LogoGarden raising $2M

Logo design venture LogoGarden has raised $750,000 from venture capital firm FCA and is looking to drum up another $1.15M as its leaders seek to position themselves not just to grow further, but also to set themselves up to be acquired in a few years. Founder and CEO John Williams tells Milt Capps at Venture Nashville he is looking for a deal before 2018 comes around.

The company has been "investing heavily in converting/building our technology platform to JavaScript. Flash, our previous technology was replaced by JS two years ago. In part, because smartphones do not support the Flash," Williams explained. In 3Q 2014, he plans to launch an unbundled SmartSite.com, which will enable customers to upload their own logos to their newly minted sites.

Jul 24, 2014 6:59 AM

LaunchTN looks to tie together angel groups

Launch Tennessee CEO Charlie Brock plans to in the coming year work to better connect the various angel investing groups around Tennessee. The strategy is part of the organization's fiscal 2015 workplan, detailed here by Milt Capps.

LaunchTN CEO Brock -- with his own track record as an entrepreneur, advisor and investor -- will doubtless be deeply involved in all this, with staff work led by LaunchTN Capital Formation Director Henry Gindt. Gindt's bailiwick also includes outreach to Corporate venture-capital arms, and supporting ECD's INCITE seed-funding program, in part by helping to identify follow-on investors for companies that win INCITE grants.

Jul 23, 2014 11:04 AM

Loyalty marketing company nears end of $1M raise

Three-year-old loyalty marketing venture textLIVING is close to having raised $1 million from a large group of investors as it prepares to launch serious biz dev efforts in Nashville and elsewhere in Tennessee. Milt Capps has that info and more at Venture Nashville Connections.

Jul 9, 2014 7:16 AM

State VC group edges closer to public debut

Milt Capps has an update on the birth of the Tennessee Venture Council, an industry group that promises to collect data and play an advocacy role, although its priorities aren't yet clear. A website is live but still needs to be fleshed out a good bit.

Preliminary work on the Council was largely shouldered by now-30-year-old Landon Gibbs, a seemingly all-purpose aide to McWhorter and his father, Clayton, the former HCA president who is also co-founder of Clayton Associates. Gibbs is identified on his Linkedin page only as director of healthcare initiatives for Clayton Associates. He has, however, played key support roles with respect to the McWhorters' involvement in both the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and Bullpen Ventures.

Nov 2, 2012 7:13 AM

Hey IT employers, you want better talent? Get cozy with colleges

The talent shortage locally in a number of technology sectors continues to bedevil many growing organizations, but Vanderbilt University School of Engineering professor Douglas Schmidt says employers can help themselves by getting more involved with the region's colleges and universities.

Feb 14, 2012 12:50 PM

Legal project management software venture eyes 100 employees in Year 1

The law and technology sector veterans leading a young legal project management company have settled on Nashville as their headquarters and are eager to make a big splash in the growing market of helping attorneys better organize their workflow. Milt Capps caught up with former Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis partner Larry Bridgesmith, who is leading business development for the company. Among Bridgesmith's projections if funding comes through soon as expected: ERM Legal will be home to 100 employees in a year and may be eyeing a second fundraising round. Check out the venture's website here.

Its core technology is adaptible for verticals in addition to LPM; and, earlier versions were developed for use in process and project management by tool and die makers in the automotive sector, Bridgesmith explained. Roughly $650,000 has been invested in the technology in the past few years, he added.

Feb 14, 2012 7:14 AM

California biosensor venture appears headed here

In a wrapup of some recent activity at TNInvestco funds, Milt Capps writes about TriStar's Technology's interest in a young San Francisco-area company that's developing technology to better analyze molecular interaction and thus help speed up drug development projects. The company's approach is based concepts that originated at Vanderbilt University and its acceptance of TriStar's cash should lead it to relocate its home office here.

Jan 9, 2012 7:28 AM

American Hometown spinout

American Hometown Publishing CEO Dan Hammond is spinning out a business unit from the company including its Just A Pinch recipe sharing site. Milt Capps has the story on Hammond's new venture, American Hometown Media, and its planned $5 million capital raise.

May 12, 2011 7:24 AM

Make it $200M

That's the amount of money new local venture capital fund Heritage Healthcare Innovation Fund told the Securities and Exchange Commission it plans to raise (HT: Venture Nashville). Our earlier story on the formation of the fund by hospital groups including Vanguard Health Systems and Community Health Systems is here. A report in Michigan has previously pegged the fund target at $150 million.

Feb 9, 2011 9:31 AM

Coleman Swenson Booth more of a seller these days

Venture Nashville has caught up with veteran venture capitalist Larry Coleman, whose Coleman Swenson Booth firm exited three of its investments in 2010 and could get out of three more in the coming months. As for raising a new fund — the firm's last closed in 1998 — Coleman says he's thinking about it, but it doesn't sound terribly likely.
Among realities militating toward caution, said Coleman: The current venture-capital fundraising environment is extremely challenging; and, there remains uncertainty about how Reform will play-out. Institutional investors’ pursuit of liquidity is also hampering private-equity funding, he noted.
Jan 18, 2011 11:03 AM