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Ken Coleman says a weak tech market is a good time to start a company

Ken Coleman isn’t one to let the grass grow under his feet. A year after retiring as executive vice president of Silicon Graphics Inc., the Silicon Valley virtuoso launched ITM Software, with its sights aimed squarely at the enterprise and company CIOs. ITM Software will create business management software for the enterprise as well as large universities and the medical field.

It’s no secret that venture funds have been scarce since the dotcom bubble burst. And with corporate scandals (Enron, WorldCom, etc.), a weakened tech market, and economic uncertainty, now would seem like the wrong time to launch a new business. Not so, says Coleman, who was featured in the March 2001 issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE as one of the top 25 blacks in technology. “A downturn is a good time to start a new company. Expectations are lower, you can find good people, and rents are cheaper.” And while he didn’t necessarily think he had anything to prove professionally, Coleman, nevertheless, says, “I wanted to demonstrate that I could start a company the old-fashioned way — a real company rather than a financially engineered one.” ITM Software raised $3 million in venture funds in less than 90 days. The venture is funded by the Palo Alto, California-based Technology Partners.

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