Apple helps tempt Carlyle Group to choose Nasdaq

January 15, 2012

The Washington private equity giant Carlyle Group revealed in a regulatory filing last week that when it finally goes public later this year, it plans to trade under the ticket “CG” on the Nasdaq market — the altar at which tech companies worship.

That surprised some wags. After all, shares of fellow private equity firms Blackstone and KKR trade on the august New York Stock Exchange.

How could Carlyle buck the trend and shun the Big Board?

It didn’t take long to point fingers. Adena Friedman, Nasdaq’s former chief financial officer, joined Carlyle in the same role in mid-2011.

Surely, Friedman must have brought old and new together in capital-raising bliss?

But, a source tells The Buzz that other than ensuring Nasdaq got a fair hearing, Friedman took a back seat as other Carlyle honchos called the shots.

What sealed the deal for Carlyle was Nasdaq’s lower fees as well as its reputation for being a place that attracts innovators, such as Apple.

LaunchBox redux?

Remember LaunchBox, the long-gone District-based business incubator from a few years ago?

Entrepreneur Michael Goldstein, 38, is trying to duplicate LaunchBox with his own for-profit start-up accelerator called Endeavor DC.

The company works with early-stage consumer Internet start-ups to provide funding and resources to help take them o the next level.

He has recruited a couple of heavyweights to his board, including Silicon Valley entrepreneur Allen Morgan.

“I realized we needed a bridge to the West coast,” said Goldstein, who has been an entrepreneur since he was a College Park 7-year-old delivering Washington Star newspapers.

The man who brought you start-ups Magazine of the Month and DealPal, both of which were sold for a profit, has opened Endeavor DC in converted warehouse space at the corner of Wisconsin and K streets in Georgetown with $1 million in funding. He plans to increase it to $1.5 million.

“I had to convince myself that this was a business, and not just a do-good sort of hobby,” Goldstein said.

High tech trip

Monumental Sports & Entertainment Vice Chairman Raul Fernandez checked in last week from the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where he eyed the latest gadgets with Monumental partner Fredrick D. Schaufeld, former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell, and entrepreneurs W. Russell Ramsey (chairman of the George Washington University Board of Trustees) and Mark Ein (owner of the Kastles, Washington’s World Team Tennis franchise).

“The cool themes were super-thin laptops and television screens, 3-D, and gesture or hand-motion controls,” Fernandez said.

He was most impressed with devices that could track hand motions. Any gizmo that can’t “follow your hand, it just feels old.”

“The gap between cool and uncool is going to widen more dramatically,” he predicted.

The Buzz hears:

Square 134 Architects has moved to 1410 Q St. NW, four blocks from the Dupont Metro. The five-person shop, led by owner Ron Schneck, is focused on expanding its business in single- and multifamily housing as well as its mixed-use portfolio. The company kicks off its sixth year.

Prince Frederick-based DirectMail.com recently signed Renewing American Leadership (ReAL), a District-based nonprofit founded by a former spokesman for House speaker and now Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich, to a two-year contract. DirectMail.com will develop direct mail and educational materials and manage ReAL’s 100,000-name donor file.

Daryl P. Friedman, the man who established a D.C. office for the Recording Academy, an organization that represents recording professionals, has been named chief advocacy and industry relations officer.

Murry Gunty’s Blackstreet Capital Management buys Salt Lake City-based Alpha Graphics, a 300-unit franchisor of quick-print facilities throughout the United States, Europe and South America. Alpha, which has systemwide sales of more than $300 million, was purchased from Pindar, a bankrupt U.K. print operator.

heatht@washpost.com

Follow me on Twitter @ addedvalueth

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.
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