$40MM in 'lumps': PassAlong demise spurs entrepreneur onward
By Milt Capps Sept. 28, 2009 5:29 p.m.
Dave Jaworski transplanted PassAlong Networks to Franklin, and then had to watch the startup die, despite the $40 million he raised from Angels, VCs and private-equity investors.Nonetheless, Jaworski has re-surfaced as a member of the management team of a local tech startup, as well as in the role of owner, advisor and funds-raiser for other ventures.
As reported earlier by VNC, Jaworski "learned lessons from my lumps" en route to shuttering PassAlong.
Recently, over coffee in Cool Springs, Jaworski provided more details to VNC, explaining he was ultimately forced to stand down from the struggle to win music-industry acceptance for PassAlong's downloading and e-commerce technologies and related ventures, when the economy dropped off a cliff.
Jaworski also revealed the calamitous market drop coincided with his attempt to raise another $30 million, and immediately caused NASDAQ-listed Adobe Systems to back away from an earlier tentative commitment Jaworski said Adobe had made toward private-equity investment in PassAlong.
Today, Jaworski personally invests as Provident Ventures Interactive; and, he often collaborates with fellow entrepreneur Skip Franklin (at right) who left his Seattle base to spend six years with Jaworski as PassAlong's SVP for business development, and who also continues to live in and invest from Middle Tennessee.
Jaworski, Franklin and allies in the U.S. and Canada are deep into a new venture they declined to discuss on-the-record for this story, and they have begun raising funds for the startup.
Jaworski said he is also an advisor to Ripcord Inc., which is led by John Pisciotta, and which is an umbrella for several complementary music publishing, entertainment and artist-development businesses.
And, Jaworski now has a day job: The 48-year-old executive who cut his tech canines with Microsoft Canada, has signed aboard Intero Alliance LLC, where he is group vice president for technology innovations, but not an equity owner.
Cool Springs-based Intero is positioned as "connecting artists, brands and communities," by providing loyalty and incentive marketing, and other services. The company is a joint venture involving CL Entertainment Inc., owned by Nashville's Charlie Lico; and, St. Louis-based Maritz Inc., a provider of reward, incentive and recognition programs and services.
In addition to his CL business, Lico has previously been associated with InPop Records, in the Christian music sector; and, 1-2-3 Entertainment, among other ventures. ♦