We are company builders

Our Story

Since meeting in the late 1980’s at a Massachusetts data communications company acquired by Motorola, we joined together in 2015 to launch Sternhill Associates, providing investment capital and consulting services to innovative early-stage companies.

While we pursued divergent paths in the intervening years, we both focused our careers on working with innovative technologies in many fields: Bob as a Fortune 50 company executive leading technology, strategy, and corporate development, a management consultant, and a venture capitalist — and Per as an entrepreneur, start-up executive, and consultant.

 Per Suneby
Per SunebyCo-Founder
An entrepreneur and experienced startup executive, Per has worked for more than 30 years in the clean energy, clean water, IT, telecommunications, power generation, and MedTech sectors— with both new and established companies—and venture capital firms.

Per is a founder of several companies, including Indus River Networks, a developer of enterprise virtual private networking solutions, and Vanguard Renewables, a developer of waste-to-energy projects. He has also served as CEO, President or Executive Chairman of six other startups in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions, and supported numerous others as a business development consultant, advisor, or board member.

He serves on the Advisory Board of the New England Water Innovation Network (NEWIN) and is one of 12 Founding Fellows of the New England Clean Energy Council (NECEC) Fellowship Program. Representing the clean-tech sector, Per accompanied Governor Deval Patrick on the Massachusetts 2011 Trade Mission to Brazil.

As a long-time Mentor with the MIT Venture Mentoring Service, Greentown Labs, the Harvard Launch Lab, and the CleanTech Open Northeast, Per is very active in helping innovative entrepreneurs turn their ideas into promising startup companies. Currently, Per heads Corporate Development for, and serves on the Board of Directors of, LiquidPiston, and consults for other portfolio companies.

Emigrated from Sweden, educated in Canada, and having held several positions with worldwide business responsibility and international operations, Per has an experience base and appreciation for global opportunities. Per holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of British Columbia and an MBA with Distinction from the Harvard Business School.

Per lives with his wife, Liz, in Wellesley, MA where — with a son who recently graduated from college and a daughter who is a junior — they’re not quite empty-nesters.

Bob Stearns
Bob StearnsCo-Founder
A senior-level high technology executive with background in technology, marketing, planning, and venture capital, and deep experience in computing, communications, medical and scientific devices, the Internet, and enterprise software, Bob has been involved in over seventy start-up companies, as an employee, investor, and/or board member. As a board member of both private and public companies, he has chaired both Audit and Compensation Committees, and helped prepare private companies for public offerings.

Bob joined Compaq Computer Corporation in 1993 as Senior Vice President, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, responsible for directing all of the Company’s strategic planning and business development activities, including minority equity investments (including a $400M venture portfolio), major and strategic joint ventures and alliances, advanced research and product development, new business incubation, and corporate marketing. Stearns joined Compaq from McKinsey & Company, where he served as a consultant to domestic and international high technology clients. Prior to joining McKinsey, he held senior management positions at a number of technology companies, including Codex, Motorola, and with Management Technologies Inc., which he co-founded.

After Compaq, Bob co-founded Sternhill Partners, a Houston-based high-tech venture capital firm that he helped manage with two other partners for almost 15 years. Currently, he is an active member of the MIT Venture Mentoring Service, a Greentown Labs mentor, serves on the Advisory Board of SparkCognition, and is an active member of MassChallenge, and advisor to Beth Israel Lahey Health’s newly formed Health Technology Exploration Center (HTEC).

Bob has served on the Board of Governors of the Brown University Alumni Association, the Brown University Entrepreneurship Program advisory board, the Advisory Council for Computing and Information Technology at Brown, and on the advisory board for the Center for Nano- and Molecular Science and Technology at the University of Texas at Austin.

Bob holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Brown University, and a Master of Science degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bob lives with his wife, Noni, in Needham, MA.

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