June 7, 2013 @ 9:08 am

Plymouth Venture Partners Fund II Makes Investment in Micro Market Leader 365 Retail Markets

Ann Arbor, MI— Plymouth Management Company (“PMC”) announces its ninth investment from Plymouth Venture Partners Fund II (“PVP II”), leading a financing round in 365 Retail Markets of Troy, Michigan. 365 supplies hardware and software to vending operators who want to replace conventional vending banks with unmanned, small stores (SmartShop or Micro Markets), and is currently in a high growth phase. A 365 SmartShop is a 24/7 unmanned self-checkout retail outlet that can offer fresh food and beverage alternatives at a significant return on investment to vending operators. Micro Markets are quickly showing up in hotels, self-contained professional buildings, hospitals, schools/universities, assisted living facilities, gyms, and manufacturing facilities.

 

Plymouth was attracted to 365 due to its talented management team, their leading position in the Micro Market industry, and their high growth rate.

 

Mark Horne, PMC’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “365 is at the forefront of the rapidly growing Micro Market business. We believe it to be the fastest growing second stage company in Michigan right now. It is great to hear from colleagues from across the country telling us that a 365 Micro Market just went up in their building. We look forward to assisting 365’s accelerated growth in this exciting new industry.”

 

Joe Hessling, 365 Retail Markets’ Chief Executive Officer, added, “As a lifelong Michigan resident and serial entrepreneur, I am thrilled to be working with Plymouth to grow this great Michigan company. We’ve grown from 15 to 45 team members in the last six months, all in an effort to service our 300% annual growth rate. The wisdom Plymouth brings, as well as their sense of community, is aligned with our desire to continue to grow in Michigan.”

 

Plymouth Management Company Partner Jeff Barry will take a Board seat with the company and assist 365 in achieving further growth.

 

About Plymouth Venture Partners II, L.P.
Fund II is a follow-on fund to Plymouth Venture Partners Fund I. PVP I became fully invested in 2009 after completing investments in 29 companies. Plymouth Venture Partners II invests in growth stage companies in the Great Lakes region. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.

 

About Plymouth Management Company
Plymouth Management Company is the manager for Plymouth Venture Partners I and Plymouth Venture Partners II. The company has three partners, Mark Horne, Ian Bund, Jeff Barry, and Kevin Terrasi. It is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.

 

About 365 Retail Markets
365 Retail Markets, an expanding self-checkout technology company based in Troy, Michigan, offers a best in class platform for vending, foodservice, and hospitality. Its proprietary 365SmartShop is a turnkey unmanned MicroMarket that allows customers to increase sales, improve the customer experience, and increase profits, while decreasing operating costs. 365 Retail Markets has been pioneering innovation in the vending industry for over 5 years and continues to revolutionize the market with superior technology and ultimate flexibility in customization and branding. For more information about 365 Retail Markets, visit www.365retailmarkets.com. You can also join 365 Retail Markets on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

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March 21, 2013 @ 1:07 am

Plymouth Management Co. Focuses on Regional Growth

Plymouth Management Company, an Ann Arbor-based VC, focuses on Great Lakes growth-stage opportunities, but does not focus on a particular segment.  It’s a strategy that has helped the firm carve out a niche in helping growth-stage companies across a wide range of industries.

 

“We look for any regional company that is growing or shows strong growth potential,” explained Plymouth Management’s principal Mark Horne.  “Information technology, software services, telecom, advanced manufacturing and medical devices have all been attractive investments for Plymouth; we want to back companies that have the innovation and talent to succeed.”

 

Plymouth’s broad view is enabled by the firm’s management team, which includes Michigan VC pioneer Ian Bund as well as Jeff Barry and Kevin Terrasi.  Combined, these leaders have an impressive track record of building and exiting growth stage companies, as well as a unique blend of financial and operational experience.

 

The firm’s management is able to support and structure deals in a way that sets it apart from other VCs– and helps Plymouth take advantage of opportunities that might not fit with other VC firm’s charters.

