ConnectWise Launches $20m Incubator FundBy Lawrence Walsh | Print
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Connectwise founders Arnie and David Bellini unveil new effort to provide capital to solution providers and channel entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and business models.
Under the leadership of Arnie and David Bellini, ConnectWise evolved from an IT services organization to a publisher of professional services automation software that enables managed service providers to organize and optimize their business.
Now, the brothers Bellini are launching ConnectWise Capital, a $20 million investment fund to provide channel entrepreneurs and innovators with funding for starting and growing new businesses.
"We’re big believers in the IT channel and the wisdom of the channel," said Arnie Bellini, CEO of ConnectWise. "This capital fund is intended to help empower the channel to take control of its destiny."
ConnectWise Capital is part of ConnectWise the company, and will act somewhat like a venture capital arm under the direction of co-founder David Bellini. According to Hoovers, ConnectWise’s gross revenues are $15.3 million, but Arnie Bellini says those figures are several years old. In 2009, he said ConnectWise posted more than $24 million.
Funding for the capital fund will come from the proceeds of investments and profits generated over ConnectWise’s three decades of operation.
The fund’s conception came from the Bellinis belief that solution providers and VARs are too dependent on large vendors to innovate and deliver opportunity. The lack of available capital often leaves good ideas lying fallow in the channel, they said.
According to the forthcoming Channel Insider 2010 Market Pulse report, solution providers say the lack of investment capital is the third biggest inhibitor to their growth.
"Just as we evolved from an IT services company to automation platform, we believe there are many other companies out there just like us," said David Bellini.
ConnectWise Capital has several prospective ventures under evaluation for investment. The Bellinis say they’re looking to make strategic investments in companies that have the vision to build new technologies and services, as well as provide support and enablement services to the channel.
"We’re betting on the channel to create products and solutions that will be sold through the channel and benefit the customer," Arnie Bellini said.