoring in the top 1% of his GMATs, Steve joined Duke University as one of the youngest MBA students in his class. There, he attempted to bring a slender but nimble high-school football player's approach to the wing position on the rugby team. He also loved his transfer time at the IESE business school in Barcelona (so much that he eventually brought his now-wife to Barcelona to propose to her).
To further tap his passion for giving and serving, Steve updated and taught the Entrepreneurship course at Concordia University Texas. He also serves as a Mentor for Techstars and has been a Partner at Capital Factory. He supports a variety of organizations including Sustainable Food Center (where he served as a Board Director), Doctors Without Borders, Equal Justice Initiative, the Sierra Club, and the Nature Conservancy.
Steve is married and has three sons. Given the opportunity, his family hits the outdoors, bounding off to the mountains, forrests and/or water whenever possible. Other loves include experimental stovetop cooking, jazz drumming and international soccer.
Find Steve on LinkedIn: in/semels