Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Venture Capital Offering May Benefit Some Oklahoma Firms

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Venture Capital Offering May Benefit Some Oklahoma Firms

Article excerpt

A Delaware-based public offering to invest in venture capital may benefit some Oklahoma companies, according to Harry Tip ps, senior vice president of Fitzgerald, DeArman & Roberts Inc.'s Oklahoma City office.

In Oklahoma, Fitzgerald, DeArman will offer participation in Twenty-First Century Venture Partners I, L.P., along with "five or six firms in the whole country," Tipps said.

Sales literature for the program offers the investor a stake in "a diversified portfolio of emerging growth companies before they go public, at the insider's price."

The directors of the Delaware limited partnership, according to the literature, will select promising young companies with growth potential for investment. Since Fitzgerald, DeArman has dealings with venture capital-active companies, Tipps said, Oklahoma firms will have the prospect of being selected.

"There has been no designation of where those (young companies) will be," Tipps said. "They are already evaluating some. We've exposed them to a couple of Oklahoma companies, and they're looking at the opportunities right now."

Tipps declined to name the two Oklahoma companies.

"Since we're active in our own way with venture capital-active companies, we will be given the opportunity to show them some. My answer is yes - the program will involve some Oklahoma companies, but I can't guarantee it."

The minimum investment unit in Twentieth Century is $5,000, Tipps said. The firm plans to raise $28.5 million in venture capital.

Tipps likes the program because of its opportunity potential, he said, in contrast to the cautious tone taken by many of today's investment instruments.

"Everybody's telling people how to play it safe," he said. "While we do a lot of consulting and bringing small companies packages, very few people are given the opportunity to put some money to work at the ground level - the pre-formation capital provided two to three stages before that. …

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