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Profile: Michael Guptan

Published by The New York Sun on 2005-02-02

Michael Guptan, currently a managing director at Millennium Enterprise Associates, a financial and strategic advisory firm focused on working with high growth technology companies and hedge funds across the globe, believes in what he calls "pattern recognition."

"If you are able to spot trends and patterns in the way people and institutions behave, that adds value to your work," he said yesterday. "It helps to get ahead of the curve."

Pattern recognition is an especially critical tool for Mr. Guptan because his company arranges for investments in start-up companies. He evaluates dozens of proposals each week from technology companies, for the most part. His privately held company, which was founded in 2002, typically helps arrange financing of up to $10 million for fledgling firms. "This puts you in touch with a lot of smart people," he said. "This also means that you have to have the ability to identify what the critical success factors are -- and then deliver flawless execution. Failure in this business isn't especially welcome."

The business of funding start-ups is now estimated to be around $10 billion in New York. Before he came to Millennium, Mr. Guptan, who holds a MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, held senior investment banking positions at Salomon Smith Barney and Credit Suisse First Boston. He was involved in merger and acquisitions, and financing activities of more than $5 billion for technology companies and financial Institutions. Earlier, he was also at McKinsey & Company, and at Hewlett Packard.

Mr. Guptan is an advisory board member of Integrify, a relatively new software company which has already obtained contracts from British Petroleum and Glaxo Smith-Kline. He's an adjunct faculty member at New York University, where he teaches an investments class.

"It's exciting to be at the center of activity that's changing or shaping the way things gets done in New York," Mr. Guptan said. "The confluence of finance and technology in this city makes it the place to be now. The opportunity to connect the dots is a very timely thing. I end up using a lot of the things I picked up at places where I've traveled through."

His extensive background in business -- especially venture capital and hedge funds -- has yielded extensive contacts, which are an asset in his job. And knowing what he does about the intricacies of finance also helps him in his own investments.

Mr. Guptan says he's excited about Internet-enabling companies, and by the financial services sector. "Ultimately, all investing is a matter of making judgment calls," he said.

Pranay Gupte,
Senior Writer and Global-Affairs Columnist

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