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Strategic Venue Partners Ramps Up with CEO Addition

By J. Sharpe Smith

Strategic Venue Partners (SVP), the newly hatched provider of wireless infrastructure investment and services for enterprise real-estate venues, has added infrastructure investment veteran Justin Marron as CEO.


Marron has 18 years of experience in the fields of corporate finance, wireless infrastructure operations and renewable energy development. He has held senior management/ownership positions at such firms as Altus Power America, Wind Farm Capital and Wireless Capital Partners.

He joins Rich Grimes (COO) and Chad Aaron (CFO), to complete the senior leadership team at SVP. Tiger Infrastructure Partners, a mid-market private equity firm that invests in infrastructure platforms, is SVP’s financial partner.

Strategic Venue Partners is focused on enabling wireless infrastructure in venues that are not able to depend on carriers for capital contribution. Working on behalf of the asset owner, SVP attempts to make the participation of the carriers at those venues more likely. In a recent phone interview, Grimes explained the nascent company’s mission.

“We are a business partner of the venue that enables the wireless system by taking the technology and capital risk. There are huge opportunities to partner with the venue,” Grimes said.

SVP’s role is to enable the venue to deploy wireless for the fans, tenants, doctor and nurses. Whoever uses their facility. In order to do that, it funds the system up front and allows the venue owner to pay the use of the system as an operating expense instead of a capital expense.

“Carriers’ resources for funding in-building wireless in venues are finite,” Grimes said. “It is a difficult business model for the venue to expect the carriers to provide the capital investment for that wireless infrastructure. It is not going to happen. It will be limited to the venues that have the leverage to command that carrier contribution.”

When you go beyond the really large stadiums, carriers are looking for the wireless system to be enabled by the venue owner or someone else,” Grimes said. “We bring together some seasoned industry expertise and with a well-respected capital partner to execute on those deployments.”

SVP invests capital, deploys the system, manages it and performs technology upgrades for a monthly or an annual managed services fee.

“It is becoming more and more critical for a venue to have wireless service as a differentiator as they compete in the marketplace, but it makes more sense for them from an ROI standpoint to fund the wireless system as a operating expense, as opposed to a capital expense,” Grimes said.

SVP’s goal is to create a long-term, sustainable business model for middle-size enterprise wireless deployments across all verticals. Deals will be announced in the “very near future.” Currently, it has several projects that are difference phases of development.

J. Sharpe Smith is senior editor of the AGL eDigest. He joined AGL in 2007 as contributing editor to the magazine and as editor of eDigest email newsletter. He has 27 years of experience writing about industrial communications, paging, cellular, small cells, DAS and towers. Previously, he worked for the Enterprise Wireless Alliance as editor of the Enterprise Wireless Magazine. Before that, he edited the Wireless Journal for CTIA and he began his wireless journalism career with Phillips Publishing, now Access Intelligence. Sharpe Smith may be contacted at: ssmith@aglmediagroup.com.