Athens Investment Firm Takes Different Approach

By
Michael Locklear
Bethany Venable

Dateline
Updated Thu, May 17, 2012 8:19 am

An Athens-based venture capital firm has $15 million to invest despite the condition of the economy.

Karl Elderkin is the founder and managing partner of Athenian Venture Partners.
 
He says Athenian Venture Partners has a different philosophy than similar firms in bigger cities.
 
"We have taken the approach that we would need to travel to be where the companies are, so we would go to where the opportunities are in Ohio and in other places. As we grew the business, we recognized there was a need to be in other places outside of Ohio," said Elderkin.
 
The need for an Athens-based firm arose in the 1990s, says Elderkin, when a couple of companies founded by the Ohio University Foundation left the state in search of capital.  
 
Several OU Foundation trustees sponsored the Athenian Venture Partners with a loan as a means to create a local venture capital firm.  Elderkin says the firm started in 1997 and has since repaid the loan. 
 
Athenian Venture Partners now manages four funds.  Elderkin says the company has endless options for investment.
 
""Things that we're investing in now, we expect that will mature years from now," he explained. "So, we're laying the seeds during any economic period. One of the advantages we have right now is that there's a supply and demand equation. The opportunities keep coming. The supply of capital has diminished, so for us, that means more opportunity."
 
The firm provides funds for companies that want to take their businesses to the next level.
 
Elderkin says they have more than $100 million under management.    
 
The company has partners with offices in California and Boston.
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