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VentureSouth News
VentureSouth Announces Jonathan Heigel As VentureSouth Triangle Director
Durham, N.C. – VentureSouth, one of the country’s largest early stage investment firms, is pleased to announce that Jonathan Heigel, a longstanding member of the group, will now serve as the director for VentureSouth Triangle in Durham. After graduating from Duke University with a B.A. in economics and political science and an M.B.A. from the Fuqua School of Business, Jonathan worked for the US Navy and several consulting companies across the US, before forming his own business consulting and advisory firms. “VentureSouth is thrilled to continue working with Jonathan, now in his role of director of our angel investment group in the Triangle,” said Paul Clark, managing director of VentureSouth. “Jonathan has been a valuable VentureSouth member for several years, as an investor, due diligence team member, and advocate. His service on the board of directors for portfolio companies, most recently for Seal the Seasons in Durham, lets him apply his consulting and entrepreneurial expertise, to early stage companies in the region. We are thrilled to have him leading our efforts in the Triangle.” “I’m very excited to be taking on an active role representing VentureSouth in the Triangle,” said Jonathan. “Having recently relocated to Raleigh, it’s incredibly exciting to see how the region has exploded in so many ways since my college days. The vitality and volume of entrepreneurs, venture investors, and the startup ecosystem matches anything I’ve seen elsewhere in the country, and I’m excited to become a part of it.” With over 500 members, VentureSouth has invested in over 100 companies throughout the Southeast, including over 25 in the Triangle. The organization is excited about continuing to attract new investors into early stage investing, and funding companies in one of the most dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystems in the Southeast.
September 13, 2023
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VentureSouth News
Venture Carolina Announces 2023 Class of the Palmetto Venture Fellowship
Venture Carolina, a nonprofit dedicated to bridging the funding gap between investors and entrepreneurs has once again partnered with the South Carolina Department of Commerce’s Office of Innovation, VentureSouth, and the South Carolina Jobs-Economic Development Authority (JEDA) to launch the 2023 Palmetto Venture Fellowship, a program designed to create more local accredited investors and expand risk-capital accessibility for early-stage startups in South Carolina. Following its highly successful inaugural launch in 2022, the Palmetto Venture Fellowship, recently kicked off in Greenville with its 2023 class. The 30 fellows will meet three times throughout the year for two days of comprehensive education on the intricacies associated with early stage capital formation.The curriculum consists of topics such as valuations, term sheets, capitalization tables, due diligence, board governance, and exit strategies. “The caliber of the 2023 class proves that South Carolina can assemble a group of business leaders that would rival any state in the country,” said Venture Carolina Executive Director Charlie Banks. “It is even more exciting that these individuals represent a tangible building block for the sustainability of South Carolina’s innovation economy. I was truly blown away at the combined talent and energy during our first gathering.” Thomas Rhodes, President of The Rhodes Companies stated, “South Carolina has great potential to be a destination for entrepreneurs and growth capital. This cohort brings together a diverse group of people, all of whom are committed to our state and region. I am fortunate to be included.” John Brice, Managing Partner of Poseidon Capital Ventures stated, “The program has already exceeded my expectations, even as an experienced venture investor. The community aspect coupled with the expert education provided by the facilitators is a unique opportunity and great add to any prospective venture investors and community builders across South Carolina.” Rozalynn Goodwin, VP of the SC Hospital Association and successful entrepreneur stated, “It’s an honor to participate in this cohort of the Palmetto Venture Fellowship. I am excited about all we are learning and the relationships we are building to move South Carolina’s economy forward through innovation.” The 2023 class of the Palmetto Venture Fellows was selected by a committee of business leaders and investors throughout South Carolina, in addition to nominations from the 2022 class of Palmetto Venture Fellows. The full class listing can be found on Venture Carolina's website.
