Welcoming Nate Nickerson to DCVC

By MATT OCKO & ZACHARY BOGUE 09.19.22

We are delighted to announce the arrival of Nate Nickerson, who will become DCVC’s Communications and Public Affairs Partner, starting September 26th. Nate comes to us from Yale University, where he was Vice President for Communications.

DCVC backs entrepreneurs using Deep Tech to solve urgent, trillion-dollar problems in global industries ripe for technological progress. Nate will work to ensure that the narratives of our portfolio companies resonate among the talent, partners, capital, and markets critical to their success.

That effort is vital to the firm. Since its founding in 2010, DCVC has nurtured a community intent on pursuing giant opportunities in a wide range of areas that benefit the future of human civilization and our planet. With Deep Tech, we believe we can bring capitalism’s benefits to billions while reducing its costs to society. Communications — the means by which we share our companies’ successes in the world — has the power to spark new pursuits and to make their significance better known.

Nate will build on the strong foundation established by DCVC Marketing Partner Wendy Yale, who has brought the firm’s communications, and its support for the communications and marketing needs of its portfolio companies, to a new level. Wendy will continue to advise the firm and its portfolio companies.

Strength in public relations, content creation

Nate has led communications and public affairs at the highest levels of academia for a dozen years. Beginning in 2010, he held positions of increasing authority in the communications office of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, rising to become the Institute’s Vice President for Communications in 2015. Under Nate’s leadership, MIT quickly came to have the most-read news site of any university in the world, and its president and other leaders were frequent voices on the op-ed pages of the most important national and international newspapers.

While at MIT, Nate led the naming, branding, and launch of edX — MIT’s and Harvard’s online learning platform — and later, The Engine, MIT’s venture firm focused on early-stage companies commercializing Deep Tech solutions. In 2019, Nate moved to Yale, where he restructured the university’s communications office in pursuit of bolder work in both owned and earned media, resulting in dramatic, measurable increases in the engagement of audiences and in appearances in the media. At both universities, Nate led all crisis-related deliberation and communications.

Before his work in higher education, Nate held leading editorial positions at media companies covering the intersection of technology, work, and culture. From 2000 to 2003, he served as the Managing Editor of Fast Company, a multiple ASME (American Society of Magazine Editors)-award-winning, highly disruptive business magazine. During Nate’s tenure, Fast Company would be sold for $340 million, the second-highest price paid for a magazine in U.S. history.

In 2004, Nate was recruited by DCVC Partner Jason Pontin - then the newly named Editor in Chief of MIT Technology Review—to become Tech Review’s Deputy Editor. Together, Jason and Nate would completely revamp the publication, making it digital-first, and raising its editorial ambitions to combine deep technological and business expertise with a broad and often playful consideration of the cultural impact of emerging technologies. One year after their collaboration began, the magazine was named an ASME finalist for General Excellence (unheard of for a university-owned magazine). We are thrilled that DCVC will be the locus of a new instance of this special combination of Jason and Nate.

With Nate’s arrival, DCVC is poised to bring greater energy and passion to its engagement with individuals and groups near and far. In telling the stories of the companies DCVC supports, Nate will seek to help us strengthen and grow the Deep Tech community, and ensure that key audiences outside of it fully understand the reasons behind our passion and the methods of its pursuit. We’re thrilled by what’s ahead!

Matt Ocko and Zachary Bogue are the Founders and Managing Partners of DCVC.