twenty years of the
These invited presentations were delivered in the 128 Venture Capital Group’s twenty-first year. In honor of the 128VCG, and its Chairman, Michael Belanger, I am publishing new data from my research into the Marketing/Engineering Investment Ratio™ (M/E Ratio™), including:
For more than 20 years, the 128 Venture Capital Group facilitated private investors seeking contact with emerging business ventures.
Established in 1982, the 128 Venture Capital Group was a monthly breakfast networking assembly of individual investors, emerging company representatives, and professional venture capital investors interested in emerging technologies and markets. Participants were encouraged to introduce themselves and their goals to the group. The meeting was open to all interested parties, such as management team candidates and professional service providers. The 128 Venture Capital Group was neither a securities broker/dealer nor an investment advisor and did not charge commission on any capital raised.
After more than twenty years and 275 monthly meetings, Michael Belanger retired the 128 VCG to focus on his own startup, Jarg. December 9, 2004 was the last monthly meeting.
A 128VCG success story
One purpose of the 128 Venture Capital Group, and other support organizations, is to foster team formation. Gordon Sharp, an entrepreneur, came to one of the very first 128VCG events, more than 20 years ago, because his startup was floundering.
Yes, Gordon Sharp met Ralph Grabowski at that meeting. Gordon and Ralph teamed up to kick-start Phoenix Controls and make it flourish.
Together, raising the Marketing/Engineering Investment Ratio™ to 1.25, they performed the up front Marketing process to understand the customer problem, validate the market, establish customer payback, and launch the company. Most importantly, Competitive Intelligence (CI), led to significant product changes, two patents, dramatic product differentiation, decisive market viability, and a defensible position.
“Market research that gave us a handle on where to go,“ said Gordon Sharp. Phoenix Controls created a new market, Variable Air Volume (VAV) building controls, dominated their market, and was sold to Honeywell with a handsome return to the investors and to Gordon Sharp. See the Phoenix Controls case study.