Lister is passionate about entrepreneurship and company formation, and has been an early stage investor and advisor to entrepreneurs since 2001. During his career, Lister has led the evaluation of thousands of companies and has been a close advisor to more than 50 startups. In his role at IDEA Fund Partners, Lister is responsible for all aspects of the venture process, from deal sourcing and negotiation to management of portfolio investments. Currently, Lister serves on the boards of seven portfolio companies; 71 Lbs, Canopy, FilterEasy, First, GradSave, Reveal Mobile, and WedPics. In addition, he represents the fund as an observer in five other portfolio companies; Distil Networks, NextRay, Sift, Spiffy, and Windsor Circle.
Lister led the design and implementation of the NC IDEA grants program. Under Lister’s leadership, NC IDEA has awarded over $2.1 million to 57 companies.
Lister brings to his job a broad range of technical skills in diverse industry sectors, from ASIC design to software development and systems engineering. Prior to IDEA Fund Partners and NC IDEA, Lister worked for five years in the telecommunications and semiconductor industries, first at AT&T Bell Labs, and later at Lucent Technologies. Lister received his Sc.B. in Electrical Engineering from Brown University, an M.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.