Ballast Point Ventures

Ballast Point Ventures is a team of eight dedicated professionals who possess a wealth of financial, investment and operating experience, including over a century of collective experience in the areas of venture capital, private equity, entrepreneurial management and investment banking.

Members of the team have built highly successful private and public companies and have invested in and advised over 100 private growth companies over the past 25 years. We work as a team, and the resources and network of the entire firm, and not just one investment professional, are available to our entrepreneur partners.

As one of the largest venture capital firms in the Southeast, the BPV team is uniquely positioned to forge long-term relationships with entrepreneurs to provide capital, experience and valuable relationships to companies experiencing rapid growth.

Whether exploiting an opportunity or confronting an unexpected challenge – and every business experiences both – we ensure that our entrepreneur partners take full advantage of our team’s experience and resources.

Drew Graham, Partner

Prior to co-founding Ballast Point Ventures in 2001, Drew spent six years at South Atlantic Venture Funds. Drew joined South Atlantic in 1995 and was a Principal and General Partner in South Atlantic Ventures Funds III and IV. He has invested in numerous private growth companies across several industries, including healthcare, software, business services, communications and consumer.

Drew began his private equity career with the Merchant Banking Division of Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc. in New York and also worked as a management consultant at the Parthenon Group in Boston.

He graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, and from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration with an MBA, with Distinction.

Drew is the Managing Partner responsible for overseeing the operations of the firm.  In addition, he currently serves as Chairman of Watermark Medical Holdings and kSep Holdings and serves on the board of Molecular MD.  He previously represented BPV at KBI BioPharma (where he also served as Chairman), Innocutis, Lifestyle Family Fitness, Optical Experts Manufacturing, Knology, Inc. and QOL Medical.  Drew also serves as Vice-Chair of the Tampa General Hospital Foundation.

Paul Johan, Partner

Prior to co-founding Ballast Point Ventures in 2001, Paul spent four years in the Investment Banking Group of Raymond James & Associates. He served as a Vice President in the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions and Telecommunications Groups, where he was the senior banker responsible for the Telecommunications Equipment practice. Paul helped companies raise over $2 billion of debt and equity capital and advised clients in mergers and acquisitions transactions totaling over $1 billion.

Paul was previously an investment banker with Wachovia Securities and a founder of Hunter Capital’s Atlanta office where he was responsible for the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions business.

He graduated from Emory University with a bachelor’s degree, and from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia with an MBA.

Paul focuses on technology-enabled services companies, including companies in the communications and financial services industries.  He currently serves on the boards of directors of Instawares Holding Company, Vazata, InsuranceZebra, and PDQ Southern Texas, and he represents BPV at Tower Cloud and HotSchedules.  Paul previously represented BPV at Florida Bank Group, Cbeyond Communications, Incomm Holdings, FSV Payment Systems, GHN-Online, and Wave 7 Optics.

Matt Rice, Partner

Prior to joining Ballast Point Ventures in 2004, Matt worked in the Strategic Alliances group at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. He also served as an Analyst in the Health Care Investment Banking Group at Raymond James where he focused primarily on the specialty pharmaceutical, drug distribution and contract research organization sectors.

He graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration with an MBA.

Matt leads BPV’s health care practice and currently serves on the board of directors at Iconixx, MolecularMD, TissueTech and Y-Prime, and previously represented BPV at Innocutis.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Florida Venture Forum.

Robert Faber, Principal

Prior to joining Ballast Point Ventures in 2010, Robert worked for three years as an Associate for Wachovia Capital Partners, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based private equity fund affiliated with Wachovia Corporation.  While at Wachovia Capital Partners, now known as Pamlico Capital, Robert focused on investments in the media, communications, business services and energy sectors.  He also worked previously as an Analyst for two years in the Leveraged Finance Group of Wachovia Securities, also in Charlotte.

He graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree and from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth with an MBA.

Robert focuses on technology-enabled business service companies with a particular emphasis on software-as-a-service companies.  He currently serves on the board of directors of PowerDMS and Advanced Processing and Imaging.

Sean Barkman, Vice President

Prior to joining Ballast Point Ventures in 2011, Sean spent three years in the Technology Investment Banking Group at Raymond James where he was actively involved in both mergers and acquisitions and capital raising efforts.  Sean holds a B.S.B.A. in Finance from the University of Central Florida, where he graduated summa cum laude, and a Masters of Business Administration from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College.

Sean is currently involved with portfolio companies kSep Holdings and PowerDMS and was previously active with KBI Biopharma and Innocutis.  He also serves on the Investment Advisory Board of the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Research.

