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Richard Crandall

Richard L. Crandall

Founding Partner

Rick Crandall was one of the four Founders of Arbor Partners. He contributes to the Firm his 40-year background in computer technology ranging from startups to Board governance of large public technology companies, as well as his expertise in private equity and venture capital investing. His long and varied career has created a wealth of experience and contacts that have contributed to successful strategies, execution and partnering by the Firm’s portfolio companies. Mr. Crandall applies his time broadly throughout the technology industry and brings the benefits of this involvement to Arbor Partners, although only a portion of his time is spent directly with Arbor Partners’ activity. He is a shareholder and Partner, but not a direct operator in the Fund.

Mr. Crandall’s continuing role in Arbor Venture Partners III is, as before, that of an advisor, a source of deal flow, a contributor to investment decisions, and a strategist as applied to individual portfolio company’s directions, market positioning and exits.

In 1966, Mr. Crandall founded Comshare, Inc., which grew to become a publicly held, $130 million international market leader in decision support applications and executive information systems software. The company originated as a pioneer of computer timesharing. During his 24-year tenure as Comshare's CEO, Mr. Crandall led the company through several highly publicized transitions in response to the rapid market changes characteristic of the computer industry. Comshare was one of the few early timesharing firms to make a complete and successful transition to software products, while remaining an independent company.

In 1994, Mr. Crandall left his position at Comshare and formed the Enterprise Software Roundtable, consisting of the CEOs of the industry's top 40 software firms focusing on enterprise software (and generating more than $100 billion sales in 2003). He continues as Chairman of the Roundtable.

During the period 1995 – 2003, Mr. Crandall helped create Giga Information Group one of the nation’s premier information technology research and advisory firms, which serves Fortune 1000 clientele. He was Chairman of Giga from 2002-2003, when it was sold to Forrester Research.

Mr. Crandall presently serves as the software and services advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and assists its efforts in areas of legal reform and advocacy in Federal and State government actions that affect the technology industries in the U.S. Among his many other industry honors is the ICP Business Software Review listing as "One of the 5 Leading Pioneers of the Software Services Industry” in its commemorative issue celebrating the 25th anniversary of the software industry. Mr. Crandall also received the 1992 Outstanding Entrepreneur Award from The University of Michigan Business School and Harvard Business School Alumni groups and served on the National Advisory Board to The University of Michigan College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Mr. Crandall is on the Boards of Directors of Diebold (DBD); Novell (NOVL), the Dreman/Claymore Dividend and Income Fund, and several private companies, including ChannelNet (multi-channel ecommerce software), ITRACS (network security software) and Illinois Energy Partners, as well as on the Executive Advisory Board to Beacon IT, Japan's largest enterprise software company. He also served as Chairman of ITAA, the association for the computer software and services industry and was on the Board for more than 20 years, chairing its strategic planning committee for 12 years.

Mr. Crandall received a BS in electrical engineering, a BS in mathematics, and an MS in industrial engineering from The University of Michigan.

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