Random Ramblings: In-Q-Tel & More

Today’s column fell apart at the last minute (kind of like the National League), so just a few quick notes: 

*** When athletes say that it’s not about the money, it’s usually about the money. When multiple VCs give multiple reasons for leaving the same firm over a short period of time, it’s usually about the firm. This is the case an In-Q-Tel, the Central Intelligence Agency venture wing that has lost more managing general partners than in the past year than I’ve lost cell phones (I’ve lost two). 

The latest such defection is Mark Frantz, who today formally announced that he’s now a general partner with Redshift Ventures (f.k.a. SpaceVest). This follows Gilman Louie, who left last year to launch a new firm with Stewart Alsop, and Amit Yoran, who left earlier this year to spend more time with his family. 

Frantz and Louie have every reason to be jazzed about their latest endeavors, and I’m sure that Yoran’s family is a swell bunch. None of this, however, masks the unfortunate reality that there are some very real problems with In-Q-Tel’s public/private partnership model, which includes a variety of conflicting interests and expectations. I’ll be writing more on this soon, including what it could mean for the U.S. Army’s venture arm and the proposed effort by NASA. 

*** Thomson is hosting a conference call about Trends in European Private Equity, which unfortunately began a few minutes ago (10am EST). But there will be a Q&A, so dial in at 800-322-5044, with participant passwode 94270331. International callers, please dial 617-614-4927. 

*** Speaking of all things Thomson, today is the final day to submit Q2 2006 disbursement into for the MoneyTree Survey. If you still need to submit info, please email Gregory.hemming@thomson.com for instructions. 

*** Last but certainly not least, our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Zeljka Matutinovic, a former general partner with Jerusalem Venture Partners who died in a moped accident over the weekend in Martha’s Vineyard. She was just 41 years old. A memorial service will be held next Tuesday evening at St. Cyril Catholic Church in New York City (

502 West 41). Please email Mihaela Skobe at mihaela.skobe@mssm.edu if you are planning to attend.