Carol Bear, Director of Administration

Prior to joining Ballast Point Ventures in 2004, Carol spent 14 years in the retail industry. She held various positions with Home Depot over her 11 year tenure there, including Product Merchandise Manager for the Southeast Division, Administrative Analyst to the President of the Southeast Division and Executive Assistant to the Senior Vice President of Finance. Following her tenure with Home Depot, Carol spent three years with Liberty Hardware (a Masco company), initially as National Field Service Director and later as Senior Director of Sales and Marketing.

David Seider, Senior Associate

Prior to joining Ballast Point Ventures, David worked with the General Industrials and Mergers & Acquisitions Investment Banking Groups at Raymond James focusing on mergers, acquisitions, and capital raising efforts. David graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and was a Blue Key Inductee.

Tyler Franz, Associate

Prior to joining Ballast Point Ventures, Tyler worked in the Transportation & Infrastructure Investment Banking group at Raymond James where he was actively involved in both mergers and acquisitions as well as capital raising efforts across several industries. Tyler graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami with bachelor’s degrees in Finance and Economics.

Carl Schifanella, Analyst

Prior to joining Ballast Point Ventures full-time, Carl interned at Ballast Point Ventures and Stonehenge Growth Equity Partners. He graduated, magna cum laude, from the University of Tampa with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and a minor in Economics.

Drew Graham, Partner

Prior to co-founding Ballast Point Ventures in 2001, Drew spent six years at South Atlantic Venture Funds. Drew joined South Atlantic in 1995 and was a Principal and General Partner in South Atlantic Ventures Funds III and IV. He has invested in numerous private growth companies across several industries, including healthcare, software, business services, communications and consumer.

Drew began his private equity career with the Merchant Banking Division of Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc. in New York and also worked as a management consultant at the Parthenon Group in Boston.

He graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, and from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration with an MBA, with Distinction.

Drew is the Managing Partner responsible for overseeing the operations of the firm.  In addition, he currently serves as Chairman of Watermark Medical Holdings and kSep Holdings and serves on the board of Molecular MD.  He previously represented BPV at KBI BioPharma (where he also served as Chairman), Innocutis, Lifestyle Family Fitness, Optical Experts Manufacturing, Knology, Inc. and QOL Medical.  Drew also serves as Vice-Chair of the Tampa General Hospital Foundation.

Paul Johan, Partner

Prior to co-founding Ballast Point Ventures in 2001, Paul spent four years in the Investment Banking Group of Raymond James & Associates. He served as a Vice President in the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions and Telecommunications Groups, where he was the senior banker responsible for the Telecommunications Equipment practice. Paul helped companies raise over $2 billion of debt and equity capital and advised clients in mergers and acquisitions transactions totaling over $1 billion.

Paul was previously an investment banker with Wachovia Securities and a founder of Hunter Capital’s Atlanta office where he was responsible for the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions business.

He graduated from Emory University with a bachelor’s degree, and from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia with an MBA.

Paul focuses on technology-enabled services companies, including companies in the communications and financial services industries.  He currently serves on the boards of directors of Instawares Holding Company, Vazata, InsuranceZebra, and PDQ Southern Texas, and he represents BPV at Tower Cloud and HotSchedules.  Paul previously represented BPV at Florida Bank Group, Cbeyond Communications, Incomm Holdings, FSV Payment Systems, GHN-Online, and Wave 7 Optics.

Matt Rice, Partner

Prior to joining Ballast Point Ventures in 2004, Matt worked in the Strategic Alliances group at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. He also served as an Analyst in the Health Care Investment Banking Group at Raymond James where he focused primarily on the specialty pharmaceutical, drug distribution and contract research organization sectors.

He graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration with an MBA.

Matt leads BPV’s health care practice and currently serves on the board of directors at Iconixx, MolecularMD, TissueTech and Y-Prime, and previously represented BPV at Innocutis.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Florida Venture Forum.

Robert Faber, Principal

Prior to joining Ballast Point Ventures in 2010, Robert worked for three years as an Associate for Wachovia Capital Partners, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based private equity fund affiliated with Wachovia Corporation.  While at Wachovia Capital Partners, now known as Pamlico Capital, Robert focused on investments in the media, communications, business services and energy sectors.  He also worked previously as an Analyst for two years in the Leveraged Finance Group of Wachovia Securities, also in Charlotte.

He graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree and from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth with an MBA.

Robert focuses on technology-enabled business service companies with a particular emphasis on software-as-a-service companies.  He currently serves on the board of directors of PowerDMS and Advanced Processing and Imaging.

Sean Barkman, Vice President

Prior to joining Ballast Point Ventures in 2011, Sean spent three years in the Technology Investment Banking Group at Raymond James where he was actively involved in both mergers and acquisitions and capital raising efforts.  Sean holds a B.S.B.A. in Finance from the University of Central Florida, where he graduated summa cum laude, and a Masters of Business Administration from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College.

