Editor’s Note: This is the seventh part of our series focusing on firms which focus for the most part and/or are based in the Carolinas and Georgia. The series was prepared by Matthew Burns and Daniel Pearson. Each firm was asked to fill out a questionnaire. Not all firms chose to answer all questions or in complete detail, such as funding amounts. To avoid confusion, each firm’s responses appear as submitted to Local Tech Wire. The series will run Monday through Friday. Believing management experience is as critical to young companies as venture capital, Durham-based Catalysta Partners provides more advice than money to its clients, although it does have a $3 million fund that it has tapped to invest in firms such as Entrinsik and Synthematix.

Under the direction of John Crumpler, former president of XcelleNet Integration, and Clay Thorp, former president of Xanthon, Catalysta advises companies in sales, business development, strategy and tactical implementations from early-stage formation through exit strategy. Partners in the firm have developed methodologies relating to market research, product strategy and new product launches and reporting systems to give vital operating information to management, and they sometimes take on temporary executive roles to ensure their plans are carried out properly.

Catalysta usually makes seed investments of less than $500,000, but it also looks for established but stagnant businesses that it can buy for less than $5 million and use its management expertise to turn them around.

Here’s the skinny:

Featured Firm: Catalysta Partners

Mailing address:
Generation Plaza, Suite 250
1822 East Hwy 54
Durham, North Carolina 27713

Phone number: (919) 484-0370

Management Team:

General Partners:

John C. Crumpler
Mark S. McCurry
Clay B. Thorp
Brian Kinahan
Michael A. Jongkind

Focus of firm: Primarily health science and information technology

Size of current fund: $3 million

Money under management: Same

How many of those dollars have been invested: $750,000

Current clients:

Synthematix, Inc., $307,500
Entrinsik, Inc., $250,000
Respirics, Inc., $75,000

Companies funded in the last five years: None other than the three above

How many deals expect to fund in 2002: 3 to 5

In what size range: $50,000 to $500,000

Sweet Spot (types of deals, stage of the company): Seed stage, pre-A, in which our management or advisory expertise can be applied alongside our money.

Most important attributes for companies seeking funding: Core technology that is proprietary vis a vis know-how or IP, strong technical expertise, large market, located in North Carolina or southeast

What differentiates you: Ability to apply management plus money, stage of investing, expertise of partners.