Tobin Geatz will join your advisory board, sit as your CEO, sell your product at trade shows or serve as your CMO.
But first, you've got to get the attention of his
new Seahawk Innovation Funds.
Geatz and co-founder Tom Looney have hinted at the creation of a new $20 million fund in Wilmington for nearly a year.
built 20 businesses over the last 32 years-from software to water purification to clinical research to semiconductor companies- and sold 15 of them.
He was a general partner at Aurora Funds II in Cary, and a limited partner in two other funds.
And most recently, he merged his Wilmington-based contract research organization Inclinix with PMG Research, using private equity funds.
In a recent meeting at the CIE
told me he's
perplexed that average returns on venture capital investments over the past decade sit around zero.
Prior to that, investors earned nearly 40 percent annually on the funds they committed.
What's widened, he
said, is the valley of death.
And that's what Geatz and friends hope to keep their portfolio companies out of.
"The valley of death is too big and too complex for friends, families, fools and angels, and too small for banks, private equity and former venture capital companies that are now risk-averse," Geatz
Geatz is playing an executive role in at least two startups now.
The men are also focused on raising the fund.
ideal investors are fed up with no returns from their investments and with the large fees typically paid to general partners in a more traditional fund.
They want to take a hands on approach with their portfolio companies.
And some may have a broader interest in supporting Wilmington's burgeoning entrepreneurial community.
"We'd like to do something good for the community in Wilmington, Geatz
"We're a secondary market where cultural life is dominated by the university."