GrowthFire’s institutional and private investment partners bring a wealth of domestic and international experience in strategy, finance and operations to emerging growth companies across the technology industry. The partnership is commited to value creation, long-term growth and helping companies achieve their full potential.
Avinash Ambale Avinash is a Washington DC-based investor, entrepreneur and technology CEO. He is the founder and former CEO of four global software and services firms with operations in North America, Europe and India. Avinash has successfully taken multiple companies serving the telecom and finance and insurance industries from inception through to successful exits.
Stan Baratz Stan is the founder and president of Baratz Financial, Inc., a Minneapolis-based company specializing in the private placement of debt and equity for growing Midwestern companies. Prior to founding Baratz Financial, he served as a partner and executive vice president of Minnesota's largest full-service real estate firm, Welsh Companies. During his tenure at Welsh Companies, the company grew to become the largest property management firm in the state with over 16 million sq. ft. of industrial, office, retail and multifamily properties under management. In addition, Baratz arranged over $400 million in acquisition and disposition activities. Prior to joining Welsh Companies, Baratz was the senior vice president of Northland Financial Co. where he originated, underwrote and placed over $450 million in commercial real estate transactions. Baratz received his MBA from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management and his B.A. from American University.
Stan Bell Stan is a Springfield, Missouri-based technology entrepreneur, former senior executive for McKesson Provider Technologies and three-time McKesson Fellow. Stan is currently the CEO and Principal of Bellwether Management, Principal of Incredibly Simple Software and founder of Bell Holdings, LLC. Stan serves as an industry consultant to medical device and health information technology companies, and as a global software development advisor. He's also an avid car racing enthusiast, competitive pistol marksman and raises quarter horses and cattle.
Richard Butler Mr. Butler is the former Managing Director and Co-head of Structured Finance for ING Capital, LLC and a Director of ING Financial Holdings Corporation. Mr. Butler served as President and Chief Executive Officer of ING (U.S.) Capital Securities, a wholly owned subsidiary of ING Group N.V.. He has also served as Managing Director (Insurance Advisory and Finance Group) of ING Capital Corporation. Mr. Butler has served in other officer positions at ING Capital Corporation from May 1993 until his retirement. Mr. Butler was a Vice President and Manager (Insurance Finance and Advisory Group) of Westpac Banking Corporation from February 1992 to May 1993. From 1982 to February 1992, he was a Managing Director of Chase Manhattan Bank. Mr. Butler received his PhD in Economics from the University of Minnesota and served two tours in Africa in an economic development capacity with the Peace Corp.
David Carver David is co-founder of Search Fund Partners, a fund that invests exclusively in search fund sponsored buyouts. He is on the board of iNet Interactive, Behavioral Health Group, WebEquity Solutions, StaffOne, United Layer and VRI. He was formerly on the board of ProService Hawaii. Prior to Search Fund Partners, David spent thirty years as an executive in the high tech industry, and has extensive experience in all phases of business including M&A, fund-raising, corporate strategy and operations. He was CEO of HiFive!, an application service provider; CEO of Hipbone Networks, an on-line collaboration company; EVP and GM at Network Associates; COO of Network General; EIR at Institutional Venture Partners; and an executive at Hewlett-Packard, including ten years in the professional service/software divisions of HP. David has an MBA from the Stanford University's Graduate School of Business and a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Arkansas. He and his wife Julia have two boys, RJ and Sam. He is active in community and non-profit organizations, having founded the Redwood Chapter of national Junior Basketball serving 650 children.
Mr. Cassutt has made more than 130 investments in search funds. He is also the CFO of American Security Products, a leading manufacturer of high-security safes. From 1984 to 2011 Mr. Cassutt was Co-President of Nelson Nameplate Company, a manufacturer of membrane switches and product identification based in Los Angeles, California. From 1978 to 1984, he was the Controller of Bristol Corporation, the parent company of 10 manufacturing entities.
Mr. Cassutt currently sits on the boards of American Security Products, Columbia Sanitary Products, Dynamic Growth Dental, and Positive Coaching Alliance. He received a Bachelor of Physics Degree in 1982 from the University of California, Irvine, where he was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate. In 1986, he received an MBA from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar and the recipient of the Alexander A. Robicheck Award, given each year to the top student in finance.
