Thompson, Marco – Headshot

Marco Thompson

Express Ventures

Partner, Express Ventures / Fmr. CEO & Founder, Doctor Design (acquired by WindRiver/Intel)

Thompson co-founded & ran CommNexus San Diego, (formerly San Diego Telecom Council) a non-profit network of communications, government, and defense industry companies. A familiar face in the boardrooms of a number of innovative San Diego concerns, Thompson will call on over thirty years of engineering services management experience and a vast network of technology contacts and affiliations to direct the technology focus for the Sorrento Valley engineering services company.

Thompson has designed and managed his way to entrepreneurial success. In 1984 he founded Doctor Design, an embedded engineering services firm that contracted for such companies as AMD, Intel, Samsung, Mitsubishi, DIRECTV, Philips, Thomson, Sony, and IBM. Thompson would later sell the $50 million firm to Integrated Systems, which merged with Wind River (WIND) in 2000, and then merged with Intel (INTC) in 2009. Thompson stayed with the firm for 25 years before departing in November of 2009. Although trained only as an engineer, and not a marketer or manager, Thompson credits the exceptional strength of UCSD and the entrepreneurial network of San Diego for the success of his former firm. “We reached 250 people because UCSD taught great basic engineering and thinking skills and because the San Diego community is great at networking and providing mentoring to promising entrepreneurs.”

Prior to joining Solekai, Thompson co-founded & ran CommNexus San Diego, (formerly San Diego Telecom Council) a non-profit network of communications, government, and defense industry companies. Thompson is also currently a Managing Partner at Express Ventures, an early stage Venture Capital Firm, which has funded eight San Diego companies. In addition, Marco is the founder & Vice Chairman of San Diego Sport Innovators, and is the Vice-Chair of the Board of Connect, San Diego’s startup assistance organization. Thompson earned his BSEE, in Applied Physics & Information Systems in 1979 from the University of California at San Diego. In 2003, Thompson was named the Alumni of the Year by the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering and further honored by being inducted into the Hall of Fame for Engineering, Science and Technology. His interests include heli-skiing, wakesurfing, hockey, and snowboarding.