Gerkin asks $125k for Rocket Ventures

Commissioner Pete Gerken wants to award $125,000 to a for-profit organization, Rocket Ventures, in an attempt to jumpstart job creation in the county. "By contributing to the fund, the county would gain a stake in the companies, earning its money back and a profit if the start-ups grow or are acquired by larger firms, said Greg Knudson, the director of Rocket Ventures."
http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080620/NEWS33/806200...

I did a Google on Rocket Ventures and came up with two sites: one is local; the other is from Silicon Valley. I wonder what the connection between the two is.

Here is what the California site has to say:
"Rocket Ventures is a Silicon Valley venture capital with global reach. We are committed to achieving superior financial returns for our investors. We do this by working with the best and brightest entrepreneurial-minded executives, by adding our expertise and connections to their talent pools, and providing enough capital to fuel the growth of immensely valuable companies.

"We invest in a broad range of companies creating new enterprise capabilities in the Mobile Technology and Digital Media (consumer) markets: semiconductors, devices, infrastructure software, and consumer services."
http://www.rocketventures.com/

I hope Konop investigates this proposal very carefully. Gerken is well-known for rewarding his cronies and throwing them plums for past efforts on his behalf. Whether a for-profit California company should even qualify for such tax-payer funded grants is debatable.

No votes yet

The Rocket Ventures that Gerkin wants to give money to is an angel-round investment fund started by the Regional Growth Partnership. I don't think they're connected in any way to the Rocket Ventures group in Menlo Park.

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"Show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually dirty kitchen, and
five times out of nine I'll show you an exceptional man." -Charles
Bukowski

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

Government has no business investing in any business. Gerkin hardly cares about the propriety of government. Let's see if Konop shows any sense here, although he'll just be outvoted 2-1 as is the usual thing with this Commission.

One thing's for certain. $125,000 in a venture capital fund will go a lot further in helping the Toledo economy than spending $300,000 to employ people at minimum wage for a few months.

I hear that the city of Toledo is still sitting on a clean room that it "invested" into from the 1990s. That $125K can be spent on a few pieces of equipment for some idiot-headed, so-called venture that can be used for a few months (or remain unwrapped) and then just sit as essential discards on some floor of some city-owned office building.

HeyHey, don't fall into the trap of thinking that corporate welfare is any more morally dangerous than individual welfare. Government has no business in investing in companies. It should only enforce the law, collect the taxes, fix the roads, keep the lights on and the water running.

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