Tom Kraemer graduated from the University of Pennsylvania summa cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He majored in Economics and "German Soviet Relations," an individualized major he created. Thereafter, Tom won a Fulbright Scholarship to Munich, Germany, where he studied East-West trade and the Soviet oil and gas industries. Tom completed a Ph.D. in Management at the Wharton School, where he concentrated on entrepreneurship and strategy. His dissertation is entitled "Sustainable Rapid Growth: Why Some Firms Succeed and Others Fail," and focuses on how a firm's intangible assets and the way it manages them impact its growth prospects.
After finishing Wharton, Tom worked in technology equity research at Bernstein, Morgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch for eight years. At his last position at Merrill, he led the team covering server and enterprise hardware (Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Sun Microsystems, EMC, Network Appliance, and Brocade, among others) as a managing director. Tom was ranked by Greenwich Associates and Institutional Investor every year he covered stocks. In 2000, Fortune magazine chose him as one of the 15 best analysts working on Wall Street. Tom was one of the first analysts to downgrade technology in late 2000.
After "retiring" to Miami Beach, he became involved in his family's failing construction and mining business. Tom planned, financed, and led its turnaround. The team transformed a $350M firm that lost $50M in two years into two firms with $170M in revenues and $8M+ in earnings in 2010. The team shuttered five divisions, spun out a mining business, replaced the entire top management team, saved over 400 jobs, repaid $35M in debt, and generated $50M+ in equity by the end of 2010. Tom served as CEO of the mining business for four years. He still serves on the boards of both companies, as well as that of Bard Holdings, a clean-tech algae firm based in Pennsylvania.
Tom has also been deeply involved in nonprofits. He served for nine years on the board of GLSEN, an education organization dedicated to ending harassment and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered youth. He served on the executive, development, finance, and audit committees. He co-chaired the first two NY Respect Awards that now raise nearly $2 million annually for GLSEN.
Tom is passionate about developing people, growing and fixing businesses, identifying new markets, technology, and entrepreneurship. He believes that innovation can simultaneously produce wealth, justice, and societal progress. Accordingly, he wants to focus on clean tech and technology as an investor, board member, and manager. His two favorite quotations are:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
"For of those to whom much is given, much is required...." - John F. Kennedy