National private equity firm interested in boosting Wisconsin presence

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National private equity firm interested in boosting Wisconsin presence
The Prism Opportunity Fund (, a venture capital fund with a national scope, plans to increase its visibility in Wisconsin.
Prism is headquartered in Chicago, but also has offices in Seattle, New York and Mequon. Ted Feierstein, a partner in the fund, manages the Mequon office.
“I’m a Wisconsin native that grew up in Brookfield and lived on both the West (San Francisco and Portland, Ore.) and East (Boston) coasts before returning to my home state. I guess I’m living proof that it’s possible to reside in Wisconsin while at the same time establishing a national practice focused in technology,” Feierstein said.
Prism typically invests $0.5 to $3 million in institutional-caliber emerging private companies that are beyond the “start-up” phase in four markets: information technology (IT), publishing/content, outsourcing/business services and specialty manufacturing.
“We typically invest as a member of a private equity syndicate,” Feierstein said. “I’d estimate that, on average, each of our portfolio companies will eventually receive between $10 and $15 million in funding prior to a liquidity event.”
The fund has made one Wisconsin investment in SecurePipe of Madison. SecurePipe is a 24×7 managed security provider offering outsourced security services, which include fully managed firewalls, active intrusion detection, virtual private networks and email virus scanning combined into a holistic solution.
Feierstein noted, “We co-invested with security-industry savvy First Analysis of Chicago as well as a couple of sophisticated individual investors. We are very high on the company’s prospects to leverage its proprietary intellectual property and emerge as the “Paychex” of the rapidly expanding managed-security space.”
Feierstein added, “To increase our reach in Wisconsin, we have developed an association with Telaric Alliance. Telaric’s members have a broad network of contacts, deep domain knowledge in a number of industries, and broad expertise in growing a company. We, therefore, expect them to help us identify the most promising opportunities in Wisconsin and provide local support for our portfolio companies where appropriate.”
Allen Oelschlaeger, a founder of Telaric Alliance, stated, “With our intimate understanding of Prism’s investment criteria, we can rapidly focus Prism’s and Telaric’s resources on opportunities likely to be of institutional investment caliber.”
May 30, 2003 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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