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Fund Opens To Invest In Vets' Businesses

Oct. 21, 2013 - 02:48PM   |  
By JOE GOULD   |   Comments
Retired Army Maj. Gen. Genaro J. Dellarocco
Retired Army Maj. Gen. Genaro J. Dellarocco ()
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A former Army general has launched an investment fund that backs veterans turned entrepreneurs.

Retired Maj. Gen. Genaro J. Dellarocco, the former head of Army Test and Evaluation Command, and Tedco Capital Partners are launching the Veterans’ Opportunity Fund, based in Delaware.

“It goes back to that old proverb: A lot of veterans’ programs, you give them a fish and feed them for that day, and if you teach them how to fish, you teach them for life,” Dellarocco said. “This is an enabler.”

Envisioned as a $30 million fund, it seeks to merge philanthropy and a bet on veteran-owned small businesses. The fund would make investments of $100,000 to $1 million in veteran-owned businesses and start-ups.

The investments will help veteran business owners take care of their families and contribute to the economy by creating jobs, Dellarocco said.

“There are a lot of veteran entrepreneurs who have an idea to go into business for themselves, and all of their skills and discipline go into that,” Dellarocco said. “They’re self-starters, they’re good quality, and it’s a lower risk. It’s really a safe bet.”

Because the defense sector is shrinking, the investment will mostly be dedicated to businesses in health care, technology and information technology services. Businesses owned by disabled veterans are not excluded, Dellarocco noted.

Tedco Capital Partners is led by managing partner Christopher College, a former head of the private finance group at Stifel Nicolas Wiesel, and president Robert Rosenbaum, who runs the Maryland-based public-private partnership Tedco. Tedco Capital Partners is a for-profit spinoff of Tedco.

“Tedco runs a family of investment funds with different themes and different focuses, and first and foremost, our mission is to make money for our investors, but we believe that the veterans’ fund is also doing a good thing to give back to veterans,” College said.

“We believe it is the first and only fund focused solely on veterans for profit,” he said.

When Dellarocco retired in September after 35 years, his industry connections could have led him to work in the defense industry. Instead he decided to work in a field that helped veterans, and was drafted by Tedco Capital Partners.

“I said why not do something noble for veterans that really hasn’t been done before?” Dellarocco said.

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