SOURCE: Blue Chip Venture Company

May 10, 2006 13:00 ET

Arbor Partners and Blue Chip Venture Company Joining Forces:

Relationship Will Increase Funding Available for Michigan Companies

ANN ARBOR, MI -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 10, 2006 -- Arbor Partners is joining forces with Blue Chip Venture Company in a relationship that is expected to increase the amount of venture capital available for investment in Michigan-based early stage companies. In connection with the new relationship, Blue Chip has opened a Michigan office located at Arbor Partners. Don Walker and Dick Eidswick of Arbor Partners have become Venture Partners with Blue Chip, and Josh Beebe of Arbor Partners has become a Venture Principal with Blue Chip and will be responsible for Blue Chip's day-to-day activities in Michigan. They will begin working with Blue Chip on new investment opportunities while continuing to manage Arbor Partners' investments in its active portfolio companies.

Blue Chip, founded in 1992, was Cincinnati's first venture capital firm and has grown to become one of the largest venture capital firms in the Midwest. The firm has invested in over 50 Midwest companies. Blue Chip and Arbor Partners have co-invested in six companies including Michigan-based Bluegill Technologies and Sircon.

Arbor Partners, founded in 1996, is an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based venture capital firm committed to helping entrepreneurs build lasting growth companies. Arbor Partners invests exclusively in companies in the Information Technology sector. With over $38 million under management, Arbor Partners has been one of the most active venture capital investors in Michigan.

"We have enjoyed working with Don, Dick, Josh and the rest of the Arbor Partners team over the past nine years, and welcome the opportunity to expand the relationship," said John McIlwraith, a Blue Chip Managing Director. "Arbor Partners' extensive operating experience and hands-on approach to the business of investing in and building high growth companies fits well with Blue Chip's culture and investing philosophy." McIlwraith has served as a member of Arbor Partners' Advisory Board since the inception of its first fund in 1997, and is also on the Board of Directors of the Michigan Venture Capital Association.

"The relationship with Blue Chip will allow us to leverage the experience and relationships we have developed building Michigan-based companies, and will increase the amount of capital available to early stage companies in this region," said Don Walker.

Beebe, Eidswick and Walker's relationship with Blue Chip will not affect the day-to-day management of Arbor Partners and its portfolio companies, which will continue to be managed by Arbor Partners.

About Blue Chip Venture Company -- Blue Chip Venture Company is a Cincinnati-based venture capital firm with $600 million under management and investments in over 100 companies. As a partner with management, Blue Chip invests in and helps develop Investment and Business Building Programs for privately-owned growth companies. Blue Chip focuses on investments in the enterprise software, technology infrastructure, healthcare and media and marketing industries. Investments are made in companies that are in the early and growth stages as well as in companies that are more established and require expansion or acquisition capital.

About Arbor Partners -- Arbor Partners, founded in 1996, is an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based venture capital firm committed to helping entrepreneurs build lasting growth companies. Arbor Partners invests exclusively in companies creating the next generation of enterprise software, semiconductors, and advanced materials. The firm's first-hand experience and ongoing research in these dynamic markets enables it to work effectively with entrepreneurs in order to maximize the likelihood of success and provide superior returns for its investors and partner entrepreneurs.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    John C. McIlwraith
    Managing Director
    Blue Chip Venture Company
    Phone: (513) 723-2300

    Don Walker
    Managing Director
    Arbor Partners
    Phone: (734) 668-9000