Petros Partners and Stamford Innovation Center Managing Partner Team Up to Create Connecticut Growth Fund

Investment fund to leverage local acumen in providing intelligent growth capital for exceptional Connecticut companies

Stamford, Conn, January 26, 2016 – Austin, TX-based Petros Partners and private equity investor Barry Schwimmer have joined forces to create and manage Petros Connecticut Fund I, an investment fund focused on supporting the growth of Connecticut-based businesses. The Fund’s parent company is Petros Partners, an Austin, TX-based investment and advisory firm that specializes in investing in growing, lower middle market companies across the country.

The mission of the Fund, which operates under the Connecticut’s Insurance Reinvestment Tax Credit Program, is to encourage and assist in the creation, development, and expansion of Connecticut businesses by providing them access to both capital and operational expertise.

Jim Stanislaus, Petros’ Co-founder and Managing Director said “We are thrilled to have created the fund and become a part of the Connecticut entrepreneurial and investment community. This continues our tradition of partnering with exceptional local management teams to create real value and economic growth.” Mansoor Ghori, Petros’ Co-founder and Managing Director said “As veterans of the Austin entrepreneurial economy and national financing markets we look forward to bringing our experience and success to bear in Connecticut.”

Mr. Schwimmer, Petros Connecticut’s Managing Director, is also Founder and Managing Partner of the Stamford Innovation Center, one of the leading startup incubators and coworking facilities in the state. SIC companies of note include Arccos Golf, Tru-Optic, eBrevia, US Mobile, Sensify and Applango.

“We created this new fund to bring much needed growth capital to our local Connecticut economic ecosystem,” said Mr. Schwimmer. “It is highly complementary to our work at the Stamford Innovation Center. Our joint mission is to grow the entrepreneurial community and create jobs in Fairfield County and Connecticut. Hopefully this will be the first of several targeted investment initiatives to bring capital to our local small businesses, which traditionally have had difficulty accessing larger, more traditional resources. I am thrilled that Petros Partners has brought their expertise to this critical mission.”

Mr. Schwimmer is a highly experienced and successful private equity, venture capital and angel investor. He brings more than 25 years of experience in those disciplines to Petros Connecticut. Prior to becoming Managing Director of the Petros Fund, Barry was the founder of Stoneybrook Capital, a Managing Director at Commonwealth Capital and co-founder of Chemical Venture Partners. He has invested in businesses including distance education, communications & media, retailing, consumer products, business services, and manufacturing.

Petros Connecticut FundCONTACT:
Peter Propp

For more information on the Petros CT fund, visit:

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Texas’ First Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Project Announced in Travis County

Innovative clean energy financing program to enable greater efficiency and lower utility costs at Barton Creek Square Mall.

AUSTIN, Texas (December 22, 2015) – The Texas PACE Authority today announced the first PACE project in Texas. The Simon Property Group, Inc. will use Travis County’s PACE program to finance $1.5 million in retrofits at Barton Creek Square, an enclosed mall in southwest Austin built in 1980.

Simon’s water conservation, mechanical and lighting retrofits will lower utility costs and help Travis County conserve water and power. Construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2016.

PACE is an innovative financing tool that enables owners of commercial properties to obtain low-cost, long-term loans for water conservation, energy-efficiency and distributed generation retrofits.

Texas adopted a commercial PACE statute in June 2013 and Travis County established Texas’ first PACE program in March 2015, using the PACE in a Box uniform “plug and play” model available at no cost to counties and municipalities throughout Texas. The Texas PACE Authority administers the Travis County program.

“The Travis County program is strong and growing,” said Jonathon Blackburn, Managing Director of the Texas PACE Authority. “There is a solid pipeline of additional PACE projects in development and billions of dollars available from private lenders.”

“Austin is poised to have the best first year of any commercial PACE program in the country to date,” Said Beau Engman, Founder and President, PACE Equity, LLC. “We currently have $20 million of projects under contract with applications submitted and an additional pipeline of $15 million.

“Petros is nearing completion on a number of projects, from nonprofits and churches to retail facilities. We expect to close $30 million in the next few months, representing a wide range of clean energy technologies such as solar PV, energy efficient HVAC, and LED lighting” noted Mansoor Ghori, Co-Founder and Managing Partner,

Petros PACE Financing.

“I’m proud to have sponsored a program that promotes economic development and protects the needs of the environmental community, which are both so important to Travis County,” stated Commissioner Gerald Daugherty, Precinct 3.

“My congratulations to Simon Properties and the Texas PACE Authority,” said Commissioner Brigid Shea, Precinct 2. “Travis County’s leadership on PACE is proving how to be better stewards of our water, energy and economy.”

Bruce Elfant, Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector & Voter Registrar, said “PACE offers our community a great opportunity to conserve limited energy and water resources and lower costs for participating businesses. I look forward to approving the first PACE project in Texas.

The Barton Creek project is part of Simon’s $500 million commitment to use PACE to finance improvements to its malls throughout the country. Simon supported the Texas PACE legislation and the open market Texas PACE in a Box program and is a member of Keeping PACE in Texas.

“In addition to Barton Creek Square, a number of other projects are primed to position Texas as one of the most dynamic areas in the country for PACE,” noted Blackburn.
For Additional Information:
Jonathon Blackburn
Managing Director, Texas PACE Authority

Charlene Heydinger
Executive Director, Keeping PACE in Texas and President, Texas PACE Authority


Petros Partners - Sponsors

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Viewpoint: How to Bring More Capital to Texas Startups

May 22, 2015
by Jim Stanislaus
Read the Online Story.

