Here is a quick rundown of the various VC funds and angel groups in the Atlanta area. I started this list back in January, 2008 and update it periodically. If you are seeking capital, make sure to research the below listed groups and/or funds to make sure their investment criteria matches what you are trying to accomplish! If you have any questions, send me an email at: knox.massey at angelatlanta.com
The comments below are my opinions only.
Georgia Venture Funds
Georgia Research Alliance Venture Capital Fund
Brand New. A state funded entity. Georgia legislature has allocated $7.5M (not $10M as has been reported) in state funds for the GRA seed fund. Matching private funds are required. So, a minimum of a $15M fund. Only intellectual property coming out of the GA university systems can be funded. Money from the state flows to the fund in the 2009 fiscal year which is July 1, 2008. No idea yet who is going to run the fund. Additional investment criteria TBD.
Brand new. Privately funded. In the range of $10M-$12M. Local technology entreprenurs are LP’s. GP’s are former CEO’s. First closing of the fund is expected in August or September, 2008 First funding will likely happen this in the fall of 2008. Located in the hear of Georgia tech campus.
Brand new. Small seed investment fund. Funded by a Boston VC and some local investors. Y-combinator model. No GP has been named that I am aware of. First close might happen this summer. Probably will start funding in Fall, 2008 timeframe (my guess).
Granddaddy of the funds in town. Been around since 1983. Make sure you spell it right. Have had some nice exits recently. Just raised fund V. Alan Taetle and Alan Moseley are the face of the fund for the next generation folk in town. Both are accessible and communicative. Hint: Have something of substance when you go to them and the conversation will flow easily.
The New Money in town. Middle East based. A new hybrid with the requirement of sharia for each venture investment. Growth or late stage, so us early stage folk don’t see as much of John Huntz, Ramsay Battin or Tom Hawkins like we used to. Local influencers Wayne Hodges and Tom Noonan are on the Advisory Board.
Headed by Jeff Muir of the Chatham Funds and Frank Dalton, former GP at Cordova. Opportunistic equity and debt investors. Good people and accessible.
Alliance Technology Ventures
Founded in 1994. Fading into the sunset. No longer active and winding down fund.
Total Technology Ventures
Gardiner Garrard and Tom Smith. Both smart, capable and accessible. This is THE fund to go to in Atlanta if you have a good financial services opportunity. Need to have a management team in place, have revenue and customers. TTV has extensive financial service resources and connections. Just raised Fund II.
Steve Nussrallah/Value Plus Ventures
Steve, formerly of Noro-Moseley, has started a small fund to help capitalize local and regional companies he and his partners decide to work with. Value Plus will put a small amount of capital into companies (with very “investor friendly” terms) that seem to already have revenue and management on board. Steve and his partners will then spend 3-12 months with each company on a deferred salary basis to prep the company for venture funding.
Veritas Venture Partners
Laurie Olivier is the partner in Atlanta. The fund has done a handful or investments in the Atlanta area. Laurie is a good person and accessible.
The Seraph Group
Small VC fund that has morphed from angel status to fund status. The fund GP’s are individual investors and/or advisors. Tuff Yen heads is the founder although Stephen Fleming has a strong influence within the fund. Has done 2 Atlanta investments. Seems to be focusing on West coast based opportunities.
Angel Investment Groups
Atlanta Technology Angels
Sig and Melanie are universally known and admired in the early stage Atlanta technology scene. Have had some huge hits (TradeX, ISS) and more are coming.
Charlie has been a local angel investor since the mid 1990’s. He prefers service based companies with recurring revenue and experienced managers.
Charlie is now very involved with the monthly Adams Capital/Angel Lounge lunches. These lunches are sponsored by Adams Capital and are held at local private club and are invitation only. The lunches are meant to introduce active angels, “interested” angels and local economic development people to each other to help further stimulate the private seed and early stage investment community. I don’t believe that active investing is yet done at these lunches.
Charlie has also been involved in High Tech Ministries for a number of years.
ATDC Seed Fund
Completely different from the new GRA fund. Also state funded. Dates from late 1990’s. Run by Charles Ross within ATDC. $3 to $1 match provision ($3 private capital to each $1 state funds) for any investment.
Georgia Tech Edison Fund
The Charles A. Edison Fund based in New Jersey is one of three initial investors. The “Edison” brand name was catchy and apt, so it was kept. A 501(c)3 designated fund. Donations will flow through GATV which itself is a tax exempt affiliate of Georgia Tech. Stephen Fleming, head of Venturelab and, more formally, the head of commecrcialization at ATDC, will manage the fund. Georgia Tech alumnus Edward Allman, who is on the BOD of the Edison Fund, played a big part in helping to establish this at Georgia Tech. The GTEF is just now receiving local funding and has made one small investment that I am aware of.
An early Atlanta-based investor group. NBAI stands for “Network of Business Angels and Investors”. Run by Karen Rands. Investment criteria is very broad. Will look at local and regional opportunities.
Martin Tilson at Burr Forman, LLP chairs the Communications Group, an early Atlanta investor organization. This group meets once a month for dinner and drinks at a local private club. 2-3 companies present to the members of the group. Has been meeting regularly since 1996. Primarily a social network.
SBIR in Atlanta
Georgia Research Alliance