Member Profile: Steve Papermaster, CEO of Nano

Steve is a technology entrepreneur and public policy expert who is highly experienced in founding, growing and funding innovative technology companies around the world.

About Bloomberg Breakaway Membership


Steve is a technology entrepreneur and public policy expert who is highly experienced in founding, growing and funding innovative technology companies around the world.

Steve spent two terms in the White House serving as a senior advisor to former U.S. President George W. Bush on domestic and global strategy for innovation, technology healthcare and science. As a presidential advisor, he helped lead the National Nanotechnology Initiative, the Human Genome Project and the White House Fellow, one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service.

He has founded, led or served as a board member for several private and publicly traded companies, including LabNow, Moxie, Medaphis, Powershift Group, ROME Corp. (acquired by TriplePoint Technologies), TechRepublic (acquired by CNET Networks), Perficient (NASDAQ: PRFT), Vignette Corp. (NASDAQ:OTXT), Per Se Technologies (NYSE: MCK), Tipping Point Technologies (NASDAQ: HP), Novell and BSG Corp.

Steve is a recipient of the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award co-founded the “World Entrepreneur of the Year.” He co-authored the book “Smart Life,” a guide to technology innovation that drives major social changes around the world.


What defines a successful leader?

A successful leader inspires leadership. I believe that every person in a company should be a leader, and as CEOs, it’s our job to ignite that sense of leadership. When people are inspired and motivated, they take full ownership of their work and approach every challenge with dynamism and energy .

Culture and talent are important to any company’s success. How do you engage and inspire your workforce?

First, I think your vision and the mission you are asking people to go on with you must be magnetic and compelling. Magnetism drives a culture of passion and excitement. In my experience, people become more personally invested when they experience an authentic, shared sense of purpose and see their own beliefs and goals reflected in the company’s.

I also think that a high level of trust is critical to any company’s culture. I always strive to create and environment where people feel comfortable being open, honest and sharing new ideas without fearing consequences of vulnerability.

Innovation and disruption are reshaping industries every day. What do you see as the number one game-changer facing businesses today?

In a time of disruption, the game-changer for business leaders is courage. It takes courageous and instinctive leadership to pull off and adapt to disruption successfully. In any time of rapid, turbulent change, I think success is rooted in courage, decisiveness and a healthy sense of humor.

Challenges abound in today’s fast-changing business environment. What keeps you up at night?

Phone calls to whichever side of the world I’m not on at the moment.

Why did you join Bloomberg Breakaway?
First and foremost, I have a lot of respect for Bloomberg’s reputation as one of the premier global business circles, brands and networks. As a longtime advocate of entrepreneurship, I relish every opportunity to be part of like-minded groups that are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit and demands of today’s fast-paced business world.

Even CEOs need downtime. How do you recharge?

In my limited spare time, I recharge by exercising, reading and spending quality time with my friends and family.

In the news

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Steve Papermaster


About Bloomberg Breakaway

Membership in Bloomberg Breakaway combines exclusive, one-of-a-kind peer networking with insight from industry experts, innovators and global leaders.
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