Initiative, involvement pay off for VC

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Many venture capitalists wait for start-ups to come to them, often vetting hundreds of applicants before investing in a handful. From there, involvement is often sporadic. "A lot of VCs are gone once a company reaches profitability," said Mark Jennings, managing partner of Generation Partners.

Jennings and his colleagues prefer a more involved approach. It includes finding companies on their own and evaluating them closely before making an initial investment. From there, its involvement takes off.

Several of the firm's partners, Jennings included, have dual finance-technology backgrounds that lend themselves to working closely with b-to-b start-up executives on not only getting funding, but also in developing Internet technologies. An engineer, Jennings worked at a Lazard Frères & Co. L.L.C.-affiliated fund before co-founding Generation Partners.

Generation Partners has stakes in several b-to-b companies, including e-Steel Corp. and OrderFusion Inc. "Our goal is to make money for our partners," Jennings said.

Apparently, it is doing just that. The firm recently had a windfall when Nortel Networks Corp. acquired one of its portfolio companies, Promatory Communications, for $800 million.

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