Wednesday, April 12, 2006

PEWire (Primack): Chris Gabrieli - the next governer?

"I just got off the phone with Chris Gabrieli, a wonkish VC who recently entered the Massachusetts gubernatorial race. Still trying to process my thoughts and notes a bit, but here�s an initial take:
We in Massachusetts love venture capitalists. We also love baseball players. Both make obscene amounts of money (home runs=home runs), but we don�t mind because their successes are viewed as beneficial to the public at large. Our current governor, for example, is believed to be a venture capitalist, even though he was a leveraged buyouts professional. So, to sum up: VCs and baseball players are good, specific job descriptions are bad.
Gabrieli, unlike Romney, is an actual venture capitalist. He joined Bessemer Venture Partners in 1986 -- two years after BVP had backed a healthcare information systems company Gabrieli founded called GMIS. He then went on to back such efforts as Alkermes and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, before transitioning into a venture partner role in January 2000. In 2004, Gabrieli helped form an SBIC called Ironwood Equity Partners, whose eclectic portfolio includes the Dancing Deer Baking Co. in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Last year, he gained mention in this space for a successful effort to overturn Romney�s calculated veto of an embryonic stem cell research bill (an effort that included uncharacteristically boisterous VC industry support).
This strong VC track record, however, is unfortunately marred by a lackluster electoral record."

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