Donald Spero co-founded New Markets Venture Partners in 2003 and served as a General Partner through 2019. Prior to New Markets, Don was Director of the University of Maryland Smith College of Business’ Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and Founder of Spero Quality Strategies (SQS), providing 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 entrepreneurship centers in the U.S. During that period Don was also Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship at the Smith School. Over his career, Don has served on many private and public corporate boards and also on non-profit boards.
Prior to starting SQS, Don served for 21 years as the founder, president and CEO of Fusion Systems Corporation, providing high technology manufacturing systems to global customers in telecommunications, semiconductor, printing, packaging, automotive and other industries. The company conducted an IPO in 1994. The Semiconductor division was later acquired by Eaton Corporation and the UV Curing Division by Spectris PLC, then subsequently sold to Heraeus Noblelight GmbH.
Don directed the development of Fusion’s technology, business model and operational structure. He led the company’s global strategy, grew it 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. He also led the implementation of Motorola Six Sigma Quality practices as a core business strategy at Fusion.
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, 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 three children and five grandchildren.
former CEO, Fusion Systems Corporation
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