After serving as a consultant for Comporium for more than five years, I’m honored to be a member of the team as managing director of Comporium Ventures. A major part of my job is to manage the existing investment portfolio, and to identify and recommend new opportunities to acquire or invest in innovative new businesses. These decisions are guided by four objectives:
- To provide access to new products and services to our existing customers. One example of this is Immedion, an enterprise-class, dedicated data center services provider, which recently opened its fifth data center in Rock Hill. Another is ReadyHome — Comporium’s home automation, energy management and security services offering. The platform technology for ReadyHome was developed by iControl Networks, based in Silicon Valley. Comporium was an early investor in this rapidly growing company. Through select investments, Comporium also offers additional home automation, connected vehicle, and state-of-the-art digital signage solutions.
- To expand our markets and geographic footprint. Continuing with the above example, Comporium’s investment in iControl Networks enabled us to not only offer ReadyHome services to our customers, but to also develop Comporium SMA Solutions, which is a provider of hosted security, home automation and energy management solutions for the cable industry. SMA Solutions is making it possible for other providers to get into the smart home category and thereby expand their markets.
- To leverage Comporium’s existing technology infrastructure, human capital, expertise and network channels. Some of our investments leverage Comporium’s engineering or IT expertise. In addition, we offer financial and legal strategy or marketing resources. There are many ways Comporium can provide value to emerging companies to help them grow and be successful.
- To generate a financial return. Like any business, Comporium needs a financial return on our investments in order to continue on our mission. We are not a traditional venture capital firm. We are a strategic investor and invest in companies that serve and leverage our core businesses.
Our portfolio has a heavy emphasis on companies related to the Internet of Things and smart home technology. Many objects in a home, from lighting to thermostats, can be controlled remotely with a phone or tablet. The connectivity of today’s world is exciting, and Comporium is in the connectivity business. I’m humbled to be working with such a talented team, and I can’t wait to see where the path of innovation will lead us.