Rare is the venture capitalist/investment banker who has actually built a company. And then you find somebody like Jim Dolan. Now with Cherry Tree, Jim is on the investment banking side of the street after twenty plus years in company trenches.
Most entrepreneurs can remember their first venture experience. For Jim, it was as a 9-year-old, when he turned his arts-and-craft project into a little business, with his younger, cuter sisters as a sales force and his friends as low cost producers. “We sold to everyone in our 40-some house neighborhood, but the business folded because my little sisters couldn’t cross the busy streets that surrounded our subdivision,” he says today. “We saturated our market.”
From there, Jim went to University of Oklahoma and leveraged his journalism degree into an executive role with Rupert Murdoch’s burgeoning media company. He was soon buying companies and happened to meet Tony Christianson, a venture capitalist in Minneapolis, who met his match in Dolan. The result: the Dolan Company, a business-to-business media company that soon grew to over $300 million in revenue and an NYSE listing.