Veteran team bringing VC infusion to Midwest
March 22, 2004
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
If BankOne CEO Jamie
Dimon moves jobs out of Chicago, how will they be replaced?
Democratic National Committee head and Clinton era political strategist
David Wilhelm, 47, for stepping forward with an answer.
to close the first round of a $127 million dollar private equity
fund in the next two weeks. Hopewell Ventures will focus on investment
opportunities in the Midwest. This should mean more jobs from
Ohio to Nebraska, including more tech jobs in Chicago.
at the data for jobs created with venture capital backing,"
Wilhelm says. "They're higher paying, longer lasting"
than jobs generated from existing employers. Wilhelm is straightforward,
saying he intends to make money and create jobs in the region.
Woodland Venture Management to develop investment vehicles focusing
on regions underserved by capital markets. Woodland's first fund,
Adena Ventures, targets Appalachia. Hopewell is Woodland's second
absurd that more venture money goes into San Diego than into the
entire Midwest," Wilhelm says. "We're going to take
advantage of the lack of vision of the money managers on the coasts."
to Hopewell's seasoned management team. "Bill Sutter, Tom
Parkinson and Craig Overmyer built their track record making money
investing in this part of the country. They are living proof there's
great opportunity in the Midwest."
looking for a diversified investment portfolio," says Sutter,
who has 19 years in private equity and cut his teeth at Mesirow
Financial. Sutter sees Hopewell "having a leveraging effect,"
drawing capital into the region. Investments in health-care devices
and information systems could be on the dashboard.
focused venture funds are "very appropriate," says Robert
Lepkowski, VC in Residence at the Northwestern University ITEC
in Evanston. Lepkowski, who began his career helping grow Boston's
technology base, adds, "The concept is absolutely the right
way to go."
chief security strategist, Scott Charney, 48, arrives tomorrow
to headline the Executives' Club conference on computer security.
the leading federal prosecutor of computer crimes in the 1990s,
handling most major hacker cases from 1991 to 1999. He served
as chief of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section
in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
write the book on approaches used in prosecuting cyber crime.
He co-authored the Federal Guidelines for Searching and Seizing
Computers, the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the cyber
crime sentencing guidelines.
into cyber crime by accident in 1991," Charney says. After
a stint as a prosecutor in the Bronx district attorney's office,
he moved to general litigation at the Department of Justice in
Washington. "Cyber crime was handled by the Fraud division.
They had one person," Charney adds. "I sat down at my
work station. I started creating subdirectories in DOS. My boss
walked in. He was computer phobic, and asked what I was doing.
He gave me one of those blank looks and asked me not to break
assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division, Bob Mueller
[now FBI director], knew cyber crime was going to be big. He called
my boss, and said, 'Do you think you could do cyber crime?'"
boss replied, "I have a computer expert."
The rest is
a fascinating time," Charney says. "It was a new field."
Charney to describe the need for better security, computer reliability,
individual privacy and business integrity. "If people are
going to embrace technology, they have to trust it," he says.
yourself on-line, Charney suggests: Turn on your firewall, patch
your software, run antivirus and back up your data.
much time online
the Society for Information Management last week, Eric Shepcaro,
AT&T's vice president, application networking, quipped, "You
know you're an Internet junkie when you check your e-mail, see
no messages, and then you click to check it again." On a
darker note, Shepcaro reported a sharp rise in cyber attacks this
past six months.
Michael Krauss is a Chicago-based tech-writer and consultant,
and senior vice president for Hostway Corp., Chicago.