 

“Because we focus on regional, growth-stage companies versus a specific industry sector, Plymouth can look at a wide variety of potential investment companies,” Horne explained.  “This flexibility carries over into our deal structures that can be tailored to the specific needs of the entrepreneur.  Our deal terms can be quite creative.  We are minority investors who insist on strong corporate governance, but we have a negotiating style that is decidedly win-win.”

 

This past year was a banner one for Plymouth, which invested in seven companies – four in Michigan, one in Ohio and two in Illinois – through the $41 million fund it raised in 2011.  Plymouth’s recent Michigan deals included Lynx Network Group in Kalamazoo and FutureNet Group in Detroit.

 

Plymouth’s multi-stage investment in Lynx Network Group is helping the company build a new 2,500 mile 4G/LTE fiber project across Michigan, in conjunction with Department of Commerce and the Merit Group.  This “data railroad” will connect businesses and promote further economic development throughout the state.  Its investment in FutureNet, a rapidly growing construction, security and IT business, helped the company acquire a division of Smith & Wesson.  The acquisition is expected to propel the business to more than $100 million in revenues by the end of this year.

 

Horne and his team at Plymouth are finding that their home base in Michigan is a significant advantage.  “Michigan continues to be an underserved market,” he said.  “Unlike the coasts, there are more ideas here than capital.  In Michigan, VCs have tremendous choice between the best deals. Deal flow quality continues to be very good for our firm, and we expect we will near full fund deployment by the end of this year.”

 

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March 8, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

Kevin Terrasi Joins Plymouth Management Company As Partner

We are pleased to announce that Kevin Terrasi has joined Plymouth Management Company (PMC) as
Partner effective March 1, 2013. Kevin has worked closely with PMC since our investment in Pump
Engineering Inc. (PEI) in 2008. In 2011 Kevin joined the firm as an Executive in Residence and he has
worked closely with several of the portfolio companies backed by Plymouth Venture Partners Fund II.

 

Kevin began his career at PEI in 1996 as a Michigan State University engineering co-op student. During
his tenure at the Monroe Michigan firm, Kevin was instrumental in developing a unique custom design
and manufacturing process utilizing state of the art computer aided software. By doing so he and the
firm’s founder, Robert Oklejas, were able to establish PEI as an industry leader in high efficiency pumps
and energy recovery equipment.

 

Kevin was promoted to Vice President of Engineering and a member of the Board of Directors at PEI,
where he successfully developed and executed plans that resulted in rapid growth. He was an active
member of the divestiture team that sold PEI to Energy Recovery Incorporated (Nasdaq: ERII) in 2009.
For 2 years following the sale, Kevin served as Vice President of the Turbo Machine Division at ERII.

 

Plymouth’s Managing Partner, Mark Horne, commented, “I’m delighted to welcome Kevin to the firm as
our newest Partner. His great instincts, experience and skills are well suited for our regional growth
stage investment strategy. As we look ahead to our own future growth plans, Kevin adds greatly to our
operational depth.” Horne added, “We’re also grateful to the Michigan Venture Capital Association and
the MEDC who jointly sponsored Kevin’s role as Executive in Residence. The EIR Program allows venture
firms like ours to retain talented executives like Kevin in the state of Michigan.”

 

About Plymouth Venture Partners II, L.P.
Fund II is a follow-on fund to Plymouth Venture Partners Fund I. PVP I became fully invested in 2009
after completing investments in 29 companies. Plymouth Venture Partners II invests in growth stage
companies in the Great Lakes region. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.

About Plymouth Management Company
Plymouth Management Company is the manager for Plymouth Venture Partners I and Plymouth
Venture Partners II. The company has four partners, Mark Horne, Ian Bund, Jeff Barry, and Kevin
Terrasi. It is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For more information, please visit
www.plymouthvc.com.

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June 22, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

Plymouth Venture Partners Fund II Makes Investment in Chicago-based Touch Screen Innovator, UICO

Elmhurst, ILPlymouth Management Company (“PMC”) announces its fifth investment from Plymouth Venture Partners Fund II (“PVP II”), in UICO, LLC of Elmhurst, Illinois. UICO designs and manufactures the world’s leading family of industrial grade projected capacitive touchscreens under the brand duraTOUCH®. UICO’s innovative technology and solutions enable equipment manufacturers to deliver proven, best-in-class touch features in extreme environments of use including industrial, military, and inclement weather. UICO’s products are differentiated and especially well-situated for these markets due to their ability to deliver products, with high resolution, while combining the features of full functionality in a wet environment, while using gloves, all with thick and durable touch screen materials.