June 13, 2023
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VentureSouth News
VentureSouth celebrates 100th company milestone
VentureSouth is proud to announce a major milestone, as the firm and its investors have now invested in 100 early-stage companies. Earlier this month, VentureSouth invested in Darby, a healthcare technology startup, marking the 100th company in the firm’s portfolio. Darby is based in Greenville, SC where VentureSouth got its start 15 years ago with the launch of the Upstate Carolina Angel Network. Since then, the early-stage investment group has deployed nearly $75 million across those 100 companies. Darby is working to simplify at-home care delivery for providers and vendors with a modern and efficient order flow platform, drastically reducing time, friction and errors in the process. The company is led by founder Charlotte Lawson, who was previously an Attending Physician and Champion for Innovation at Prisma Health, then went on to Harvard Business School where she recognized the need for Darby’s solution as she continued practicing medicine while pursuing her MBA. “It has been a pleasure working with VentureSouth on our recent capital raise and we are honored to be the 100th company in their portfolio,” said Lawson. “We look forward to working with the group and their investors who will provide both capital and insight as we tackle a big problem in the healthcare space.” VentureSouth Co-Founder and Managing Director Matt Dunbar added, “We are thrilled to announce our investment in Darby, and we’re equally proud that we have now been able to support 100 companies over the years.  It is a privilege to partner with entrepreneurs like Charlotte who are working tirelessly against long odds to solve challenging and meaningful problems in the world.” We are delighted to reach this “first century” milestone, and we’re already hard at work seeking out the next one hundred startups to add to our portfolio. To learn more about VentureSouth - and perhaps invest in some of our next 100 companies -  please visit our pages.
March 20, 2023
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VentureSouth News
VentureSouth 2023 Summit recap
While we were grinding through the winter months, our VentureSouth investors and staff enjoyed a delightful early taste of spring last month at our annual VentureSouth Summit. For the first time since we started the event in 2016, we ventured out from Greenville and hosted the event at the Francis Marion hotel in beautiful Charleston SC.The Summit was a hit! We enjoyed the company of 150 angel investors, 25 portfolio company CEOs, 20 sponsors and supporters, and 12 of the VentureSouth team (and two babies!) for the 2023 Summit. We were delighted that so many of our investors converged from across our network – from groups as far away as Chattanooga and Richmond. Several individuals traveled over 500 miles, from as far afield as Connecticut, Ohio, and western Florida – so we particularly appreciate their dedication! Many others braved the perils of I-26 to get to Charleston from Asheville, Greenville, and Columbia, and I-77 or I-95 from Charlotte, Greensboro and the Triangle. And over 25 Charlestonians provided local knowledge and southern hospitality to welcome these interlopers to town!We gathered to “do angel investing.” We heard companies solicit investment; we debated diligence reports and the merits and concerns of open rounds of investment; we celebrated the “state of VentureSouth” as the group surpassed $12M of investment in 34 companies in 2022; we quizzed and assisted our portfolio companies, celebrating their progress and trying to mitigate their challenges; and we came to network and socialize across the largest group of angel investors in the region.Organizing something like this is a ton of work (so thanks from me to the whole VentureSouth team on a job very well done). Why do we do it? Primarily because being part of a “virtual community” of nearly 500 angel investors is one thing on paper – but quite another to see in person. We hear from our members every time we run a Summit that you only really appreciate the power of a collective angel group from being together in person.Looking forward to February 2024 for the next one!
March 7, 2023
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VentureSouth News
Jacksonville Venture Competition to Highlight Five Innovative Companies
VentureSouth, one of the country’s largest early stage investment firms and headline sponsor of the upcoming inaugural Jacksonville Venture Competition, is excited to announce the five innovative companies participating in the pitch competition event. Scheduled for March 7-8 at the Open Innovation Center, the event will connect startups with potential investors and industry leaders, providing a platform for them to pitch their ideas and secure funding. The competition is expected to draw a large audience of investors, entrepreneurs, and industry professionals.The five participating companies include: 6AM City, based in Greenville, SC, is a digital media company that provides hyper-local news and events coverage in six Southeastern cities. Iconic Moments, based in Chattanooga, TN, brings together cultural institutions, digital artists, and Web3 technology to bring art into life. Blue Vigil, based in Jacksonville, FL, specializes in the design and manufacture of tethered drone power systems for industrial and military applications. Archer First Response, based in Orlando, FL, provides medical transportation services for critically ill and injured patients using advanced technology and medical equipment. Operade, based in Jacksonville, FL, is a company producing scientifically-advanced preoperative beverages that aim to drive better outcomes for patients and medical providers."We are thrilled to have such a diverse group of innovative companies participating in the Jacksonville Venture Competition," said Charlie Banks, Managing Director of VentureSouth. "These companies represent some of the best and brightest of the Southeast's startup scene, and we are looking forward to them showcasing their ideas to potential investors and industry leaders within Jacksonville." The Jacksonville Venture Competition promises to be an exciting event that showcases some of the Southeast's most innovative and promising startups, while also facilitating thought-provoking conversations on establishing an exciting entrepreneurship ecosystem across North Florida. Investors, entrepreneurs, and community leaders interested in attending can register for the event at the Jacksonville Venture Competition’s website https://www.jaxvc.com/jvc2023.