Sean is currently involved with portfolio companies kSep Holdings and PowerDMS and was previously active with KBI Biopharma and Innocutis.  He also serves on the Investment Advisory Board of the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Research.

Carol Bear, Director of Administration

Prior to joining Ballast Point Ventures in 2004, Carol spent 14 years in the retail industry. She held various positions with Home Depot over her 11 year tenure there, including Product Merchandise Manager for the Southeast Division, Administrative Analyst to the President of the Southeast Division and Executive Assistant to the Senior Vice President of Finance. Following her tenure with Home Depot, Carol spent three years with Liberty Hardware (a Masco company), initially as National Field Service Director and later as Senior Director of Sales and Marketing.

David Seider, Senior Associate

Prior to joining Ballast Point Ventures, David worked with the General Industrials and Mergers & Acquisitions Investment Banking Groups at Raymond James focusing on mergers, acquisitions, and capital raising efforts. David graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and was a Blue Key Inductee.

Tyler Franz, Associate

Prior to joining Ballast Point Ventures, Tyler worked in the Transportation & Infrastructure Investment Banking group at Raymond James where he was actively involved in both mergers and acquisitions as well as capital raising efforts across several industries. Tyler graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami with bachelor’s degrees in Finance and Economics.

Carl Schifanella, Analyst

Prior to joining Ballast Point Ventures full-time, Carl interned at Ballast Point Ventures and Stonehenge Growth Equity Partners. He graduated, magna cum laude, from the University of Tampa with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and a minor in Economics.

Venture Partners

Donald W. Burton, Venture Partner. Prior to his involvement with Ballast Point Ventures, Don was the founder and Managing General Partner of the four South Atlantic Venture Funds founded in 1983 with $175 million under management. He is also the founder and Managing Partner of The Burton Partnerships, a $300+ million private partnership focused primarily on publicly traded, small capitalization value stocks.

Don began his investment career as a Securities Analyst at Fidelity Management & Research Company in Boston and later joined Fidelity’s venture capital subsidiary, Fidelity Venture Associates. He then became a General Partner of Fidelity Ventures Limited, which made venture capital investments in small, rapidly growing, privately owned companies throughout the United States.

Don was also a Director of the National Venture Capital Association and has served as a Trustee of The Heritage Group of Mutual Funds. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of a family of Blackrock-sponsored mutual funds.

He graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree and from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration with an MBA.

O. Gene Gabbard, Venture Partner. Before his involvement with Ballast Point Ventures, Gene was a Managing Director of South Atlantic Venture Fund IV and a Special Limited Partner of South Atlantic Venture Funds I, II and III.

From 1990 to 1993, Gene was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of MCI Communications Corporation. He served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Telecom*USA, and in various executive positions of its predecessor, SouthernNet, Inc., from 1983 to 1990, when Telecom*USA, the fourth largest U.S.-based long distance company, was acquired by MCI for $1.2 billion. Prior to forming SouthernNet, Inc., Gene was a founder and President of Digital Communications Corporation (now Hughes Network Systems), a manufacturer of telecommunications hardware. He later merged Digital Communications Corporation with Microwave Associates, Inc. to form M/A-Com, Inc. for which he served as a Vice President until founding SouthernNet in 1983.

In private industry as a Member Technical Staff and Section Head for COMSAT Laboratories, Mr. Gabbard was one of the inventors of Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA), the technology discovery that has helped power the digital wireless revolution. Throughout his professional career he was awarded more than a dozen patents in digital data processing and transmission. 

Gene is a director of several public and private companies and also serves on the Board of Trustees of Mercer University.

He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and received his master’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1965. He served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps from 1961 to 1963.

Raymond James Advisory Group

The BPV team enhances its effectiveness and expands the reach of its network through its relationship with the Raymond James Advisory Group.The Advisory Group offers investment perspective and a comprehensive view of capital markets in addition to assistance with important due diligence issues. The Group also ensures that the resources and network of Raymond James Financial, including over 100 investment bankers and research analysts focused on key growth industries, are available to BPV and its entrepreneur partners.

Thomas A. James, Chairman of the Advisory Group.
Tom is the Executive Chairman and former Chief Executive Officer of Raymond James Financial, Inc. (NYSE-RJF). He is also a past chairman of The Financial Services Roundtable and the Securities Industry Association (now SIFMA). Tom is a member of the board of Cora Health Services and has previously served on the boards of numerous public and private companies.

He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar and graduated with high distinction. Tom also holds a Juris Doctor from Stetson College of Law and a Certified Financial Planner designation.

Jeffrey E. Trocin, Member of the Advisory Group.
Jeff is an Executive Vice President of Raymond James Financial and has directed the firm’s Equity Capital Markets group, which includes the firm’s investment banking, research, institutional sales, trading and syndicate operations, since 1996. He also serves as a member of the firm’s Capital Markets Commitment Committee.