While Texas leads the country in many economic indicators, we lag behind other states in access to capital for our businesses — particularly in rural and other underserved areas of the state.

The Texas Legislature can play an important role in creating and keeping jobs in Texas rather than having companies funded by outside interests and moving elsewhere.

A recent report by Dr. Simon Mak of the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business examined Texas deals funded by the Federal New Markets Tax Credit program. The report concluded that the total potential economic activity driven by a Texas New Markets Tax Credit program could create approximately 5,000 jobs and attract additional private capital to Texas at a rate of 4 to 1, driving further job growth. Dr. Mak’s study notes that the return on investment multiplier is even greater in rural Texas.

Access to capital is critical to the long-term business success of entrepreneurs. A dynamic economy should include multiple sources of capital to retain our best small businesses in Texas and ensure continued job growth.

A public private partnership such as the New Markets Tax Credit program can provide capital to areas of the state that otherwise may not have access to it, and help ensure our long-term economic competitiveness. It brings the best of both worlds preserving the independence of private investment decisions in Texas, while smartly deploying available government incentives.

Other states are becoming more aggressive in the incentives they offer for job creation. Florida and at least twelve other states have already enacted State New Markets initiatives. Today, Texas ranks 43rd in Federal New Market Tax Credit investments, in part because we lack a state New Markets Tax Credit initiative to attract outside capital. Investors are deploying capital in states with initiatives to match those at the federal level. As a result, Texas is missing out on growth investments, especially in rural and other underserved areas.

To stay competitive long-term, state lawmakers should pass programs that advance economic development and access to capital for Texas entrepreneurs. An innovative program like a Texas New Markets Tax Credit program does just that and would be an excellent step in this direction. Texas lawmakers have an opportunity to make it happen now.

Jim Stanislaus is a cofounder and managing director at Petros Partners, a Texas based investment and advisory firm focused on growth stage small business investments.

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Commentary: Texas’ Fair Share of Federal Investment Still in Reach

May 20, 2015
By Rick Hayes and Jim Stanislaus – Special to the American-Statesman

The Texas Legislature need look no further than just across Interstate 35 for validation that the federal New Markets Tax Credits program has a positive impact in economically challenged communities. However, our state lawmakers are on the verge of missing an opportunity to leverage similar investments that would create jobs and improve communities across Texas.

What’s missing from the economic powerhouse known as Texas is a state New Markets Tax Credit program to fully leverage the existing program at the federal level.

Since its inception, the federal NMTC program has consistently spurred revitalization of economically distressed communities, created jobs and in the case of commercial projects has generated more than enough revenue to offset borrowed tax dollars. In the nonprofit world, the tax credits have leveraged private capital that otherwise might not invest.

As an example, Texas Community Development invested $5 million to cover a significant portion of the cost of Lifeworks’ new Youth and Family Resource Center in East Austin. The facility increased community access to counseling, education, workforce and social services that would otherwise have required traditional finances, undermining its capacity to serve. In addition, the project created or retained 32 construction jobs and 144 permanent jobs as of last fall.

Similarly, the federal NMTC program is responsible for projects across Texas, including Dynamo Stadium in Houston, Incarnate Word Eye Center in San Antonio, Settles Hotel in Big Spring, East Texas Physicians Alliance in Palestine and Santana Textiles in Edinburg.

However, without a state program to help capture our share of federal dollars, Texas is falling far short of our potential. While Texas boasts the world’s 12th largest economy and leads the nation in many economic indicators, we lag behind in access to capital for businesses, particularly in underserved areas, and we rank 45th when it comes to per capita new market tax credit investment, at $34.98 per citizen.

Conversely, states that have established their version of the program including Florida, Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri, have leveraged the federal program to now boast per capital investments up to seven times higher. Investments are more likely to occur where both federal and state tax credits are available in order to maximize available dollars.

According to a report released this month by Dr. Simon Mak of SMU’s Cox School of Business, Texas currently participates in only 3 percent of total federal NMTC funding, thus making us “an officially underserved state.” Therefore, the report says, “the federal program is proactively seeking and encouraging more investment opportunities in Texas.”

The federal New Markets Tax Credit Program was enacted in 2000 to spur revitalization of economically distressed areas. The investments can only be made in low-income areas with at least a 20 percent poverty rate or where the median family income is at or below 80 percent of the median. Tax-paying investors receive a credit against federal income taxes for qualified investments.

In the final days of the 84th Texas Legislature, lawmakers still have time to pass legislation that would create a Texas New Markets Tax Credit program. A state new markets tax credit program would expand investments to include banks in addition to insurance companies and emphasizes investment in rural communities by granting access to these funds equitable to their metropolitan counterparts. Tax credits would be spread over seven years with no credits until the third year. The legislation has the support of industry organizations, including the Texas Association of Manufacturers and Texas Association of Business.

A state program also aligns with Gov. Greg Abbott’s stated intention in Forbes Magazine “to do more to build an even stronger business environment” and “take Texas to the next level for business recruitment”. Supporting a vehicle for greater capital investment in Texas has great benefit across socioeconomic boundaries, makes political sense on both sides of the aisle and is essential to remaining competitive long-term. Passage should be a priority before the Legislature adjourns.

Hayes is CEO of Waveland Ventures LLC and Stanislaus is managing director of Petros Partners.

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