Friday, September 25, 2009

What Am I Up to Now?

Readers of this blog (I know you're out there; I can hear the keyclicks) are aware that some time during the spring, I left my position with WaMu Investments. And yet, I've offered nary a word as to what I've been doing since.

Let's remedy that immediately, so we can get back to discussing leadership and innovation as soon as possible.

A good friend, Brian Callahan of Markwood Capital Alliance, has spent the last 22 years working with entrepreneurial ventures, helping them to build strategic alliances. Too frequently overlooked in all the hoopla about venture capital and private equity, strategic partnerships are often the best way for a small business to capitalize itself. If you have a product and customers, but want more capital to expand without diluting your equity position, strategic partnerships are the way to go.

Brian has had outstanding success over the past two decades helping small firms find partners they'd never imagine they could get on their own. And yet, he realized that he could do even more for his clients if he had a partner who could get his hands dirty within the companies, helping them with their products, platforms, and plans, working closely with the leadership team to make the company even more attractive to potential strategic partners.

That's where I come in. I've founded Shire Ventures to provide great small companies with the technology leadership and business insight they need to position themselves to reach their ultimate goals. My background as both CIO and entrepreneur enable me to share perspectives that emerging companies could not attain by themselves.

At the same time, I'm a partner in M-Squared Advisors, with my colleague Howard Mirowitz. Howard is a brilliant strategist, technologist, and finance wizard, with a sheepskin from Wharton Business School to prove it. The mission of M-Squared Advisors is much the same as that of Shire Ventures: enable entrepreneurs to realize their dreams.

Ultimately, I'm doing this because I just love working with entrepreneurs. They're optimistic, relentless, smart, and creative. They challenge me in ways that no big corporate job could. And I'm learning more every day than I would in any given month at a bank, retailer, or manufacturer.

Of course, I recommend you keep watching this space (and follow my tweets) as I share the remarkable stories and experiences I am privileged to be a part of, as I work with these incredible companies and their dynamic and innovative leaders.

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