Steve WalkerSteve Walker is someone you want to have coffee with. The only problem is that you never quite know what the topic of conversation will be.
Steve started his technology consulting company in 2003, and has seen both growth and profitability in all but one quarter since. With the success he’s seen at Cobaltix, he’s also decided to work in a few different directions as well, most recently starting SA935 with Andreea Csalai in Copenhagen.
Outside of work, Steve also volunteers (with his eldest daughter) and is on the board of Zanmi Lakay. Zanmi Lakay is an organization founded by Jen and Guy Pantleon that helps street kids in Haiti, teaching them photography, computer skills, and business skills, and sponsoring kids so they can go to school (not something that is guaranteed after 12 in Haiti).
Steve also works mentoring young entrepreneurs through Cobaltix Innovation Labs. Each year he brings 1-3 recent graduates from outside the US and provides mentoring. The goal for most of these incredibly talented kids is to start their own company upon completion of the fellowship. Steve works with them, teaching them skills around entrepreneurship, the nuts and bolts of running a company, leadership skills, and sometimes technology skills as well. While the mentoring is important, he provides an environment where they can grow and learn to lead.
One the side, Steve also owns part of a caramel company. If you’re interested in Guiness Bacon Salted Caramels, go check out themoonmuse.com. They are incredible—in the words of Monica (the original founder), “the caramels make people smile.” Steve has tied this back to Cobaltix by having Monica down to give presentations at Cobaltix, and will be selling caramels where the profits go to Zanmi Lakay. You really should try them.
In his spare time, Steve is an ultra-marathon cold water swimmer. Training with the Natadores Locos and South End Rowing Club, Steve has completed major swims around the world—most notably the English Channel, and most recently a swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Bel Marin Keys (21.5 miles, although probably only an honest 18.5 miles swim because of help from the tide).
One of the main things that motivates Steve is the idea of “Pay It Forward.” It is an incredibly important part of his way of thinking, and he hopes to be a force multiplier for young people who want to do great things. Steve and his wife Sue teach this to their own kids, and hopes that the world will be a better place because of the people he helps.