Whether it's a start up, early stage, or turnaround initiative, Fulcrum is focused on rapid value creation and looks to incubate and invest in companies with a solid fundamental business model and with unrealized potential, i.e. a diamond in the rough.
Fulcrum looks for near-term opportunities to improve the fundamentals of the business, especially through the leveraging of resources, improvements to distribution economics, and application of Pareto-thinking to tighten operational efficiencies.
Synergistically, Fulcrum looks for opportunities that, when strategically fit with other portfolio holdings or aligned with existing partners, may create new markets and, thus, high potential in the medium-term.
And since opportunities can truly only be measured at the point of exit, a key component of Fulcrum's strategy is to identify, evaluate, and execute the optimal exit strategy.
Through it all, we support our portfolio companies with active guidance in all key aspects of strategy, operations, and governance. We are facilitators, catalysts for change, coaches, and hard workers who are with you every step of the way to open doors and work with you on key strategic decisions. Our fundamental strategy is to provide the right mix of strategic guidance, management expertise, and hands-on leadership for building successful and enduring companies.
Board Development and Involvement
The Board of Directors is a company's foundation, face, and pipeline, helping make strategic decisions with good business savvy, objectivity, accountability, and creativity. We always have a major presence on the Board, acting as a responsible and constructive member by offering our own real-word experience at building successful companies and helping make strategic decisions. In addition, we select key individuals in the industry or community to augment the Board to ensure market credibility and provide pipeline opportunities.
Building the Optimal Management Team
We’ve learned that finding the right people, more than any other factor, determines the degree of success a business ultimately achieves. After all, it is not having funding or a great product or service that produces great returns. It is a business that can execute to fulfill the needs of the marketplace that produces great returns. We leverage our extensive network to recruit and build a management team with the right mix of experience, drive, and relationships necessary to execute effectively. And, in keeping with our collaborative style, we continually augment the management team with the expertise of Fulcrum team members to provide additional management support needed to grow and flourish.
A sound business strategy is essential in order to provide superior value, differentiation, and core competencies for an organization. We help guide the team with overall business strategy development, market definition, product development roadmaps, company and product positioning, go-to-market strategies, operational planning, and competitive analysis.
Accounting and Operations
A key is having the right mix of historical financial information and future looking management information to make the right decisions. We assist with forecasting, operational efficiency, prioritization of spending, vendor and inventory management, and cash management.
Before we make an investment in any company, we look at their current debt and equity structure and whether they have a capital strategy in place. That influences the amount, and the form, of the investment, as well as the level of equity we receive. Whether it's a bridge loan, LOC, or longer-term commitment, we do not follow the typical "funding" concept – we almost always provide capital through a structured product intended to secure whatever risk we are taking. When we make an investment, our capital may be sourced from multiple tiers – Fulcrum capital, our proprietary individual investor network, or our series of Fulcrum Opportunity Funds.
Fulcrum’s financial expertise is particularly useful in creating optimal capital structures to enhance returns while maintaining operating flexibility for the company and aligning the incentives of investors and management teams. We help determine an optimal level of capitalization, and set a strategy for follow-on financings. Knowing what each follow-on round looks like – all the way through exit – and where you're going to get it, will minimize dilution and ensure higher returns to the initial investors. We help you with valuation modeling and developing an investor strategy.
Introductions and Partnerships
We use our broad set of executive-level industry relationships to introduce targeted potential customers, as well as the most relevant distribution, marketing, and technology partners. We provide assistance in the structuring and negotiating of strategic alliances, customer acquisition, partner alliance, and vital financial and corporate partners.
Paths to Liquidity
Opportunities can only truly be measured at the point of exit. We advise our portfolio companies on evaluating various paths to liquidity and how best to maximize the value when transitioning the business – whether through an initial public offering, a strategic merger or acquisition, or by remaining private and independent.
Traditional Business Incubation
For those companies who require physical incubation service, we provide temporary workspace as well as Internet access, office support, and legal and accounting advice.