By Bill Fallon
Texas-based Petros Partners and private equity investor Barry Schwimmer have joined forces to create and manage Petros Connecticut Fund I, an investment fund focused on supporting the growth of Connecticut-based businesses.
Schwimmer is founder and managing partner of the Stamford Innovation Center in the former municipal building at 175 Atlantic St., a start-up incubator and co-working space that opened in 2012. Guided by entrepreneurialism and a willingness to venture into arenas like legitimized hacking by partnering with the Stamford’s Shippan Institute, SIC’s successful business ventures so far have included Arccos Golf, Tru-Optic, eBrevia, US Mobile, Sensify and Applango.
The fund’s parent company is Petros Partners in Austin, an investment and advisory firm that specializes in investing in growing, lower middle-market companies across the U.S.
The fund operates under the Connecticut’s insurance reinvestment tax credit program. The program is designed, according to a statement from Petros Partners, “to encourage and assist in the creation, development, and expansion of Connecticut businesses by providing them access to both capital and operational expertise.”
Jim Stanislaus, Petros’ cofounder and managing director said, “We are thrilled to have created the fund and become a part of the Connecticut entrepreneurial and investment community. This continues our tradition of partnering with exceptional local management teams to create real value and economic growth.”
Mansoor Ghori, also Petros’ cofounder and managing director, said, “As veterans of the Austin entrepreneurial economy and national financing markets we look forward to bringing our experience and success to bear in Connecticut.”
Schwimmer is now Petros Connecticut’s managing director.
“We created this new fund to bring much needed growth capital to our local Connecticut economic ecosystem,” said Schwimmer. “It is highly complementary to our work at the
Stamford Innovation Center. Our joint mission is to grow the entrepreneurial community and create jobs in Fairfield County and Connecticut. Hopefully this will be the first of several targeted investment initiatives to bring capital to our local small businesses, which traditionally have had difficulty accessing larger, more traditional resources. I am thrilled that Petros Partners has brought their expertise to this critical mission.”
Schwimmer’s resume includes founder of Stoneybrook Capital, a managing director at Commonwealth Capital and co-founder of Chemical Venture Partners. He has invested in businesses including distance education, communications and media, retailing, consumer products, business services and manufacturing.