RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — In an attempt to create more venture capital investments across the South, the Southern Growth Policies Board is launching a “task force” focused on VC under the title “Venture South”.

And many of the top venture capital firms across the South, such as Research Triangle Ventures and Noro-Moseley Partners, have signed on.

The new initiative, which will be led by Virginia Governor Mark Warner, counts the Council for Entrepreneurial Development as one of its partners. The Southern Growth Policies Board, which was created in 1971, is based in RTP. The task force will be managed by the Southern Technology Council. Its current chairman is Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue.

“CED is a project partner on this initiative,” the CED’s Robert Albright tells Local Tech Wire. “We are working on this task force because the initiative’s goals are closely aligned with CED’s mission of creating a favorable entrepreneurial climate. The VentureSouth task force is about building stronger relationships with investors and others in the entrepreneurial community from across the South. CED has always been about fostering strong relationships, so it was a natural fit to be part of this initiative.”

Goals of the initiative includes building what it calls “a Southern network of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and policy makers to increase the flow of venture capital funds to the region”.

One hundred companies will be invited to join the program at a cost of $500. The task force will have its first meeting this fall in Richmond VA.

“This is the first time a multi-state task force has been created to concentrate on venture capital,” Warner said in a statement announcing the initiative.

Warner, himself a former venture capitalist, pointed out that the South has not received venture investment in line with the overall business output of Southern states.

“The Southern region represents 20 percent of the nation’s economic activity but attracts only nine percent of the total U.S. venture capital,” he said. “Increasing the South’s share of venture capital funding is crucial to our region’s economic development.”

Also helping launch the task force is Competitive Economics, a venture capital and consulting firm.

“VentureSouth is a business-led initiative that will develop concrete strategies to help states attract venture capital and create jobs,” Perdue said in a statement.

Members on board include:

  • Andrew W. Byrd & Company, LLC (TN)

  • Area Development Partnership (MS)

  • Arkansas Science & Technology Authority (AR)

  • Capital One (VA)

  • Fuqua Ventures (GA)

  • Global Assets Family Office (SC)

  • H.I.G. Ventures (GA)

  • Harbert Venture Partners (VA)

  • i2E, Inc. (OK)

  • Imlay Investments, Inc. (GA)

  • Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation (KY)

  • Meridian Management Group, Inc. (MD)

  • Noro Moseley Partners (GA)

  • Pharos Capital Group (TN)

  • Research Triangle Ventures (NC)

  • The Capital Corporation (SC)

  • The Pharos Capital Group (TN)

  • The Trelys Funds (SC)
  • “The South has a lot of untapped potential in the innovation economy,” Albright added. “This task force will increase communication and enhance relationships across the South, which will in turn raise the profile of many regions (including the Triangle).

    “CED will work with the Southern Growth Policies Board and others on the task force to identify potential members who might be interested in joining the task force.”

    For more information about the group, contact Scott Doron at or 919-941-5145.

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