AdAgency Mezzina Brown Turns VC With Reorganization

With all of the ads for equity deals giving agencies a taste for the venture capital business, it’s no surprise that Mezzina/Brown on Tuesday jumped in with both feet — starting an Internet incubator as part of its re-structuring, and re-naming itself Mezzina Brown & Partners.

The new incubator division, called MB Consultancy and Capital, is being launched in partnership with NetCentric Partners, a New York-based venture capital firm that recently announced plans for a $200 million fund.

The idea is to provide new Internet companies with capital as well as marketing and strategic help, creating a one-stop shop for these nascent businesses.

“We have created Mezzina Brown & Partners to reflect a new approach to the e-culture marketplace that reflects our strength and experience in helping businesses succeed through leading-edge integrated online/offline marketing programs,” said Bill Brown, senior partner and chief executive officer of Mezzina Brown & Partners.

Our objective is to be among the first to provide end-to-end marketplace solutions for new media firms, integrating front-end, back-end, funding and marketing in a single shop.”

Mezzina Brown & Partners has a reputation for being one of the first to jump into new areas of the digital arena. It launched its digital unit in 1993, helped launch the Internet’s first direct stock offering with Wit Capital founder Andy Klein, and spun-off its own Internet property, FreeRide.com, in 1996.

Its clients include Goldman Sachs, DuPont, R.J. Reynolds, RealMedia, FreeRide, NexGenix and VarsityPlanet.com.

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