George Daum George is a successful leader and entrepreneur with over 25 years of international business experience as a CEO, General Manager, Group Director, and VP Sales and Marketing in global technology software and services companies. He started in a small industrial distributorship, progressed to a major steel company and then to the Unigraphics Division of McDonald Douglas Corporation. At MDC, he spent 12 years in technology sales, sales management and marketing roles domestically and internationally. Since 1993, George has held worldwide vice presidential and general management positions in three successful high growth public and private global companies. In 2003, George was engaged by a public UK-based holding company as CEO for the Americas and Oceania for six of their software companies. He and four senior British managers took these software companies private through a UK-based Private Equity group and George assumed the Group Director/CEO position with global responsibility for three of the six companies, including one based in the UK. In 2009, George joined Fulcrum Holdings LLC, a team that acquires, funds and leads established and emerging companies in technology, manufacturing and transportation.
George holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Xavier University, and is active in nonprofit community and faith-based work. He has served on a number of community andd commercial boards.
Thomas G. Hudson Mr. Hudson is the retired Chief Executive Officer of Muve, Inc., a leading edge activity-based weight management medical technology company. He is also the former Chief Executive Officer of Global Capacity, a start-up company that provides integrated communications logistics solutions worldwide. Prior to joining Global Capacity in June of 2005, Mr. Hudson served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Computer Network Technology, a provider of wide area storage networks, since June 1996; as a director since August 1996 and as Chairman of the Board since May 1999. From 1993 to June 1996, Mr. Hudson served as Senior Vice President of McGraw Hill Companies, a leading information services provider, serving as General Manager of its F.W. Dodge Division, and as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development. From 1968 to 1993, Mr. Hudson served as Vice President and General Manager in a number of management positions at IBM Corporation. Mr. Hudson is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering and New York University with an MBA in Finance. He attended the Harvard Advanced Management Program in 1990. Mr. Hudson previously served on the Board of Directors of CGSY, CNY, McData Corporation, Lawson Software, Ciprico and Plato Software. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Xata Corporation, Incentra Solutions, a publicly traded company and two private companies, Wyndstorm and MQSoftware.
Mr. Lazier is a private investor who has made more than 130 investments in search funds. He is also the president of American Security Products, a leading manufacturer of high-security safes. From 1984 to 2011, Mr. Lazier served as Controller, Vice President of Nelson Nameplate Company, a manufacturer of membrane switches and product identifucation based in Los Angeles, California. From 1982 to 1984, he worked as an engineer for IBM Corporation.
Mr. Lazier currently sits on the boards of American Security Products, Columbia Sanitary Products, Datum Technologies and Gogotech. He has previously served on the boards of Glendale Memorial Hospital Foundation, the San Gabriel Habitat for Humanity and St. Mark's Episcopla Church. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University.
Lawrence Lepard Larry is Managing Partner of Boston Massachusetts-based Equity Management Associates. Larry also joined Geocapital as a General Partner in 1992. Prior to joining the firm, Larry was a partner at Summit Ventures and was responsible for opening Summit's West Coast office. He also served as Chief Financial Officer of Calay Systems and as an Investment Associate at Continental Illinois Venture Corporation, a subsidiary of Continental Illinois Bank & Trust. Larry began his business career as a Financial Analyst with the Mergers and Acquisitions Group at Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. He has served on the Boards of Directors of numerous public and private information technology based firms and is presently a Director of several privately held companies. Larry received a B.A. with Honors in Economics from Colgate University and an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School.
Billy Maguy Billy is a Partner at Alpine Investors in San Francisco, California. Billy has spent his career in management consulting and operations prior to joining Alpine. Previously, Billy was the Director of Business Development at Telephia, a wireless industry market intelligence firm, where he was responsible for strategic partnership development and product management. Prior to Telephia, Billy was a management consultant with Swander, Pace and Company where he specialized in strategy and M&A. Billy holds a BS and MS in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. Billy was a member of Stanford's 1993 NCAA National Championship Water Polo Team and was an Academic All-American.
Chris Walker Mr. Walker is an Entrepreneur and sales and marketing executive with extensive experience in high technology sales, business development, marketing and customer relations. He previously founded two technology businesses within the printing and publishing industries and has been instrumental in securing funding for multiple early stage companies. Mr. Walker received Bachelor's Degrees in both International Business and Economics from St. John's University and currently serves as a sales executive for Rand Worldwide.