Stephen Blum is president of Tellus Venture Associates, a management and business development consultancy specializing in developing new community broadband systems, and serving the digital media and telecommunications industries.

He is a 40-year industry veteran and recognized as an expert in developing new satellite, wireless and fiber optic broadband systems, and Internet services and products.

Steve’s projects and assignments include:

  • Managing and planning a start-up dark fiber leasing enterprise for the City of Riverside.
  • Planning and implementing municipal fiber networks in San Leandro, Union City, Watsonville and Santa Cruz.
  • Broadband master plans and development projects for the Cities of Oakland, San Leandro, Berkeley, Palo Alto, Morgan Hill, Union City, West Sacramento, Salinas, Gonzales, Benicia and Taft, and in Alameda, Contra Costa, Eldorado, Lassen, Modoc, Placer, Plumas, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Tehama, Ventura, Washoe and Yolo Counties.
  • Business plan and financing development, including private equity funding, California Advanced Services Fund grant and loan funding, and federal grant assistance, for private sector broadband projects in Nevada, Placer, Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito Counties.
  • Managing, implementing and planning municipal wireless projects for the Cities of Los Angeles, Oakland, Folsom and Lompoc.
  • Industry expert and analyst for venture capital and investment firms.
  • Marketing and business development for Internet broadcasting and consumer electronics start-ups.
  • Business development roles for high technology ventures, satellite and semiconductor manufacturers, and telecommunications companies.
  • Senior vice president of marketing and sales for an IPTV consumer electronics company.
  • Due diligence lead for an NGO delegation to Angola
  • Team leader for an NGO project in the Philippines.
  • Development of satellite radio systems in Africa, the Middle East, and the U.S.
  • Principal negotiator for a cable system sale to a top tier MSO.
  • Management advisor for satellite broadcasting systems in North and South America, Asia, the Pacific Rim, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, including Italy, Cambodia and New Zealand.

Accomplishments include playing key roles in the launch and growth of DirecTv in the U.S., as well as other satellite broadcasting platforms around the world. He helped build the first satellite distribution system for network radio in 1980, and was an award-winning broadcast journalist and television executive. He spent two years as a Fellow at the Jackson School of International Studies, and followed it up with consulting and research in Japan.

Steve is the author of seven books on the Internet and satellite broadcasting and is a frequent contributor to professional journals and industry events. A complete list of his publications is here.

His education includes:

  • A.B., History, University of California, Berkeley.
  • M.A., East Asia Studies (Japan), Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington.
  • M.B.A., Marketing, University of St. Thomas School of Business.
  • Management Institute, National Association of Television Program Executives.
  • Nihongo Gakkai, Kobe, Japan.

Steve is Past President of the Rotary Club of Monterey Pacific, Vice President ex officio of the Society of Satellite Professionals International, an alumni and past team leader of the Rotary Foundation, a past Vice President of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area, and a fundraising and strategic planning volunteer for the U.C. Berkeley Alumni Association.

He has received several major professional honors, including the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership Community Impact Award, PRSA Silver Anvil and the Ellen B. Scripps Fellowship. A complete list is here.

Steve Blum doing Ironman distance triathlon in Wanaka, New Zealand

A Reno, Nevada resident, he is an international triathlete, ultra runner and a 30-time Ironman finisher, placed in the top 30 overall (out of more than 60,000 athletes) in the Challenge series world rankings, and has been honored with Legend status at the Challenge Wanaka triathlon. Steve has raced in Ironman-distance events on every continent, save Antarctica (and he’s working on that…). He was an elite-qualified official for USA Triathlon and Past President of USA Triathlon Southwest, and enjoys bike touring, open water swimming and hiking.