It's an uphill battle in more ways than one, but the Knoxville-based Tennessee Valley Venture Forum (TVVF) is trying again this year to attract more middle-Tennessee companies to present their business plans to venture capitalists, Sept. 27-28. The deadline for applications to present is June 19.
The event's chief advocate, Tom Rogers, said during an interview with NashvillePost.com today that during the past nine years approximately 15 Nashville-area firms have participated in the investment forum, among 100 total presenters.
Rogers, who doubles-in-brass as president and CEO of Knoxville-based Technology 2020, says VC investments as a result of the forums are hard to track, but probably total $25 million.
Rogers acknowleged that most of the Nashville-area firms that have presented did so during the two years the forum was held in Nashville. When the venue for final presentations was relocated to Chattanooga and then back to TVVF's East Tennessee birthplace, Nashville firms' participation plummeted, and relationships "waned."
Rogers said that this year he hopes to work more closely with Nashville Technology Council, Nashville Capital Network and others, in an attempt to increase mid-state representation among TVVF presenters.
Simultaneously, Rogers is working closely with a cluster of Atlanta-centered organizations -- Venture South, the Southern Technology Council and the Southern Growth Policy Board -- in hope of attracting their support of TVVF, in this and future years. More on Rogers' roles, here.