After preparing for their careers as classmates at the Harvard Business School, the two authors pursued very different paths. Len Batterson pursued a career in venture capital while Ken Freeman pursued a more traditional career in the consumer products and marketing services industries.
Len has been one of the nation's leading entrepreneurial venture capitalists for over 30 years. Beginning his venture capital career in 1982 as an investment analyst with the Venture Capital Division of the Allstate Insurance Company, he served from 1985 to 1987 as the director of Allstate's Venture Capital Division, then one of the nation's oldest, largest, and most successful venture capital management operations. He was responsible for what was at the time one of the largest pools of venture capital in the United States, with more than $350 million invested or committed for investment.
Len's series of notable successes began while at Allstate, where he played an integral role in the financing and restructuring of Control Video Corporation, which became America Online, Inc. (AOL). On its merger with Time Warner, which remains the largest merger in U.S. business history, AOL was valued at $364 billion. While at Allstate, Len also introduced to the venture capital community Allscripts, which was funded by Allstate after Len left the company, and which also grew to unicorn status and still generates over $1 billion in annual revenues.
After leaving Allstate, Len went on to ...