New Venture Targets Creating Communications Focused Optical Companies Beacon Telco Formed by Beacon Photonics to Jump Start Early-stage Optical Networking and Broadband Communications Companies

in Business, College of Engineering, News Releases, Science & Technology
September 25th, 2000

Contact: Leigh Hallisey, 617-353-8899 |

(Boston, Mass.) — The launch of Beacon Telco, a new venture capital development company, was announced today. Beacon Telco is the first operating company to be created by Beacon Photonics, a privately held holding company with the primary goal of creating venture capital development companies in photonics related market spaces. Beacon Photonics was founded in April 2000 through a joint venture between the Photonics Center at Boston University and Globalvest Management Company.

Beacon Telco will focus on creating and/or investing in optical and broadband networking companies that will offer services and capabilities to the communications industry. It will provide venture capital as well as comprehensive accelerator support to start-up and early stage companies.

Photonics, the practical application of light in products and systems, is the primary foundation for future high bandwidth telecommunications. The worldwide market for optoelectronics is currently $170 billion a year and supports an additional $560 billion in services. The optical components market alone for communications is $5 billion (1999) growing at 58% annually and the optical networking systems market is $3.1 billion (1999) growing to $15.2 billion by 2003 (with approximately 50% annual average growth rate) according to Morgan Stanley and RHK.

“We are extremely excited about the potential of Beacon Telco,”says Emmett Eldred, CEO of Beacon Photonics. “New England is rapidly becoming a hub of optical networking activity and Beacon Telco is uniquely positioned to become a major force in the optical networking space.”

Alok Prasad, President of Beacon Telco observes, “Time to market is especially critical in the optical networking and broadband communications space. Our core charge is to reduce the time to market and streamline product development execution for our portfolio companies. Beacon Telco is building the requisite relationships throughout the optical networking and broadband communications value chain. We aim to be more than just a venture capital firm or incubator to our portfolio companies.”

Beacon Telco will leverage its partnerships with the Photonics Center at Boston University, Globalvest, and management consultants PRTM as well as collaborative relationships with a variety of corporate and service partners to support its portfolio companies. “The Photonics Center is central to Beacon Telco’s acceleration activities,”notes Don Fraser, Director of the Photonics Center. “Photonics-based companies require specialized facilities and equipment, which are costly and often have long lead times. In addition to its technical expertise in photonics, the Center has more than $110 million of infrastructure in place. This allows start-ups to jump start their development efforts and significantly reduce their time to market.”

Since its inception in 1994, the Photonics Center has been pioneering a new model for university relations with industry — creating business partnerships with entrepreneurs and investors to build new photonics products and companies. By providing access to state-of-the-art, fully permitted laboratories and equipment, technical expertise, and access to faculty experts from a wide range of disciplines, the Photonics Center has successfully helped launch several new ventures. The formation of Beacon Telco takes this process to the next level by making venture funding and a broader range of business expertise and support available for the formation and acceleration of leading photonics-based companies.

Globalvest Management Company is a major international investment firm with more than two decades of experience investing in emerging markets, private equity, early stage, venture capital companies, and technology related opportunities. “We have been very impressed by the Photonics Center’s success in identifying outstanding new photonics-based technologies and commercial opportunities,”says Peter Gruber, President of Globalvest. “We are very pleased to be a partner in creating an entirely new kind of venture that will be a dynamic platform from which to launch new photonics-based companies and products.”

Beacon Telco has partnered with PRTM to provide staff for use as a “virtual resource”to support start-up companies. PRTM is uniquely suited to provide the necessary business and process support to help ensure the success of Beacon Telco’s portfolio. PRTM has worked with more than 1000 technology-based companies, and its technology management and business strategy frameworks have been used effectively in moving numerous high tech start-ups to IPO.

Further information about Beacon Telco is available at http://www.beacontelco.com About the Photonics Center at Boston University: The Photonics Center was launched by Boston University in 1994 as a new model for university-industry collaboration. The Center accelerates the development of new products and companies enabled by emerging photonics technologies, from both within and outside Boston University, by forging business partnerships with new and existing companies. It has created an infrastructure that provides its partners access to seventeen fully permitted laboratories containing more than $25 million in state-of-the-art capital equipment, a full-time technical staff, and the expertise of more than 50 affiliated faculty with a wide range of technical and business expertise. The Center has created and launched several new ventures. The Photonics Center’s combined education, research, and commercialization mission positions it to anticipate the impact and timing of photonics technologies on major markets such as telecommunications and life sciences. Further information about the Photonics Center and its partners is available at http://www.bu.edu/photonics About Globalvest Management Company:

Globalvest Management Company and its Brazilian affiliate, Latinvest Asset Management, have assembled a team of senior investment professionals and have been active investors in emerging markets for over two decades. Globalvest was recently ranked the #1 International Money Manager by Nelson’s Information (based on 10-year returns for all international equities mandates). The firm currently manages pooled investment vehicles in listed equities, private equity, venture capital, and fixed income, focusing on Latin America, Brazil and global emerging markets. Globalvest also offers investment, management, and advisory services for qualified investors, pension funds and other institutions. Globalvest’s venture capital investments are primarily focused on emerging companies in telecommunications, e-commerce, software development, and Internet-related enterprises. Besides providing necessary capital to support their portfolios’ growth targets, Globalvest offers sophisticated and long-range management and guidance to portfolio companies. Additional information is available at http://www.globalvest.com About PRTM: PRTM is a leading management consultant firm to the technology industry, working with companies to implement and integrate strategies, structure organizations for success, create operational management processes, and seize competitive position and market share. PRTM partners with companies to produce outstanding results in core business processes including product development, marketing and sales, operations and supply chain management, customer service and support and integrated strategy. The firm recently launched an eClass initiative, powering companies to best the traditional standard of excellence, best-in-class, with eClass performance. PRTM has 16 offices on three continents, has worked more than 1,100 client companies, and has managed more than 5,000 projects in its 25-year history. The firm consults in the aerospace, automotive, chemical, computer, electronics, Internet, medical devices, pharmaceutical, semiconductor, software, and telecommunications industries. Further information about PRTM is available at http://www.prtm.com/ About Beacon Photonics: Beacon Photonics is a privately held holding company with a primary goal of creating vertically focused venture capital development companies in photonics related market spaces. It was created in April 2000 through an association between Boston University, the Photonics Center and Globalvest Management Company. Beacon Photonics’ strategic vision is to proactively identify and fund opportunities in target market segments that take advantage of emerging, cutting edge photonics technologies. Its goal is to create and/or build a network of leading photonics-enabled companies. Beacon Photonics’ initial focus will be in the areas of telecommunications and life sciences.

Further information about Beacon Photonics is available at http://www.beaconphotonics.com.

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