By Irwin Speizer
Photographs by Ed Anderson
When Michael Stark began hearing glowing reports about First
Solar, a company that produces solar cells and technology, he
thought it might make a fine private company investment for his
venture fund. But by the time he discovered the company's
potential, it was headed for an initial public offering.
|Michael Stark: I was really into this process of
So Stark swapped hats, switching from venture capitalist to
hedge fund manager. He bought into First Solar around the time
of its IPO in November 2006, with the stock trading at about
$24. By December 2007, First Solar was trading at $266.
The First Solar bet is vintage Stark, who moves seamlessly
between private and public investments. His company, San
Francisco investment firm Crosslink Capital, runs an unusual
hybrid model that seeks profits across the spectrum of growth
companies, from start-ups like First Solar...