March 3, 2023
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VentureSouth News
Applications and Nominations Now Being Accepted for the 2nd Annual Palmetto Venture Fellowship
Venture Carolina, a nonprofit organization committed to connecting investors and entrepreneurs, has partnered once again with VentureSouth, one of the country’s largest early-stage investment organizations, and the South Carolina Department of Commerce to host the second annual Palmetto Venture Fellowship. This program aims to increase venture capital accessibility for South Carolina-based startups by educating and preparing local investors.It will consist of a quarterly workshop series, diving deep into the intricacies of early-stage capital formation. The program is open to current or aspiring investors looking to gain the necessary expertise to invest in early-stage companies. Topics such as term sheets, valuations, capitalization tables, board governance, exit strategies, and proper due diligence will be covered to equip attendees with the knowledge needed to be successful investors in early-stage companies.“We are excited to continue our partnership with the South Carolina Department of Commerce’s innovation team and VentureSouth to host the second annual Palmetto Venture Fellowship," said Charlie Banks, Executive Director of Venture Carolina. "It is crucial for South Carolina to have a strong pool of educated investors to support the growth of our state's startup ecosystem. This fellowship program will provide the necessary tools and knowledge for individuals to become successful investors in early-stage companies."South Carolina Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Ashely Teasdel commented, “Access to venture capital plays a key role in developing new technologies and cutting-edge products. The Palmetto Venture Fellowship is an incredible opportunity for investors and startups alike to discover that South Carolina has the resources and environment to propel innovative growth. We look forward to the impact of this program on our state’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.”According to data from the National Science Board, in 2022, there was a 19% increase in the amount of venture capital dollars disbursed per $1,000 of South Carolina's gross domestic product. The Palmetto Venture Fellowship aims to continue this positive trend by providing the necessary resources to attract more venture capital investments to the state.Applications and nominations are now being accepted on Venture Carolina’s website and will remain open until March 3. For more information about the fellowship, nomination, and application process, please visit www.venturecarolina.org/palmetto-venture-fellowship.
February 2, 2023
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VentureSouth News
VentureSouth Reports Major Milestones For 2022
VentureSouth is pleased to report its results from a momentous year in 2022. As one of the nation’s leading early-stage investment organizations, the firm achieved several significant milestones last year despite challenging capital markets. Those results included:$12 million in capital invested in 34 companies, including 11 new additions to the portfolioTotal investments to date reached $72 million across 98 companiesGrowth to more than 470 member investorsNew market expansions into Atlanta and ChattanoogaAnnounced a new partnership with 757 Angels in VirginiaSuccessfully closed VentureSouth Angel Fund VOnce again recognized as a Top 10 Angel Group by the Angel Capital AssociationNew VentureSouth investments in 2022 included HealthyCell and MP Cloud in South Carolina, Pointivo and Wripple in Atlanta, HopDrive and RoundlyX in Virginia and Gradient Health in North Carolina. VentureSouth also made follow-on investments in nearly two dozen existing portfolio companies, including 6AM City, Case Status, Emrgy, Iconic Moments, Plantd, PunchList, Spiffy, Sprockets and Zylo Therapeutics. VentureSouth membership reached a record high of 474 members in 2022, driven by further growth in existing markets and new expansions into Atlanta and Chattanooga, the first VentureSouth investor groups in Georgia and Tennessee. The partnership with 757 Angels was announced in November and marks the second VentureSouth market in Virginia and the first integration of an existing angel group into the network. 757 Angels was founded in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia in 2015 and grew quickly, garnering recognition as a Top 10 Angel Group numerous times by the Angel Capital Association. Today the group has 140 members and has invested over $90 million. Beginning in June, the group will become part of the VentureSouth network, operating as 757 Angels, powered by VentureSouth.Other notable achievements in 2022 included the successful closing of the fifth VentureSouth co-investment fund (VentureSouth Angel Fund V), launching the Palmetto Venture Fellowship in partnership with Venture Carolina and the South Carolina Department of Commerce, and being recognized as a top 10 angel investment group in North America by the Angel Capital Association for the fourth time. (The 1st of our 5 was from CB Insights.) Charlie Banks, one of three VentureSouth Co-Founders and Managing Directors, reflected on the year saying, “We are immensely proud of the growth and achievements we experienced throughout 2022. We believe our progress is a testament to the appealing early stage investment opportunities in the Southeast, the talent of the entrepreneurs we back, the insights of our expanding investor base and the robust infrastructure we continue to build at VentureSouth.”
