Below you will find some commonly asked questions and their answers. Click the question to open up the answer, and click to close or proceed to the next question.
Over the last several years, Glengary's focus has been on carefully and quietly building its team, including its Board of Directors, Operating Partners, and Service and Educational Partners. In addition, we have been proving and refining our operating/investment model with several client companies. Now that our foundation has been built and our operating/investment model has shown results, we feel it is important to more broadly expose our available capabilities and model to the northeast Ohio entrepreneurial community.
Glengary is a venture catalyst enterprise that provides a unique combination of resources to enable its client companies to achieve commercial success. Glengary focuses on the process of growing its early-stage client companies through the effective management of resources, aligning agendas and the achievement of developmental milestones, resulting in the material increase in enterprise value.
Glengary recognizes that most early-stage companies can be assisted in two critical areas: cash and talent. Typically, early-stage companies are unable to attract enough cash resources to hire and retain the talent required to increase their chances of success. In fact, many early-stage companies make the mistake of hiring who they can afford, not who they need! To mitigate the human-capital risk, Glengary provides highly qualified and successful management team members to its client companies. Since the provision of such management team members is done on a part-time basis, we can furnish the talent at a fraction of the cash cost of a comparable hire.
Beyond Glengary’s provision of management team members to complement the existing client company management, Glengary can add value at the board level, with day-to-day operations, technology development, assistance with sales and marketing, strategy and fundraising.
Glengary differentiates itself from a consulting firm by taking equity risk in two ways: first, Glengary makes cash investments in its client companies in return for equity; second, Glengary will provide its services at below cash market value in return for at-risk sweat equity. By taking an at-risk position with our client companies, we align our interests with the other stakeholders of our client companies with the common goal of increasing enterprise value.
Glengary is not a venture fund nor is it a consulting company. It is a hybrid organization that has the ability to invest both cash and talent into its client companies with the sole focus of making such client companies successful.
Glengary has assembled a group of successful business leaders committed to Glengary’s goal of assisting Northeast Ohio early-stage companies succeed. No other organization in our region has combined talent and capital in a manner such as Glengary.
Knowing that as our client companies grow, they will need additional capital to survive and thrive, we work with and complement other capital sources, all of which are interested in generating a high return on their invested capital. From friends and family investors, angel investors and technology validation funds to institutional venture funds, Glengary is viewed by such other investors as an organization that has unique resources that can increase the value of their current investments, or give them a higher degree of confidence when making a new investment in one of our existing client companies.
The word "Ventures" in the name of an organization generally suggests that the primary asset such organization has to invest is capital. Therefore, such "venture" organizations tend to have a financial focus and must maximize the returns on their cash investments, but are not structured to invest significant time in their portfolio companies.
On the other hand, Glengary has an operational focus and is structured to invest its talent and cash in its "client companies." By having a day-to-day involvement with our client companies, we act as an advocate for the management team/founders in the growth of their businesses, with the goal of maximizing the return for all investors' capital. Therefore, it is important for our client companies to view us as their partner, not just as one of their investors.
Consistent with the thought process behind removing the name "Ventures" from our name, we want the companies in which we invest our time and money to view us as partners, not solely as investors. We believe that the title "Portfolio Companies" may connote a level of control or influence that is not consistent with our operating and investment philosophy. By becoming involved with our "Client Companies," through the provision of both cash and talent, we convey a clear message that our mission is to help such companies succeed.
In all client relationships, Glengary makes an investment. In many situations that investment is both time and cash. However, in client relationships where the primary need is an infusion of talent, Glengary can assist those companies with day-to-day operations, technology development, sales and marketing, strategy and fundraising. Our experience adds focus and credibility to our client companies. In situations where our capital may not be needed, we will have some portion of our compensation “at risk,” and we will want to make a cash investment to demonstrate that our singular objective is to increase the enterprise value of our client companies.
First and foremost, Glengary looks at the merits of the service or product being offered by a prospective client company. If we believe the prospective client company's service or product will have commercial viability, then we evaluate the company's existing management team to determine whether or not our active involvement will enhance the company's chances for success.
In most cases, we believe our active involvement will complement the existing management team. Even for those situations in which our active involvement is not required with day-to-day operations, we are confident we can add value at the board level and with business development activities, particularly sales and marketing. As an investor, we look for ways to provide advisory assistance to increase our client company's chances for success.
Our investment decision process starts with our committing significant time understanding the prospective client company’s value proposition to its customers. During this process, we will evaluate whether or not the company has something its customers “need to have,” versus something that its customers might view as “nice to have.” We then determine the competitive advantages and/or barriers to entry the company has developed and can protect. A thorough review of the development status of the company’s service or product must be undertaken to determine accurately the amount of additional time, talent and capital that will be required for the company to enter into its commercial phase. At the end of the review process, Glengary will make a determination as to whether or not the investment of our time and/or money will enable the company to achieve a pre-defined development milestone and increase its valuation. The achievement of such a milestone should allow the company to attract additional capital, allowing it to continue its growth and increase in enterprise value.
First, we look for a unique and defensible value proposition being offered by the prospective client company that its customers will view as a "need to have." Second, we look for open-minded management team members/founders who are committed to making the company a success. Third, we determine whether or not our resources, primarily our talent, will materially increase the chances of success for the company.
From an industry standpoint, we focus our efforts on the following:
Glengary emphasizes investment and managerial opportunities in Northeast Ohio, a region historically underserved by early-stage private equity capital markets but in which we believe there are substantial opportunities and investment merits. We also will consider compelling investment and managerial opportunities outside the Northeast Ohio region.
Traditional venture capital firms are likely sources of additional growth capital for our client companies. Therefore, it is essential that we work with other venture capital firms in a manner that allows them to want to become involved with our client companies. Given Glengary's extensive experience in the private-equity markets, we know what venture capital firms look for in their prospective portfolio companies. By helping our client companies position themselves appropriately and by leveraging our contacts in the venture capital community, we can assist our client companies in the process of raising additional capital from such venture funds.
Glengary realizes that many potential client companies may have established relationships with certain professional service firms and we respect such relationships.
However, we have often found that many start-ups and early-stage companies experience difficulties in finding and maintaining the attention of top-tier professional service providers. Glengary can assist such companies by providing an entire network of key professional services that have been carefully screened and selected for their abilities to service and scale with rapidly growing companies. Just as importantly, these services are made available quickly so that precious time and money is not wasted in finding and utilizing such services.
Please submit the information requested on the "Contact Us" page of this website. It is critical that all required fields be completed for your information to be received by us. Only Glengary and our affiliates will have access to any of the information that is submitted by you.
Glengary utilizes a ‘staged investment approach’ in which early-stage companies are typically funded in the $250,000 range in the first round. Follow-on investments of up to $1 million are considered assuming growth metrics have been achieved.