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Touching base: Van Tucker, John Murdock on growing TN Angel capital
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Touching base: Van Tucker and John Murdock of LaunchTN + Nashville Entrepreneur Center, respectively, responded individually below to VNC's query about their organizations' current efforts to improve availability of Angel Capital in Tennessee. This has been on our mind ever since reading LaunchTN's 2020 assessment of Capital in Tennessee, right here. Love to hear your thoughts: milt at venturenashville dot com .-Editor

Van Tucker MBA

ANGEL WORK: Venture Nashville recently asked how Launch Tennessee (TTDC) works to improve Angel participation in funding Tennessee startups. LaunchTN CEO Van Tucker MBA replied, "We have a number of initiatives at LTN focused on engagement of early stage and angel investors including our quarterly capital call, 3686 Festival, and the work we do through the Impact Fund (we many times refer applicants to resources in our ecosystem including advisors and/or investors)." She added that LaunchTN Capital Formation Manager Khrys Hatch BBA and Capital Formation Resource Coordinator Abby Collins MBA "spend much of their time networking, connecting, fielding inbound inquiries, and recruiting early stage investors to our ecosystem; both in-state and out-of-state. Our state-wide network has often been cited by early stage investors as a significant benefit for them; saving them time and research resources as we are able to connect them to the right resources for their focus or interests across the state. Our Network Partners in each of the 7 major cities, as well as Bunker Labs and the 4 industry mentor networks also provide education, outreach, and information for angel networks and investors on a regular basis in their communities or industries. Most have a capital outreach plan with which we coordinate to add value." Tucker also noted LaunchTN is a member of the Angel Capital Association, the National Venture Capital Association, Build in the SE, and other groups. Tucker told VNC the value of those memberships is in "relationship building, awareness of opportunities in TN for investors, education and knowledge of trends, etc." The national ACA membership lists shows 2 Tennessee members, one each in Johnson City and in Chattanooga. Over at NVCA, a check shows the NVCA membership page carries LaunchTN as the only TN-based NVCA member. Georgia has four NVCA members listed, all based in Atlanta.

John Murdock MBA

INCREASING NASHVILLE INVESTOR commitments is an issue that is "high up there" among concerns of the team at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (NEC), said John Murdock MBA, the EC's chief product officer and chief operating officer. Murdock said that EC CEO Jane Allen is, as part of her broad portfolio, continually engaging with high net-worth individuals regarding making Angel or other investments. Murdock noted that owners who have successfully exited a startup or successfully monetized business at other stages are among prime prospects for making local investments. He also noted that while EC management and staff are continually helping to guide and connect EC-participating companies with investors, the EC's hundreds of advisors are often great sources of investor leads or personal investment. Murdock further noted that while many potential investors think of startup companies as essentially pre-revenue, annual revenues for individual enrollees in the EC's In-Flight program actually average about $750K. Murdock said heavy emphasis is being given by the CEO and others to developing and mobilizing investors, in keeping with the nonprofit's "Phase 4" push (outlined on page 10 of the EC's very readable 2020 Annual Report). Related VNC coverage here. VNC

. last edited 1550 24 May 2021

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Tags: Angels, entrepreneurs, investors, Jane Allen, John Murdock, Launch Tennessee, LaunchTN, Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Tennessee Technology Development Corporation, TTDC, Van Tucker

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