Jackpot!

Take The Lead

Lucinda Duncalfe Holt & Henry Barratt Jr.
Destiny WebSolutions Inc. & Blue Water Capital

Although he regularly attends venture forums, it's unusual for Henry D. Barratt Jr., managing director of Blue Water Capital, to find a company worth pursuing. So what moved him to not only inquire about Destiny WebSolutions, an Internet solutions provider, but to compete with others to fund the company? It had a lot to do with what Barratt saw in the company's president and CEO, Lucinda Duncalfe Holt.

"We first saw them at the Mid-Atlantic Venture Fair," explains Barratt. "[Duncalfe Holt] had a strong knowledge of leading people. She was a team-builder."

The team is the essence of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based Destiny's corporate culture. "It's [about] enabling everybody from senior management to associates and empowering them to do their jobs," says Duncalfe Holt.

Barratt also appreciated Destiny's profitability. "They didn't need the money to make payroll," he says. "They needed it because they wanted to expand." Once Blue Water Capital pumped $750,000 into the company, Duncalfe Holt went after that expansion--2000 sales were $17.5 million.

Barratt says good communication is the cornerstone of their alliance. "We've [left] situations that were great investments but where we felt we couldn't communicate effectively with the management team," he says. "It's not the easy times we're concerned about; it's 'What if something hard happens--how will we work through it together?'"

For information on new venture capital programs, check out "Bulletin Board."

--Cynthia E. Griffin

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This article was originally published in the July 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Jackpot!.

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