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Chairman Rome Corp.

Fund: Azure Capital Partners

Posted by Steve Papermaster on 2007-06-29

PUBLIC:

Azure Capital is a very well run, professional VC firm. The GP's backgrounds as Investment Bankers and Analysts have been augmented with strong levels of operational involvement across their portfolio. I've worked with them for over five years building ROME Corp. together, from concept through high growth. Both Cameron Lester and Mike Kwatinetz are board members, and have added tremendous value to the company.

They have been focused on all the right elements of the business - both at the detail level and at the strategy level. Mike and Cameron both operate at true partners in the business. I've always found them to be two of the highest integrity, professional and decent people I've worked with. They have different talents and strengths and those are complementary. They are willing to take strong, principled stances and may even disagree with each other, but always come together and mutually support any decisions that we make as a board.

Paul Ferris and Paul Weinstein also act as true partners even though they are not directly involved with the company. They are willing to help out with any element of brainstorming, connections, analysis and financial strategy.

The supporting team across the partnership is also a class act and very hard working on behalf of their portfolio companies. Hans Roderich is exceptional in his financial acumen and diligence. Ray, Seann, Martin and David are also very strong with their respective skills.

Having worked with many VC firms at all stages, taken companies public, completed M&A transactions, and been involved with companies that have not succeeded as well, Azure ranks among the best and most professional I've known.

I recommend them most for early stage companies with a long term, large market potential that expect to go through multiple phases of growth - and all of the accompanying challenges.

While any VC firm and their partners may have an occassional bad day or meeting circumstance, serious negative comments about Azure are to me not credible as a general matter. Tough questions and challenges to underlying assumptions and outlooks don't constitute arrogance or disprespect. They are a highly valuable and critical part of building companies and discerning the right courses of action to take - with the associated risks and uncertainties.

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