Prior to joining Raymond James, Jeff was a member of the Corporate Finance Department of Merrill Lynch Capital Markets and a marketing manager for Burroughs Corporation in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

He graduated with honors with a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Miami and from the Harvard Graduate School of Business with a MBA.

Robert Anastasi, Member of the Advisory Group.
Bob is a Senior Managing Director and Director of Equity Research, overseeing Raymond James & Associates’ Research Analysts. He also serves on the Raymond James Capital Markets Commitment Committee. In addition to his management role, he continues to cover select companies in the IT hardware & distribution sector.

Prior to joining Raymond James, Bob held senior level management positions at The Robinson Humphrey Company in Atlanta and also held management positions at Hewlett Packard and Ford Motor Company.

He graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree from Northeastern University and from the Harvard Graduate School of Business with an MBA.

Limited Partner Advisory Board

D. Scott Luttrell, LCM Group.
Scott is Chairman – Chief Investment Officer of LCM Group, Inc., a Tampa-based investment firm specializing in alternative asset funds management and financial market consulting services. Scott has over 30 years of investment and financial market experience with particular expertise in hedge fund and fund of funds, venture capital, private equity, foreign exchange, and fixed income investing.

Scott launched LCM Group in 1988 with its first hedge fund and after three years merged the investment activities of LCM Group with Caxton Associates, LLC, a New York based diversified investment firm. Serving from 1991 through 2000 as Principal and senior officer of Caxton, Scott’s responsibilities included Senior Trading Manager, Director of Global Fixed Income and a senior member of the firms’ portfolio risk management committee.

Scott received his degree in Business Administration/Finance from Southern Methodist University in 1977 and attended Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program in corporate governance in 2001.

John Touchton, Bayshore Capital Advisors.
John is a founding Principal of Bayshore Capital Advisors, an investment advisory firm in Tampa, Florida, and is a partner at The Witt-Touchton Company, a family investment partnership. Prior to this, John worked at Lazard Freres & Co. in New York, where he invested in banks in the U.S. and Europe. John also worked for NationsBank Investment Banking in Charlotte, North Carolina.

John currently serves as Chairman of the Tampa General Hospital Foundation and also serves on the Board of Trustees at Berkeley Preparatory School and on the Board of Directors at Florida Health Sciences Center. John is a past President of CFA Tampa Bay. He has served on the Advisory Faculty of the Institute for Private Investors in New York City and was a member of the Private Client Task Force for the Association of Investment Management and Research.

John graduated with honors from Washington & Lee University and received an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.

Gregory J. Baty, Hamilton Lane Advisors LLC.
Greg is a Principal with Hamilton Lane and based in Florida where he is primarily focused on the activities of the Florida Growth Fund.

Prior to joining Hamilton Lane in 2009, Greg held investment positions within the private equity marketplace and has had previous experience with venture finance at Sand Hill Capital and Garage.com (Garage Technology Ventures). Greg also brings an operational background with him to Hamilton Lane having owned and operated multi-unit branded retail franchises along with his operational roles in technology startups.

Greg also spent nine years as a professional football player in the National Football League. He was drafted by the New England Patriots and finished his career with the Miami Dolphins.

Greg received his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a master’s in science of management degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Peter Chiste, PNC Venture, LLC.
Pete joined PNC Equity Management Corp. in 2001 to manage its portfolio of venture capital and private equity partnership investments represented by limited partnership interests. The portfolio has over 150 funds and $700 million in committed capital. Additionally, Pete has responsibility for over $300 million in other alternative and equity oriented investments held by PNC Investment Corp., including hedge fund investments and direct investments in private and public entities. He is a member of PNC’s Alternative Investment Management Committee.

Previously, Pete was a Vice President in the Venture Fund Investments Unit of Banc One Venture Partners,where he focused on private equity fund investments and development of a fund-of-funds product offering. He has 20 years of institutional trust and investment management experience.

Pete graduated from Rutgers College in 1980 with a B.A. in Business Administration and English Literature, received a J.D. in 1983 from Rutgers School of Law, and received an M.B.A. in Finance in 1990 from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Charles Rierson, Regions Bank.
Charles is a Managing Director for Credit Trading and Distribution at Regions Capital Markets.

Charles joined Regions Financial Corporation in 2003 in the Capital Markets Group and he was formerly with Wachovia Bank’s Loan Syndications Group where he structured and distributed over $2 billion in corporate senior debt. As part of Wachovia’s Loan Syndications Distribution team, Charles synthetically distributed an additional $1 billion in debt through the use of credit derivatives.

Charles holds a BA degree in mathematics from Duke University and an MBA in Finance from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

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