January 23, 2023
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VentureSouth News
VentureSouth Announces New Leadership for Atlanta Group
VentureSouth, one of the largest angel investment groups in the United States, is announcing new leadership for its Atlanta group.Matthew May and Kenji Kuramoto, Atlanta-based entrepreneurs and angel investors, will serve as the Market Directors of VentureSouth Atlanta. May has served the last three years as the President of the Atlanta Technology Angels and 12 years as an Advisory Board Member at Venture Atlanta. Kuramoto is a long-time member and previous board member of Entrepreneurs Organization. Along with their impactful service within the entrepreneurship ecosystem, they have built impressive personal angel investment portfolios that include Atlanta-based Greenlight, CallRail, and Florence Healthcare.“Kenji and I are excited to take a leadership role with VentureSouth Atlanta for two reasons. First, we continue to see the venture capital funds move up market and believe that angel investors are built to fill that void. Second, the investors we know are busy and need a structured approach for screening and curating their investments. We have a keen understanding of the professionalism that VentureSouth brings and believe it to be a perfect fit for investors in Atlanta,” May said. Charlie Banks, a Managing Director of VentureSouth, commented: “Matthew and Kenji are well-known players in this ecosystem. Not only are they prolific angel investors, but they have also built a significant sphere of influence with other investors in this market. We pride ourselves on aligning with folks who operate with integrity so having Matthew and Kenji representing the VentureSouth brand gives us a great deal of pride.” VentureSouth Atlanta will host an information session at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 27, 2022, at the Atlanta Tech Village located at 3423 Piedmont Road NE. To learn more about VentureSouth Atlanta or to register for the event, visit https://venturesouth.vc/events/. 
October 18, 2022
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VentureSouth News
VentureSouth Announces New Leadership for Midlands Group
VentureSouth, one of the United States’ largest angel investment groups, is excited to announce new leadership for its Midlands group, which serves investors in Columbia, S.C., and surrounding areas. Effective September 1, 2022, VentureSouth Midlands will be under the direction of Austin Rhodes and Thomas Rhodes, both of Columbia, S.C. Austin and Thomas, who are brothers, are partners in several businesses in the southeast. With their experience as angel investors and business owners, along with their years of involvement in local and state nonprofits, the Rhodes have earned a reputation as thought leaders on how to grow successfully, while keeping high moral and ethical standards at the forefront of every decision. “We are big believers in the positive power business can bring to a household, community, and the entire nation,” said Austin Rhodes, “and are excited to expand the VentureSouth community here in the Midlands.“Increasing entrepreneurs access to capital is critical to the long-term success of our community, state and nation,” said Thomas Rhodes. “Thomas and Austin are the epitome of successful business leaders who operate with integrity, unending drive, and enthusiasm. They have been an integral part of the VentureSouth Midlands group for many years and fully understand the impact that a professionally curated early-stage investment organization can have on a local entrepreneurship ecosystem. Their willingness to take a more formal leadership role within the VentureSouth network will bring tangible energy to our organization,” said Charlie Banks, Managing Director for VentureSouth. 
September 9, 2022
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VentureSouth News
VentureSouth Launching in Chattanooga
VentureSouth, one of the largest angel investment groups in the United States, is announcing its newest market expansion, VentureSouth Chattanooga.Chattanooga, TN will become the 19th community throughout the Southeast with a VentureSouth angel group, which brings resources of a professionally led early-stage venture capital firm to local investors. VentureSouth, with nearly 500 members and $70M invested in 90+ early stage companies, has been consistently recognized by the Angel Capital Association as one of the top 10 groups in North America. Jay Shaffer, a Chattanooga-based prolific angel investor and board member of the nearby Atlanta Tech Angels, will serve as the Market Director of VentureSouth Chattanooga.  “I am thrilled to be raising the VentureSouth banner in Chattanooga. The value of VentureSouth’s model is that it follows a methodical and proven process that leverages the collective expertise of hundreds of investors, who screen investment opportunities and conduct professional due diligence. Their highly professional and successful process will undoubtedly lead to the growth of Chattanooga’s already burgeoning entrepreneurship ecosystem,” Shaffer said.Charlie Banks, a Managing Director of VentureSouth, commented: “History has proven that many of the country’s most successful companies were born during peculiar economic times. Thus, given the current environment, there will be significant opportunities for investors to gain exposure to many exciting, high-growth companies. There is discernible energy here for what VentureSouth brings, and we believe Chattanooga is a perfect fit for us.”VentureSouth Chattanooga will host an information session and formal kickoff event at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 21, 2022 at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
July 14, 2022
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