Investment Professionals

NextStage Capital is operated by Rob Adams, Dan McKinney and Terry Williams, who collectively bring more than 75 years of combined entrepreneurial, investing and operating experience. As is the case with the entrepreneurs we support, the partners at NextStage take responsibility for all aspects of operating our firm – whether it is sourcing and evaluating investment opportunities, providing strategic and tactical support to our partner entrepreneurs, or simply managing the administrative aspects of the fund.

And while each partner brings a unique set of skills and experiences, we share a common set of core values: to generate superior returns for our investors by helping entrepreneurs build successful businesses; to conduct ourselves with the utmost character and integrity; to apply our passion for entrepreneurship and technology day in and day out; to honor our commitment to being an active, fair, and hard-working partner; and to earn respect and influence among our portfolio companies and peer investors. And above all, we have a deep respect for entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial process.


Rob Adams | Co-Founder and Managing Partner

Rob brings 20 years of venture capital, operational, and financial experience to NextStage. His work with emerging businesses includes strategy development and implementation, financial analysis and modeling, management development, and positioning.

Prior to co-founding NextStage, Rob was a vice president and officer of Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE: SFE), a publicly traded venture capital firm. There, he was instrumental in the development of numerous technology companies, from early stage through public entity.

As a part of this role, he sourced, structured, and negotiated greater than $100 million in investments for Safeguard's portfolio and led $380 million in mergers, acquisitions and exits. Rob was responsible for designing and executing Safeguard's investment strategy for the communications software and services industry segment, including technology-specific investment platforms in voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) and wireless middleware applications. Rob led Safeguard portfolio companies through the strategic planning, product development, and commercialization processes; recruitment of various CxO management positions; and development of strategic alliances, mergers, and acquisitions. Rob was also a member of Safeguard's investment committee.

Examples of Rob's venture investment while at Safeguard include PacWest Telecomm ($100 million IPO), Extant ($200 million acquisition by Dynegy), and ThinAirApps ($20 million acquisition by Palm). Prior to Safeguard, Rob was with the media and entertainment industry firm of Rascoff/Zysblatt. There he held profit and loss responsibility for a business unit providing financial and compliance services to media companies and media artists, growing revenues by broadening the firm's product offerings.

Rob began his career as a CPA the Entrepreneurial Services division of Ernst & Young. At Ernst, he provided consulting and auditing services to management/owners of technology-based venture-backed companies.

Rob has served on numerous boards of directors, including many NextStage portfolio companies and the New Jersey Technology Advisory Board.  He is a licensed CPA, and has a Masters of Business Administration with distinction from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Skidmore College.


Dan McKinney | Co-Founder and Managing Partner

Dan has been involved as an investor and operator, launching and managing technology products and services, for nearly 27 years.

Prior to co-founding NextStage Capital, Dan was vice-president and officer of Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE: SFE), a publicly traded venture capital firm. During his tenure at Safeguard, Dan led approximately $75 million of early stage venture investments. He was also member of Safeguard's investment committee.

Prior to Safeguard, Dan was a sales and marketing executive with IBM for over ten years, where he also had profit & loss responsibility for one of IBM's Internet businesses in the Financial Services industry. Dan also spent a portion of his career at IBM in the Mergers & Acquisitions group. There he was responsible for one of IBM's only minority investments made in the 1990s. During his tenure with IBM, Dan developed an alliance that ultimately became one of IBM's top 20 Global Alliance Partners, was integral in launching IBM's largest Internet initiative in the Financial Services industry, and was responsible for and/or involved in launching several new software & services products.

Dan's past board responsibilities include: Sapphire Mobile (sold to Mpower), Atlas Commerce (sold to VerticalNet), Buystream, AgWeb (sold to FarmJournal), Evident Software, RCD Technology and Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technology (Greater Philadelphia Venture Group). Dan was also an observer at HX Technologies (sold to MeDecisions/HCSC).

Dan currently serves on the boards of TicketLeap, Savana, Sidecar, Magnify Networks, the Ben Franklin Technology Investment Advisory Committee, and the New Jersey Technology Advisory Board. 

Dan graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Accounting and began his career as a CPA with KPMG.


Terry Williams | Co-Founder and Managing Partner

tw headshotTerry's 30 year track record in the human capital industry brings a highly differentiated set of skills and experiences to the NextStage team. As an entrepreneur, strategic business advisor, and venture capitalist, Terry has meaningfully impacted the way the Mid-Atlantic region's executive management and investment community look at building businesses. Along with his human capital expertise, in growing numerous young businesses, Terry has acquired an in-depth knowledge and expertise of the critical factors necessary for long-term entrepreneurial success.

Terry established The TWC Group in 1996 to share these best practices in using recruitment and talent management to build competitive advantage. In 2006, TWC Group acquired HR Impact to augment its world-class management consulting with HR solutions. In 2007, with more than 100 employees across the Mid-Atlantic region, Terry sold TWC Group to ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN, f/k/a COMSYS IT Partners).

Before TWC, Terry served as a strategic consultant to Dialogic Corporation, the world's leading computer telephony components provider. He helped build Dialogic from a 45-person organization to over 1,300 employees within nine years. Prior to that, he was an independent consultant for DuPont and there helped to build a new division, DX Imaging Corp., which was a joint partnership with Xerox Corporation.

Terry continuously applies his skills and experience in the entrepreneurial community where he:

  • Serves as strategic advisor and investor to both product and service companies on designing and building world-class sales and business development functions;
  • Supports high-tech companies with functional organizational design and strategic restructuring;
  • Designs, develops, and implements accelerated talent acquisition programs for fast-paced start-ups, as well as major Fortune 500 companies, in both the software and consulting services industries; and
  • Evaluates and invests in undiscovered early stage software and hardware technology and/or services companies with NextStage Capital.

Terry has been widely published in print and on the Internet in such venues as HR Executive Magazine, Harvard Management Update, Network Magazine, Princeton Business Journal, and He also appeared on CNNfn and NBC Nightly News and has lectured at Wharton's MBA Entrepreneurial Program.

Terry holds degrees in Criminology and Psychology from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He serves on a number of Boards of Directors and Advisory Boards for companies, including Movitas, LLC and Cross X Platform, LLC.