Steve Carnevale is executive Chairman of Sawgrass Technologies, a developer of enabling technologies for digital inkjet product decoration that connects creativity and commerce through mass customization. From an early stage investment, Mr. Carnevale has strategically guided the Company into a global technology provider with more than 160 patents. Sawgrass is pioneering a newly emerging market analogous to 3D printing for textiles, metals, glass, plastics, ceramics and many other product surfaces.
Mr. Carnevale has been a venture capitalist for twenty years with his own boutique investment firm Point Cypress Venture and previously as head of private equity and crossover investing at two different hedge funds. One of his most notable investment is eFax, an early Internet company that went public and was later merged with J2 Global Communications (NASDAQ: JCOM) and has a current market cap in excess of $2 Billion.
He typically serves as the lead investor, and as such, is actively involved with the development of high-level strategies and day-to-day operations. Mr. Carnevale has served on boards of directors or as chairman of numerous public and private companies and has extensive expertise in the areas of corporate finance and governance issues. He has also chaired audit, finance and compensation sub-committees. But his real love is technology start-ups which disrupt existing markets.
Prior to his venture capital career, Mr. Carnevale spent twelve years in management of various industrial enterprises. He began his career in network engineering with AT&T before moving into the offshore oil industry and executive positions with Oceaneering International (NYSE: OII). At Oceaneering, he pioneered the development and operation of underwater robotic systems that work on the ocean floor. In 1985, Mr. Carnevale joined a NASDAQ specialty chemical company with market applications in health care, food packaging, defense and aerospace, where he completed a successful turnaround of the company. In 1990, he initiated a buyout of a private specialty computer manufacturer and served as its CEO until it was sold.
Charitable and Educational Interests
Mr. Carnevale is a founding Board Member of the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE). From its inception in 2007, CFE has accelerated Michigan into one of the top university entrepreneurship programs in the country (recently named #1 by Entrepreneurship magazine). He also leads Michigan's Silicon Valley Alumni Network for technology and entrepreneurship. Mr. Carnevale is a strong advocate of Steve Blank’s Lean Launch Pad methodology for teaching and developing start-up entrepreneurial companies, which Michigan has helped pioneer.
Mr. Carnevale is helping Michigan launch a student-driven Leadership Center connected to the Leaders-For-Life Program. He is also involved with student recruiting for Michigan in the Bay Area.
Mr. Carnevale is the Founder and Chairs the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Advisory Board for the newly created Dyslexia Center, the first of its kind in the country. UCSF is conducting groundbreaking neurodevelopmental research in partnership with the Armstrong School, located in Belmont CA (which specialized in teaching young dyslexic children). The goal is to combine precision medicine and precision education to revolutionize the learning of dyslexic children who represent more than 20% of the population.
For community work, Mr. Carnevale is Emeritus Board Member and former Board President of The Olympic Club Foundation, whose mission is to help disadvantaged youth of the Bay Area build life skills through sports.
He is a 1978 graduate of the University of Michigan, with an Engineering degree and a minor concentration in Marketing.
In addition to his varied business career, he and his wife Kelly reside in San Francisco, and are the proud parents of twin sons who attend high school. They own the Napa Valley Blue Oak Vineyard which produces a single vineyard estate-bottled blend that was named the best Merlot in 2008. A longtime member of the New York Explorers Club, he has a keen interest in marine and Mayan archaeology. Mr. Carnevale is an expert scuba diver, as well as a former instructor and professional underwater photographer. He is a long time student of the martial arts with a proficiency in Korean, Chinese and Japanese styles as well as an enthusiastic but average golfer.
Areas of Investment Expertise Areas of investment expertise span many technology-driven industries, including supply chain management, digital printing, document management, network management, telephony, eLearning, customer relationship management, enterprise software applications, chemical nanotechnology and technology-enabling mass customization.
Currently Chairman of the Board of Sawgrass Technologies www.sublimation.com , a high performance chemical company that manufactures patented nano dispersion digital inks for vertical market solutions in the printing industry.
In addition to Point Cypress Ventures - his personal investment firm – Steve is a partner with Risk Equity Partners www.RiskEquity.com, an acquisition and turnaround firm.