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Our team at NextStep has the right mix of operational, research, technical and investment experience needed to identify transformational companies that represent viable businesses. Our team’s technical experience spans pediatrics research, pediatric surgery, bioengineering, drug discovery & drug development, computer science and AI/machine learning. We have extensive experience developing first-in-class solutions in a variety of fields. We have significant early-stage startup operating experience as well as experience as entrepreneurs and in venture capital. We are supported by a stellar science advisory Board, with members of our advisory team spanning leading medical research institutes and successful companies around the US.


James Wall, M.D.


James Wall is an Associate Professor of Pediatric Surgery at Stanford University who specializes in minimally invasive approaches to children’s surgery. He is a physician entrepreneur who has developed multiple health technologies from idea to commercialization. James is currently the Director of the Stanford Bio design Innovation Fellowship and co-director of the UCSF-Stanford Pediatric Device Consortium. He has a foundation in double-bottom line venture investing with his work on the 2006 Pandemic Fund at Kleiner Perkins. James is passionate about building sustainable businesses that address the needs of the underserved patients in the pediatric, maternal and fetal populations.

James graduated from Tulane University with an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering and has a master’s in bioengineering from Stanford. He earned his M.D. at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.


Nick Triantos


Nick Triantos is a computer scientist, a multi-time entrepreneur, and a VC. In his technical roles, he’s worked at Apple, as the VP/chief software architect of NVIDIA in their early days (from pre-revenue through the IPO to ~$4B/year), as well as 5 other startups. He co-founded 3 companies, one in the 90s which sold to Oracle, one in 2010 which he sold to NetApp, and one in the field of neuroscience, where he was CTO. He has also been a Sequoia-backed CEO (at Tokbox) and on the management team of several other companies. He has worked as a Venture Partner at Quantum Technology Partners and Ignition Partners, and was a Managing Director at SRI International, where he helped commercialize numerous deeply technical software projects.

Nick earned his BS in Computer Science/Math from SUNY Buffalo and dual MBA degrees from Columbia University in NY and UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.


Gita Gupta


Gita is Executive Director of The Gupta Foundation, which funds basic science research and translational research on interventions that have the potential to improve quality of life for children and adults with neuro-developmental disorders, including autism. The impetus for philanthropy was her experience as a parent to a child with autism and several comorbid medical conditions, including primary immunodeficiency and epilepsy. Prior to this, Gita spent 18 years in software, and has extensive executive experience in companies at each stage of growth, ranging from seed-stage startups to Fortune 500 corporations. Gita holds an MS in Computer Science from Rutgers University and an MS in Engineering from Purdue University.


Julia Schaletzky, PhD


Julia is Director of the Henry Wheeler Center for Emerging & Neglected Diseases (CEND) at UC Berkeley, which includes the Immunotherapy and Vaccine Research Initiative (IVRI) and the Drug Discovery Center.

Dr. Schaletzky previously spent 11 years in the private sector, discovering and developing novel, first-in-class medicines against heart failure, HCM and neurodegenerative disorders, which have been evaluated in clinical trials by Cytokinetics, MyoKardia, Amgen, Astellas and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Passionate about innovation and translational science, she teaches bioentrepreneurship at the Haas School of Business, and has advised many successful startup companies from inception through IPO.

Dr. Schaletzky earned her Diploma (M.Sc.) in biochemistry at Bayreuth University and in the laboratory of Prof. Francis Barr at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany. She obtained her PhD with Prof. Tom Rapoport at Harvard Medical School/HHMI.

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