Donald Spero co-founded New Markets Venture Partners in 2003 and is a General Partner. Prior to New Markets, Don was Director of the University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and Founder of Spero Quality Strategies (SQS), a firm that provides seed capital and mentoring for entrepreneurs and strategic consulting for corporate and non-profit clients. During Don’s tenure at the Dingman Center, the program was ranked as one of the best entrepreneurial centers in the U.S. While running SQS, Don took many appointments to corporate and non-profit boards.
Prior to starting SQS, Don served for 21 years as the founder, president and CEO of Fusion Systems Corporation, which provides high technology manufacturing systems to global customers in telecommunications, semiconductor, printing, packaging, automotive and other industries. The company conducted a successful IPO and its divisions were later acquired by Spectris PLC and Eaton Corporation. Don directed the development of Fusion’s technology, business model and operational structure. He led the company’s global strategy, built the company to over 200 employees, established Tokyo and London offices, and took an aggressive approach to protection of intellectual property, on which he published an article in The Harvard Business Review. Don has since served as a Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland.
Don earned his bachelors degree in Engineering Physics from Cornell University and his Ph.D. in Physics from Columbia University. He did post-doctoral work in physics at the University of Maryland, where his research led to the development of high intensity microwave lamps that became the core technology for Fusion Systems.
Don is a world class rower, a seven times U. S. national champion, a member of the 1964 U.S. Olympic team, and a winner of the 1966 World Championships in single sculls. He is married with two children and one grandchild.