Monday, May 2, 2011

Open Prairie Ventures Announces Opening of Kalamazoo Office

Venture capital firm Open Prairie Ventures announces the opening of its new office in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In partnership with Southwest Michigan First, Open Prairie Ventures offers investment opportunities to agricultural companies in Southwest Michigan.

Effingham, IL, April 29, 2011 (Straight Line PR) -- Open Prairie Ventures, a leading venture capital firm providing equity to early-stage agricultural technology and medical device companies throughout the Midwest, is pleased to announce the expansion of its operations to Kalamazoo, Michigan. Open Prairie will be taking space within the Southwest Michigan First offices as the two firms work together to aggressively bring investment opportunities to Southwest Michigan.  The move will formalize a partnership between the two entities, which have worked together during the past five years. Open Prairie and Southwest Michigan First have partnered to develop new companies such as Vestaron, a Kalamazoo-based agricultural company developing the next generation of insecticides for the environmentally conscious 21st century.

Open Prairie was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Effingham, Illinois with additional offices in Kansas. In September 2010, Open Prairie closed its second fund with $30 million of capital.

"Michigan has a vibrant ecosystem for early-stage investments in the focus sectors for Open Prairie and access to top-tier management talent.  We look forward to the expansion of our firm's footprint in the region with the opening of our new office.  The ability to establish solid investment opportunities in the state led us toward the creation of a long-term presence in Michigan," said Jim Schultz, Partner in Open Prairie Ventures. ( )

"This partnership is a natural progression of Southwest Michigan First's efforts to establish the necessary investment cycle for a sustainable innovation economy in Southwest Michigan. By creating the pool of capital necessary to bring high potential investment opportunities, we can increase deal flow and create new companies, which in turn generate tech transfer," said Ron Kitchens, Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Michigan First and General Partner of the Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund.

About Open Prairie Ventures:
Open Prairie Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in promising life science and agricultural technology companies. Open Prairie applies both its capital and team expertise to focus on companies with efficient capital usage and disruptive technologies. With offices in Illinois and Kansas City, Open Prairie's national reach and unique access to investment opportunities throughout the Midwest region allows the firm to build a diverse portfolio of high-growth technology companies. For more information, visit or call 217.347.1000.

About the Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund:
The Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund is a $75 million limited partnership venture fund interested in early stage life sciences opportunities in Southwest Michigan that have demonstrably viable technologies and are committed to establishing a presence in the Region.  The fund's primary goal is to spur economic development and retain intellectual capital within the area. More information about the Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund can be found at

About Southwest Michigan First:
Southwest Michigan First is the catalyst stimulating growth across the Kalamazoo Region.  Nationally recognized for its groundbreaking Community Capitalism approach to economic development, Southwest Michigan First is a private, nonprofit corporation fully committed to its mission of jobs and wealth creation.  Whether you're a site selector, an investor, an entrepreneur or part of an existing company looking to grow, Southwest Michigan First has the resources and expertise to assist you in identifying and surpassing your company's goals. For more information, visit

Press Contacts: Ron Kitchens, Chief Executive Officer, Southwest Michigan First, 241 E. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49007, 269.553.9588,

Please contact for corrections or updates.

Jim Schultz
Managing Partner
Open Prairie Ventures
400 East Jefferson
Effingham, IL 62401

Blue Asset Management LLC Weathers Floods in Northern New Jersey

According to Charles Blumenkehl, managing partner of Blue Asset Management, "This has been a most unusual winter, bringing a dozen snowfalls and seemingly monsoonlike rain to the area.

Wayne, NJ, May 01, 2011 - According to Charles Blumenkehl, managing partner of Blue Asset Management, "This has been a most unusual winter, bringing a dozen snowfalls and seemingly monsoonlike rain to the area. The result was that, for the first time since we owned the property, we experienced flooding in our Little Falls rental property twice in one 12 month period, causing evacuation of the property. In addition, several of our properties in close proximity to the river experienced minor flooding and damage from the abundance of water." According to Blumenkehl, the floods which took place in 2010 were worse than the recent flooding, and resulted in the installation of new walls, flooring, kitchen and bathroom cabinets and vanities, and a myriad of other repairs and remedial activity to mitigate the damage caused by the flooding. The 2011 flooding, while not as high or as prolonged as the floods last year, will result in the replacement of much of the new materials installed in 2010.

Blumenkehl continued, "It is such a shame to see the investment we made in our property needing replacement so quickly. We have owned real estate in the area for more than twenty years, and I have never seen flooding come so close to each other in such a short period of time. Hopefully," said Blumenkehl, "we won’t have to experience anything like this for a long time, if ever again."

Blumenkehl added that while flood insurance will help to offset much of the damages incurred, it still adds to the companies already robust work list resultant from the many acquisitions his fund has made in the past months. Blumenkehl continued "Our crews and contractors are working six and seven days a week to catch up to the workload on our new acquisitions and complete the work we were unable to do because of the tough winter we experienced. This will add to the burden, and since it is a priority to repair the flood-damaged properties so our tenants can move back in quickly, we will see some of our other projects further delayed."

Blumenkehl was pleased that none of his tenants in the area suffered damages to their property since there was sufficient notice before the flooding took place. He has only received notice from one tenant that they do not intend to re-occupy their premises even if it is restored within the period provided for in the lease agreement.

Located in Wayne, New Jersey, Blue Asset Management LLC owns, manages and operates numerous rental properties throughout northern New Jersey. For more information about Blue Asset Management LLC, call the company directly at 973-835-1400 or log onto the company website at

Charles Blumenkehl
Managing Partner
Blue Asset Management LLC
2282 Hamburg Tpke
Wayne, NJ 07470
Tel:(973) 835-1400 ext. 103
Fax (973) 835-08105

AuraPortal to Sponsor an Educational Webinar Featuring Paul Harmon on the BPMS Lifecycle

BP Trends to host a free webinar on the BPMS Lifecycle Featuring Paul Harmon on May 5th at 10:00AM EST

Woburn (Boston), MA, April 26, 2011 - AuraPortal (, a global provider of Business Process Management (BPM) software, today announced it will be sponsoring an educational webinar on May 5th, 2011 at 10:00am EST featuring Paul Harmon, Executive Editor of BPTrends, discussing the history and development of BPMS tools to support business managers.

According to Mr. Harmon, "Too many BPM software projects have, in practice, simply been software development projects. When Smith and Fingar wrote their book, Business Process Management, The Third Wave, which launched the development of this generation of software tools, they were focused on the possibility that BPMS tools could support business managers in the day to day management of their processes. Tools that do this must support ease of modeling; the rapid analysis of problems, the monitoring of processes during execution and that ability to make changes to the processes quickly and easily".

Mr. Harmon will chronicle the evolution of BPMS tools, discuss the features required by business managers, and the functionality of today's BPMS tools. The webinar will also address how AuraPortal BPMS tool provides the features necessary to support business managers. To register for this free webinar go to:

ABOUT AURA (AuraPortal) (
AURA is a global BPMS (Business Process Management Suite) provider delivering a solution that creates, without the need of IT programming, Business Process Workflow Execution Models. AuraPortal is 100% Web-based, and is complementary to existing ERP and CRM systems.

AuraPortal has a presence in 50 countries with more than 350 customers including, among others: Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, Toyota, Yamaha, Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), Carrefour, ArcelorMittal, Eletrobras, Royal KPN, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sodexo, etc., as well as many Government Agencies and Departments in several countries.

AuraPortal Headquarters are located in North America (Boston) and Europe (Holland) whereas the software development facilities are located in Spain and India.

Scott Rich
400 Trade Center
Woburn, MA 01801-7472