Lords of the printing presses willing (and barring another late fall snowstorm that disrupted many Delaware Valley businesses last Friday), the annual U.S. 1 wall calendar should arrive from our printer in Philadelphia in the nick of time for next Wednesday’s delivery, December 17.
Annual calendars are always a challenge. Here at U.S. 1, trying to corral dates of nearly 1,000 business, community, and arts events — some more than a year away — inevitably leads to some errors. We always recommend checking with an event sponsor close to the date.
Speaking of errors, which happen despite our best intentions, our thanks to Mort Collins, who writes to correct some inaccuracies in the October 15 cover story on Battelle Ventures written by Barbara Fox. She had invited him to note any errors so that those errors would not be repeated. Replies Collins: "I thought the article came out very well. There are errors, and as you said, if I do not point them out to you, they will follow my partners and me for the rest of our lives."
In particular, Collins takes issue with the estimates of his philanthropic efforts on behalf of the University of Delaware and Princeton University that Fox had gleaned from published sources. (Both universities had declined to confirm this information). "The numbers quoted have very little meaning," Collins writes. "The Chemical Engineering Department at Delaware resides in the `Eva M. Collins’ wing of the Colburn Laboratory. That does not happen for $500,000. The `similar amount’ to Princeton with the `named classroom’ must come from the fact that is no secret what the minimum gift size is for such things. Neither of the suggested numbers bear any resemblance to my past contributions or future commitments to either Delaware or Princeton."
Collins continues: "The good news is that my old friend, Ed Zschau (in whose company, Systems Industries, I — with DSV — was the lead investor in 1968), teaches his course `High Tech Entrepreneurship’ in this classroom, room 006 in the Friend Center. This course has been the most popular and sought after course at Princeton for the last three years."
Collins is joined at Battelle Ventures by three partners: Ron Hahn, Jim Millar, and Kef Kasdin. Millar (whose name was misspelled in a photo caption) graduated from Yale in 1981, not 1988 as stated. Kasdin had worked not at 3M but at 3 COM, a well-known Silicon Valley communications equipment company. "In her seven-year tenure managing the Net Interface Card Division, its revenues grew to over $1 billion, a significant achievement," writes Collins.
A statement that investors in Collins’ first fund, DSV I, made 10 times their money in two years should have applied only to a specific investment, Tempo Computers. "It had nothing to do with the overall performance of DSV 1," writes Collins.
Collins compared the marketplace value of Amazon.com and Anheuser Busch as of 1999, not 2002 as stated. His reference to Anheuser Busch should read "after tax profits," not after tax revenues. The WACO plane that Collins keeps at Princeton Airport is a 1920s design, not a 1930s design.
In a correction to the summary of the venture capital business, Collins offers an enlightening history lesson. Eric M. Warburg, the son of Max Warburg, founded E.M. Warburg (not Warburg Pincus as the article had stated) in 1964. "The Warburg family had done business beginning in 1798 in Germany under the name M.M. Warburg," Collins writes. "The Warburg Bank was `Aryanized’ by the National Socialist (Nazi) Party in 1938 and Max Warburg escaped to the United States where he died in 1946. In 1941 the name of the bank in Germany was changed to Brinckmann, Wirtz, and Company. Lionel Pincus was an asset manager at Ladenberg, Thalmann in New York, who undertook the management of the E.M. Warburg assets in 1966. The name was changed to E.M. Warburg Pincus and Company in the early 1990s."
On a biographical note, Collins grew up in Linwood, not Pleasantville. "Pleasantville Senior High School was the high school I attended and the school where Kenneth Frisbee taught before he became principal of Belhaven Avenue School in Linwood. I was then in fifth grade and his mentoring of me started soon after his arrival."
Finally, Collins’ father worked the bay — not for fish, but for clams, oysters, soft shell crabs, and diamond back terrapins. "He taught me those skills very well, and I earned a very good living as a teenager," writes Collins. "Also I organized my old high school buddies, not my fraternity brothers, and, once again, there were no fish involved, mostly clams."
We appreciate Collins’ changes, and have made them on the Internet, where the article is posted at www.princetoninfo.com and where interested people may indeed turn for such details for years to come.