Lateral Capital Management, llc

Where We Came From

Unlike many Early Stage investors, we have actual experience as entrepreneurs. Beginning in the 1980s, several current Lateral Capital investors worked together as entrepreneurs. We started five different technology-driven businesses, all in Central Florida, and all related to the commercial citrus industry. Together, this gave us a great view into the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur!

Feijoas are a great tasting “new” fruit … but they turned out to be impossible to grow in Florida!

Frostproof Growers Supply, Inc. was the maker of the Tree Savers®, a patented cold weather insulation device for young citrus trees. We sold 12MM of them before selling the company. What a success!

Specialty Fruit of Frostproof, Inc. was set up to commercialize a fruit grown largely in New Zealand, the Feijoa. The plan was to brand it as LolliFruit™ and plant thousands of acres in frozen-out citrus groves. Everything went well – until we learned that Florida doesn’t get cold enough for Feijoa plants to fruit! What a disaster!

StrongHoldâ Surfactant for Herbicides was a fantastic product, designed to improve the effectiveness of Monsanto’s Roundup®. This is the go-to weed control chemical in orange groves. It was selling like mad until one day, Monsanto put a similar surfactant into their own product – calling it Roundup Plus! We were out of business in a week.

The learning from these experiences travels with us to every new Lateral Capital investment!

StrongHold Penetrating Surfactant worked very well as an adjuvant for commercial weed killers – so well that the leading brand mixed it into theirs.
With J. Wayne Zoffay, John was a founder of Frostproof Growers Supply and its lead product, the Tree Savers! The product was used to prevent freezing in 12MM young citrus trees.