After almost 7 years on the investing side with PE/VC firm MVC Capital, I left to be the COO of SunOne Solutions–a startup operating in the ecosystem services industry with a focus on carbon offset project development. I have served as a Director, observer, and/or advisor on the boards of over a dozen companies at various stages (pre-revenue, pre-profit and growth), levels of success (eg going great vs totally sideways), and a wide variety of industries (energy, wireless, nanotech, biometrics, materials science, SaaS, entertainment, asset tracking). During my time at MVC Capital, I read/evaluated well over 1,000 investment teasers and/or business plans. I graduated from Kellogg in 2009, and am based in Denver, CO.
Projects that Forrest Mertens is interested in:
Term Sheets & Deal Structure, Valuation, Governance, Environment & Ecosystem Management, Energy, Telecommunications, Product/Technology Roadmapping, General Startup Issues & Tough Choices
5 Comments for this entry
Rory O'ByrneNovember 1st, 2010 on 11:22 am
Hi Mr. Mertens,
My name is Rory O’Byrne and I’m an undergraduate student at Northwestern affiliated with KVC through a social enterprise I started named LEND. LEND (Lending for Evanston and Northwestern Development) is a student-run microlending group that supports entrepreneurs in the underdeveloped areas of West Evanston. We started just under a year ago and have begun serving several clients with loans and training services (mostly business plan writing, accounting classes, etc…)
Your experience with early stage companies would be helpful for us to gain insight into our challenges that accompany early-stage growth. Do you have any interest in working as an informal advisory capacity for LEND? This would take the form of receiving a quarterly update and working with me (about once a month) as a ‘sounding board’ to help me think through some of our start-up challenges.
Here is a recent article that gives more background on the group:
Thank you in advance!
November 25th, 2010 on 12:20 pm
It was good talking to you on Wednesday. In particular, I appreciated your perspectives on VC and investment, w.r.t. PreScouter.
Good luck with the carbon business. I look forward to being in touch!
Thanks & Best,
January 24th, 2011 on 2:53 pm
I am a Kellogg grad (2008) building a business based around a software application I have developed and some accompanying professional services. (The software is still under-wraps, so you won’t see it on the site).
I am currently working on some potential partnerships with some big entities, and I’m struggling with how to structure the deals so that I can protect the source code while taking advantage of potential hosting and development resources they can offer and still create a win-win partnership.
From your background, it looked like you’d be a great sounding-board for these questions.
Thanks for considering this, and I hope we’ll have a chance to connect.
Wilfrid KintonouzaMay 11th, 2011 on 2:33 am
My name is Wilfrid Kintonouza. I am presently in the Telecommunication sector (cell phone operator – in Africa).
I also have a project which I would love to develop: turning household garbage into methane gas (and electricity). In so doing, I would help clean up the local environment (local authorities are struggling to handle the mountains of garbage generated every day) and provide for a more reliable energy presently so sorely lacking.
There is also an opportunity here for a carbon credit business.
Some of the things, I would dearly love to have your insight on are: Term Sheets & Deal Structure / Governance / General Startup Issues: in short most of the stuff you have experience with and are interested in.
Tel: 510 – 655 9843
Cell: 510 – 206 6310
May 30th, 2011 on 4:27 pm
I will be graduating from Kellogg in a few weeks and am in the process of launching a food recycling business. The business plan for this project is complete and I expect to receive permits in July or early August from the Illinois EPA, Chicago Dept. of Environment, and Zoning Board of Appeals to launch this operation. If you would be able to provide advice about raising capital and structuring business deals for this venture that would be much appreciated.