Stephen D. Johnston

Operating Partner


Stephen Johnston joined the Forté Ventures team as an Operating Partner in 2018 to support the continued growth of the firm’s expanding portfolio of high-growth technology companies. As a successful entrepreneur and investor, Stephen has a demonstrated track record of driving revenue growth, creating operational excellence and establishing market leadership with his companies. 

Stephen is the founder and CEO of SDJ Investment Co. where he has accumulated extensive experience managing public and private investments in the technology, entertainment, real estate, and venture capital arenas.  He currently serves as an advisor to Strategic Resource Management, Inc. and Exceleron Software, LLC, and serves on the Board of several not-for-profit and charitable organizations. 

Prior to founding SDJ Investment Co., Stephen was the CEO of SmartSynch, Inc., a smart-grid technology company headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi. He led SmartSynch from startup in 2000 to become a global technology leader in the build out of America's smart grid. After gaining more than 200 North American utility customers and brokering industry-changing partnerships, SmartSynch, Inc. was acquired in 2012 for $100 million by Iton Corporation (Nasdaq: ITRI). 

Prior to SmartSynch, Stephen was an investment banker with First Union Securities from 1993-2000 where his primary focus was on Corporate Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions and Leveraged transactions.

Stephen earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Mississippi with a double major in Managerial Finance and Banking & Finance.