SOURCE: Exigen Capital

Exigen Capital

December 15, 2009 05:03 ET

Exigen Capital Helps Kids Take on Business Through Virtual Enterprises

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 15, 2009) - Partners at the global private equity firm, Exigen Capital, are working together with the New York City Department of Education's Virtual Enterprises program to help city kids understand the world of business and finance through the eyes of some of the most seasoned executives in the world.

According to former Merrill Lynch and Fannie Mae CIO, Rahul Merchant, an Exigen Capital Operating Partner and current Board Member of both Sun Microsystems and Level 3 Communications, "Virtual Enterprises' innovative approach to teaching and learning is helping educate the next generation of professionals with an early understanding of what it takes to create and maintain successful businesses."

Spearheaded in the United States by Iris Blanc in 1996, this unique applied-learning program has expanded to more than 475 secondary and post-secondary institutions nationwide, and is now part of the International Practice Enterprise Network of more than 4000 virtual enterprises in over 40 countries.

Virtual Enterprises enables students to experience all aspects of building, implementing and running a firm from the ground up in a simulated business environment. This includes everything from sales, marketing and product development, to human resources, accounting, and finance.

In a recent working session with the New York City High School of Art & Design Virtual Enterprise team, "Office by Dezign," Rahul Merchant mentored a group of aspiring young professionals through a rigorous simulated investor presentation in which students clearly were able to demonstrate their newly acquired aptitude for business.

"Helping kids acquire very practical business skills before they enter the workforce is something I hold very near to my heart and strongly believe that more corporations should take responsibility for," said Merchant.

Founded by entrepreneurs Greg Shenkman and Alec Miloslavsky, Exigen's investment thesis, which includes creating unique business models with leading industry partners, goes hand-in-hand with the pioneering spirit and social responsibility of Virtual Enterprises.

Mr. Merchant and other Exigen partners will be serving as both a mentors for local VE teams, as well as judges in the upcoming VE national business plan competition.

ABOUT VE -- Virtual Enterprises (VE) is a simulated business that is set up and run by students with the guidance of a teacher/facilitator and business partners such as Apple, Bank of New York, BBDO, Deloitte & Touche, FedEx, McGraw Hill, Smith Barney and others. This program allows students to experience all facets of being in an actual business environment, and enables students to understand how employees, workgroup teams, and departments interact with each other and work.


Exigen Capital is a Private Equity firm that invests to transform necessary but non-differentiating business functions into independent, profitable businesses; as well as in the technology and execution capabilities required to effect transformation. Greg Shenkman is managing partner. Its offices are located in San Francisco, New York, and Zurich, Switzerland.

For more information about Exigen Capital, please visit

Contact Information

    Iris Blanc
    Director, Virtual Enterprise Central Office
    (212) 769-2710
    Email Contact

    Diane Boneta
    Exigen Group
    (646) 416-5500
    Email Contact