New Year New Business!

New Year New Business!

January 1st is an extremely popular date to start a business.  The promise of 365 days of potential appeals to many. 365 days to try your hand, implement a plan, vet out ideas and see what happens.  The SBA(small business administration) estimates that nearly 573,000 new businesses start each year, and that nearly 555,000 close.

This year, 2012, Fogged In will be one of those 573,000 with a new venture.

Our new venture will be a Nantucket based for profit business which seeks to support the entrepreneurial community by offering conceptual and operational services.  Our focus will be on those businesses that are agents of positive social change and which can create jobs in their local communities.  We can also provide initial capital as well as access to other creative financing options.  We believe that thriving small businesses are an integral part of creating and sustaining better communities.  So who is “we”?

My partner in this new venture is James Bennett.  Jim is a veteran of the commercial real estate business.  In a career that has spanned almost forty years, Jim has held a number of executive positions most recently as a Managing Director of BlackRock real estate fund.  BlackRock is the largest investment manager in the world.  Previous to that, Jim was a founding partner, President and Managing Director of Madison Marquette, a retail real estate development and investment firm based in Washington DC.  Currently, in addition to his involvement in our new venture, Jim is active in various social investment activities and is a member of Investor’s Circle, the largest national organization of angel investors.  IC seeks to invest in creative enterprises which have social value returns as well as financial returns.  Jim is currently a part-time resident of Nantucket and serves on the Board of the Community Foundation of Nantucket.  In addition, Jim is also on the Board of the Festival Center, a Washington DC enterprise where he is helping to establish a community kitchen initiative.

In many respects there has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur.  The explosive growth of the internet and of the social media has made it easier to identify opportunities in the market place and to reach out to potential customers.  Unparalleled access to knowledge regarding these opportunities augurs will for the future of creative new businesses.

Yet many of the challenges to small business success remain unchanged – how to transform an idea in to a viable operating enterprise, how to get quality advice in key areas such as marketing, finance, IT, and HR on a limited budget, and how to attract capital sufficient to grow the business.   GHV will address these challenges by providing both conceptual and operational advice through its extensive advisory network.  By leveraging our resources with those of our clients, we will help to level the playing field and to increase the odds for long term success.

Our new venture will offer a comprehensive set of services aimed at helping small businesses to grow.  In selected cases, we will make direct equity investments in to start up or early stage growth businesses.

Our services will include:

  • Web based tool and educational offerings designed to improve basic business knowledge. Such offerings may include excel templates business plan models, 10 minutes or less webinars, one day or one class technology education, and time management training.


  • Administrative and operational services once businesses are launched.  Such services will include accounting and bookkeeping, file management and document storage, payroll and payroll tax management, administrative support, HR management and documentation; and web site design and marketing


  • Mentorship programs whereby our principals will contribute their time and where that time and talent will be leveraged with a group of selected business people, some still active and some who are retired.  We have already identified a significant network of such people both on and off the island of Nantucket who are committed to creating a collaborative experience for selected entrepreneurs


  • Partnerships in which we have directly partnered and invested with existing or start up enterprises.  In such instances, we will provide initial conceptual consultation, ongoing operational services, and Advisory Board oversight to help foster strategic growth of the enterprise.

Are you excited? I am.



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