FCC sets third diversity capitalization workshop for December


The FCC Office of Communications Business Opportunities is holding its next Capitalization Strategies Workshop on Thursday 12/8/11. The all day affair, the third in the series, will focus on finding the capital to fund opportunities in various communications business for small, women- or minority-owned businesses.

The FCC noted, “Our experts will discuss challenges and strategies for obtaining public or private-sector financing for entrepreneurs seeking to launch new enterprises or to grow existing businesses in broadband, cable and broadcast TV, radio, wireless services, common carrier facilities, and others. The workshop will also cover strategies for ancillary services that provide technological, marketing, and administrative support to businesses in the communications industry.”

It also will offer an opportunity for panelists and attendees to meet one-on-one.

Here are the panelists the FCC has signed up so far:

* Anita Stephens Graham (Opportunity Capital).  Opportunity Capital’s primary investment focus is providing capital to later stage companies seeking acquisition and expansion financing. Opportunity Capital focuses primarily on businesses in the areas of communications, including media broadcasting and wireless, applied technology and traditional manufacturing segments. Opportunity Capital invests in companies with exclusive licenses or franchises, proprietary products or processes or other unique features and characteristics that provide a clear and sustainable competitive advantage. Opportunity Capital invests only in companies with experienced, compatible management teams that adequately cover each of the businesses’ key functional areas. Their preferred investment range is $2,000,000 to $10,000,000.  See www.opportunitycapitalpartners.com/

* Patrick Kelley (SBA).  The U.S. Small Business Administration was created as an independent agency of the federal government and formed to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA recognizes that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America’s future, and to helping the United States compete in today’s global marketplace.  The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.  For a description of SBA’s loan programs, see www.sba.gov

* Gary Bojes (USDA RUS).  USDA’S Rural Utilities Service provides programs to finance rural America’s telecommunications infrastructure. The Broadband Loan program provides loans to fund the costs of constructing, improving and acquiring facilities to provide broadband service to eligible rural communities. The Distance Learning and Telemedicine program brings electronic educational resources to rural schools and improves health care delivery in rural America. The Community Connect Grant program provides financial assistance to eligible applicants that will provide broadband in unserved areas to provide public safety services and foster economic growth.  For more information about RUS, please visit www.usda.gov/rus/telecom

* David Gillers (U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship).  The Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship is directed under the standing rules of the United States Senate to be referred all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the Small Business Administration (SBA).

* Jack Biddle (Novak Biddle Venture Partners) Novak Biddle Venture Partners (NBVP) was established in 1997 to provide equity financing and assistance to the management of young information technology companies. NBVP is backed by a number of the country’s most prestigious limited partners and has over $580 million under management. NBVP prefers to be the first institutional capital brought into a business with a desired investment range of $100,000 to $10,000,000. While NBVP’s focus is on information technology companies in the very early stage through first round, they will consider financing later stage opportunities and spinouts where they can add significant value. They will also syndicate larger or later stage rounds through limited partners and other firms in the venture community. See http://www.novakbiddle.com

* Brian Maillian (Whitestone Capital) Whitestone Capital Group, Inc. (Whitestone) is a New York based, minority owned and controlled investment-banking firm established in 1993. Whitestone has garnered a reputation as a premier financial advisor and investment banking firm, founded on credibility, integrity, and ability to provide clients with innovative solutions in a timely, cost effective manner. Whitestone’s core competencies include asset sales, securitizations, privatizations of government assets, international securitizations, strategic advisory services and portfolio analysis. Whitestone’s standing engagements affirm its ability to execute large-scale, multifaceted and complex transactions.  Whitestone has worked closely with Federal government agencies including the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Government National Mortgage Association, and the Federal Housing Authority. Whitestone has created an infrastructure that mirrors the deal management and asset sales processes to ensure quality control and program integrity and oversight.  See http://www.whitestonegroup.com

* Hank Torbert (Avondale Ventures) Avondale Ventures, LLC is a private equity acquisition platform which is focused on both middle-market, change-of-control transactions and minority investment transactions.  Avondale Venture’s strategy is to partner with existing owners/managers as they acquire and invest in well-managed and well-positioned companies located principally in North America.  Avondale Ventures primarily sponsors deals involving businesses with enterprise values from $5 million to $75 million.  Their industry expertise includes business services, consumer products, financial services transportation, media, technology and communications.  See http://www.avondaleventures.com

* Jim Downey (Pacific Media Group) Pacific Media Group is a media planning and buying agency specializing in results-oriented radio, television, cable, and print advertising.  Pacific Media helps clients by advising them on best practices, while crafting messages and integrated programs that work across multiple platforms.  .  See http://www.pacificmediagrp.com