Paul Nelson

Managing Partner
Saoradh Enterprise Partners (SEP)

Paul Nelson founded Saoradh Enterprise Partners (SEP, formerly Saoradh Energy Partners) in 2010 and now serves as Managing Partner. Paul has over 30 years of energy, advanced materials, entrepreneurial, finance, management, and research experience. Before forming SEP, Paul was a key participant in developing Colorado’s cleantech ecosystem. He held roles at the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory, the Center for Revolutionary Photoconversion (CRSP), CU Boulder’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI), and the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA). Paul was also a top fundraiser for these organizations. Paul began his career in the energy sector, first working at Julander Energy Company and then joining the team that launched the Natural Fuels Company, an unregulated joint venture led by Xcel Energy. Paul’s first experience with venture capital was as an entrepreneur when he founded Blue Energy & Technologies LLC in 2000, raised $12 million of strategic and venture capital, and acquired Natural Fuels and the Alternative Fuels Division from TXU Energy. He sold Blue Energy to ENRG Fuels in 2003 – the combined company is now Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE).

Paul holds a BS in Business-Finance, a BA in Chemistry with a minor in Biochemistry, and a research MS in Chemistry (thesis: evaluation of tris(tetrachlorosemiquinonate)iron(III) as a water oxidation catalyst) – all from CU Boulder. Paul has received several awards, including the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Cleantech Leadership from CCIA, Advisor of the Year from the CU Technology Transfer Office, and a lifetime achievement award from NGVAmerica. Paul has served on numerous boards such as the American Lung Association in Colorado and Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at CU Boulder, is a member of the American Chemical Society, and has co-authored professional papers. Paul is active in cleantech communities in Boulder and Sarasota (SEP’s satellite location). He has served as a judge for Lab Venture Challenge and Destination Startup events, sourced R&D funding for the Mote Marine Research Lab, and organized events with the Good Food Institute at Colorado universities. Paul is also a member of the investment selection committee for iSelect Fund based in St. Louis and the Colorado School of Mines technology transfer advisory board.