With final applications for Tennessee's new state-sponsored venture capital program due by the close of business today, the number of investment groups known to be in the running for chunks of cash has reached 20, with a few more players yet to be revealed by the end of the day, according to state officials.
Nashville investors Charlie Martin, Mike Shmerling, Harry Jacobson and Jim Baker are among those leading entrepreneurial ventures that have been certified as "TNInvestcos" – venture capital enterprises set up to invest solely in Tennessee companies – in recent days.
Under the Tennessee Small Business Investment Company Credit Act of 2009, the departments of Revenue and Economic & Community Development have found those ventures eligible to take part in the contest for the $120 million in funding made available for investments. The state will chose six TNInvestcos from among the applicants, many of which come to the competition with impressive VC track records.
As NashvillePost.com reported earlier this month, the principals behind TNInvestcos certified in the first weeks of the program's operation included Nashville money-men Denny Bottorff and Clayton McWhorter, Memphis tycoon Pitt Hyde, Tullahoma investor Fran Marcum and several other highly credentialed entrepreneurs from around the state.
A chart showing those who have been granted TNInvestco status or are expected to attain it is available at this link.
The law requires each TNInvestco to set out an "investment strategy for achieving transformational economic development outcomes through focused investments of capital in seed or early-stage companies with high-growth potential."
The state is to announce the six winning venture firms by November 1.
Full disclosure: One of the applicants is a subsidiary of Solidus Co., a major shareholder of SouthComm Communications Inc., which owns NashvillePost.com. A Solidus principal led the creation of the TNInvestco Coalition, a group of applicants that have agreed to cooperate by jointly retaining investment bankers and lawyers who are aiding their efforts.
- ALEX B FRUIN INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDACE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDANCE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; FRUIN, ALEX B TRUSTEE; FRUIN ALEX B INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC, CANDACE F TRUSTEE; STEFANSIC CANDACE F INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC CANDANCE F INHERITANCE TRUST
- ROSS, BRIDGETT D
- COOKE, ETHEN LANYARD TRUSTEE; COOKE, ETHEN LEWIS ESTATE
- JACOBS, JESSICA ALEXANDRA; JACOBS, ERIKA BESS