What We Do
There is something that is much more scarce, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognize ability. — Robert Half
FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS, WE HAVE HELPED ENTREPRENEURS execute their ideas and realize their dreams and goals. The nature of relationships has varied, and the depth of our involvement has varied, but there has been one common thread: we have routinely had meaningful impact on the company, its direction, and its success. Our usual role is that of mentor, coach and advocate for the company, it's founders, its management team and its shareholders. In most cases, our role is merely advisory... that of catalyst. When appropriate, we provide specific services ranging from interim management to the negotiation and structuring of financial and strategic partnerships.
We invest in emerging companies, primarily in areas of technology. We seek situations where our active involvement can play a key role in building the company. We will consider unproven technologies, where definition of strategy is critical to success, and will invest in troubled situations. We invest alone and with affiliates, with transactions ranging from $10,000 to several million dollars. While our own advisors tell us to be more focused, our interests are wide ranging. We concentrate heavily on the people - their talent, their values, and their integrity. We sometimes invest alone; sometimes via local angel groups (Joe Caruso was an early member of Walnut Ventures; we are currently active members of Common Angels, where Joe has served on the board for a few years, and is past Chairman); We frequently work in collaboration with early stage venture capital firms. We have co-invested with many, and are a Limited Partner in several. Investments include areas such as software, web services, business services, advertising/media, photonics, process control, analytical instrumentation, and consumer/retail. We are drawn to novel concepts. To big ideas. Yet we can be attracted to simple, mundane concepts executed with passion.
We provide strategic, managerial and personal guidance to CEO's, assisting them with the benefit of our direct experience and that of other companies we serve. In the role of strategic advisor, we serve as mentor, advisor, coach and advocate. We look at our client company's strategy; strengths, weaknesses and makeup of the management team; personal objectives of the entrepreneur; and shareholder objectives. Constructive criticism, timely strategic advice, and moral support are routine components of our relationship. The occasional "wake up call", whack on the side of the head, or forceful listening session are less routine, but sometimes called for.
Deal Structuring / Negotiation
Bantam Group has initiated, structured, and negotiated to successful conclusion numerous transactions such as strategic alliances, joint ventures, financings, acquisitions and divestitures. We identify candidates for a transaction, initiate discussions, structure terms, and bring negotiations to closure. Our success is due to our ability to understand the personal, emotional, strategic and financial needs of all parties to the transaction, and our ability to structure transactions based on "out of the box" thinking. In addition, we are frequently asked by management, the Board of Directors, or shareholders to resolve conflict by serving as mediator or active negotiator (both external and internal conflicts). We have mediated numerous situations where there was disagreement — at times stressful, emotional, and hostile. We pride ourselves at resolving disputes in a rational manner without resorting to the legal system.