NEST-TN, LLC -- The NEST acronym stands for Networking, Entrepreneurs, Seed capital, and Technology. The new vehicle was founded by Frances Folk Marcum, a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents; and, a longtime member of the board of directors of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reseve Bank of Atlanta. She is also a co-founder with husband Dan of Marcum Capital LLC, in Tullahoma, and operates Tullahoma Business Center, which targets startups. Marcum Capital is described by one source as "a private merchant banking firm specializing in raising equity capital" for diverse ventures. Earlier, both Marcums led Micro Craft, Inc., a Tennessee-based aerospace firm operating in aerodynamic, propulsion and space flight research and development. He has previously served on the committee of visitors of the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering. He has in the past also served on the National Advisory Board for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and is former chairman of the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services Advisory Council as well as the center's Space Institute Support Council. Dan Marcum is a former chairman and current board member of the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation. He also represents TTDC on the board of Cumberland Emerging Technologies Inc., which is owned by Cumberland Pharmaceuticals, Vanderbilt University and TTDC. Fran Marcum holds a bachelor's degree from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. She ran unsuccessfully in 2002 for the Democrat nomination to represent Tennessee's 4th Congressional District, the seat previously held by U.S. Rep. Van Hilleary and now held by U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis (D). During the 2002 campaign, records indicate that in addition to making a $1.7 million loan to her campaign, she attracted contributions from Nashville philanthropists, lawyers, investors, civic activists and other notables, including Ed Nelson, Mark Manner, Judith Liff, Ben Rechter, Jane Eskind, Richard Eskind, Sharon Bell, Steven Griel and Aubrey Harwell. The Marcums are known for philanthropic support of science and technology, and have established a donor-advised fund within the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. ♦
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