At 62, erstwhile Apple Computer CEO John Sculley could choose to bide his time sailing, penning his memoirs or collecting Social Security checks. But duty beckons, and Sculley is as busy as ever. He recently joined the board of yet another company ScreamingMedia.
Based in New York, Sculley does consulting work for a brand marketing outfit and works with his two brothers at Sculley Brothers LLC.
The investment firm – made up of John, Arthur and David Sculley – does not raise funds, nor is it looking to. It uses its own money to invest. John focuses on “second-mover advantage” opportunities, investing in mature companies and those that show promise but have struggled. “Because we come from operating backgrounds we focus on businesses that make money but may not have been in vogue,” Sculley says. “We’ve also been buying companies that ran out of money.”
Sculley has personally invested in the likes of Hotwire, InPhonics and MetroPCS, and he sits on the board of all three.
It Runs in the Family
You’ve probably never heard of Montagu Newhall Associates, but we’re certain you’ll agree that its founders have quite the pedigree. The firm, based in Owings Mills, Md., recently finished raising its first fund – more than $52 million.
At the helm of the year-old outfit are Ashton Newhall, 26, son of New Enterprise Associates (NEA) cofounder Chuck Newhall, and Rupert Montague, 36, son of a prominent British venture capitalist.
Those family connections, as well as relationships Newhall and Montague developed in the private equity industry before setting out on their own, helped them more than double the fund’s initial target in a very tough fundraising climate.
Apples or Avocados?
Being a venture capitalist doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your family life. Family was at the forefront of Polly Schneck‘s decision in February to resign from the New York office of Labrador Ventures, which now has a single office in Palo Alto. Schneck declined to make the move west. “I can’t – I won’t move there,” she says, adding that she and her husband, Charles Goldman of JPMorgan Partners, are “too entrenched to leave” the Big Apple.
She planned to take some time off, but she’s been fielding a lot of offers. “Some are venture and some non-venture,” she says. “I was planning to take some time off to think about life over the next five years. Things like, is this a job I can do with kids?”
Schneck may ditch her VC career altogether. She has contemplated joining a startup or “doing something like environmental conservation or wildlife conservation.”
Forget the Money
Bessemer Venture Partners‘ Chris Gabrieli is hoping to shake the ghost of a failed 1998 congressional bid by running for Massachusetts Lt. Governor. He’s running alongside gubernatorial candidate Shannon O’Brien, who is now state treasurer.
Gabrieli is finding the second time around all too familiar. He’s getting little publicity about his policy work but lots of press for his personal fortune. Some local scribes have suggested that the VC’s deep pockets are the primary reason he was added to the ticket.
Perhaps Gabrieli can deflect some of the media’s attention on his bank account by trotting out his former housekeeper, Maria Grasso. Back in 1999, the Chilean-born mother of two was working at Gabrieli’s Beacon Hill manse when she won $197 million in the state lottery.
The person in charge of the lottery at that time? Shannon O’Brien.
Dr. John Baits, former director of technology at Britain’s Cable & Wireless, has joined pan-European venture firm Digital Networks as a senior technology advisor… Austin Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm focused on software, semiconductor, and communications companies, named Rajeev Batra and Chad Herrin as senior associates in its software division…Advanced Technology Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm, named Prabakar Sundarrajan and Ken Noonan as technology partners… JPMorgan Partners (JPMP), the private equity arm of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., named Alan Marty executive-in-residence to drive the expansion of the firm’s investment in the nanotechnology arena. Marty will work closely with an interdisciplinary team at JPMP to evaluate and manage new investments in nanotechnology applications that will overlap with many of the investments that JPMP currently holds in its Life Science and Technology practice group portfolios.
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