 

Plymouth was attracted to UICO due to its leading edge touch screen technology, strong management team, the traction the company has had with major companies throughout the U.S., and the rapidly growing market in which it operates.

 

Mark Horne, PMC’s Chief Executive Officer, commented “UICO has developed a unique, feature rich product that is experiencing growing demand. The industry’s move to PCap technology is expected to be a large driver in pushing customers to the UICO technology. Additionally, we have been impressed with the company’s leadership and are excited to work with the UICO team to bring its products to the forefront of a fast moving industry.”

 

Bahar Wadia, UICO’s President and CEO added “We are pleased to be working with Plymouth Ventures as we enter the next growth phase in our company’s progression. The financing round they led will make it possible to fully deploy our strategy, allowing us to better service our customers and capture a large portion of a rapidly growing market for durable touch screens.”

 

Plymouth Management Company Partner Jeff Barry will take a Board seat with the company and assist UICO in achieving further growth.

 

About Plymouth Venture Partners II, L.P.
Fund II is a follow-on fund to Plymouth Venture Partners Fund I. PVP I became fully invested in 2009 after completing investments in 29 companies. Plymouth Venture Partners II invests in growth stage companies in the Great Lakes region. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.

 

About Plymouth Management Company
Plymouth Management Company is the manager for Plymouth Venture Partners I and Plymouth Venture Partners II. The company has four partners, Mark Horne, Ian Bund, Jeff Barry, and Bob Savage, and offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.

 

About UICO
UICO is maker of duraTOUCH®, the world’s leading family of industrial-grade projected capacitive touchscreens. UICO’s innovative technology and solutions enable equipment manufacturers to deliver proven, best-in-class touch features in extreme environments of use. UICO is headquartered in Elmhurst, IL with key suppliers and manufacturing partnerships worldwide to support a large and
growing customer base of leading OEMs in medical, military, industrial and other commercial product segments. For more information, please visit www.uico.com.

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November 8, 2011 @ 1:12 am

Michigan Venture Capital Association appoints 2012 Board of Directors, recognizes members at Annual Dinner

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA) celebrated a year of individual, company, and statewide industry achievement at its Annual Dinner held November 7 at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth. Over 145 members of the Michigan venture community attended the evening event, where incoming Chairman Tim Petersen introduced members of the organization’s 2012 Board of Directors. They include:
• Tim Petersen (Chairman), Arboretum Ventures
• Ron Reed (Vice Chairman/Past Chairman), Seneca Partners
• Jim Adox, (Vice-Chairman/Treasurer), Venture Investors
• Jeff Bocan, Beringea
• Hugo Braun, North Coast Technology Investors
• Pete Farner, TGap Ventures
• Mark Horne, Plymouth Management Company
• Tom Kinnear, U-M Ross School of Business Zell Lurie Institute
• Jon Lauckner, GM Ventures
• Chris Rizik, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund
• Skip Simms, Ann Arbor SPARK
• Mina Sooch, Apjohn Ventures
• Jody Vanderwel, Grand Angels
• Ken Van Heel, Dow Chemical Company
• Donald Walker, Arbor Partners

Pete Farner, Mark Horne and Jon Lauckner are new to the board and begin three-year terms while former director John McIlwraith of Blue Chip Venture Company completes his board involvement after a six-year term.

“It was a wonderful evening that really celebrated the best of the best in our industry,” said Merrill Guerra, Executive Director of the MVCA. “We’re pleased so many venture investors, portfolio company executives, development officials and other supporters could join us, showing the growth and success the venture capital community has demonstrated in Michigan.”

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The MVCA is a non-profit trade organization designed to bring together venture capital industry participants in the state of Michigan. The organization's goal is to grow and sustain a vibrant venture capital community in Michigan.
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