Editor’s note: What are the hot segments in which venture capitalists are looking to invest these days? A panel at the Southeast Venture Capital Conference on Tuesday offers insight. Jim Roberts of UNC-Wilmington blogs from Atlanta for WRAL TechWire.

ATLANTA – Events such as the annual Southeast Venture Capital Conference really serve two purposes:

1. Investors want to see the upcoming deal flow and startup companies from North Carolina to Texas. (More than 50 firms, including several North Carolina-based startups and emerging companies are presenting.)

2. Entrepreneurs want to hear an angle on how to approach the angels and venture capitalists that talk in the panels.

Bull City Venture Partners plays a large role in helping the conference attract investors through their connections and experience in the venture capital industry. Bull City and their previous fund Southern Capitol Ventures are on quite a roll with exit events by their portfolio highlighted by the IPO by client ChannelAdvisor.

Jason Caplain, general partner of Bull City Venture Partners, moderated the money panel of investors’ discussion as SEVC opened Tuesday.

The panel expressed their interest in three areas:

  • Software companies
  • Software as a Service
  • The “Cloud”

Paul Grim, a partner in SunBridge Partners, said he likes to find technologies that he can find get to the Japanese market.

Jalak Jobanputra , founder of FuturePerfect Ventures in New York, discussed her new fund and her interest in how Intelligent Data Analytics and how that plays into vertical markets such as education and healthcare.

The panel also was very supportive of the accelerator trend started by Y Combinator and TechStars and valued the importance of receiving mentorship and support at the facilities while struggling through early failures in companies.

  • Insight, Wisdom

Caplain asked the panelists about the most memorable pitches they had seen or what are the typical mistakes that entrepreneurs make.

The best piece of advice that the initial meeting is a get to know each other meeting and not every detail needs to be discussed but you should be prepared for every question from valuations and future management additions.

Several of the panelists discussed the need for the pitch to be more about storytelling and getting the potential investors engaged and excited to hear more.

Jobanputra also brought up the importance of the leader of the company to have some domain experience in the personal pain points they were trying to solve with their innovative solution.

  • Advice for Pitches

When asked how entrepreneurs could improve their chances of raising money from investors, familiar advice was given.

Research the investment funds and the partner of the fund you will be presenting to and target your pitch with relatable information to the experience of that partner discovered through internet research of web sites and blogs and newspaper articles.

Bring some validation information that the “dogs like your company’s dog food” and you have clients and revenue to show that the business can scale up.

Even if your company does not yet have experienced managers on staff, bring some evidence that you have relationships with management people that you will hire if the money is raised.

Read more coverage of SEVC by Roberts in this post at WRAL TechWire.

Editor’s note: Jim Roberts is Executive Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at University of North Carolina Wilmington. CIE is a new accelerator facility to nurture the startup ecosystem of Wilmington and coastal North Carolina. CIE will host the Coastal Entrepreneur Awards on May 22nd in Wilmington. You can follow Jim on Twitter @UNCW_Startups or visit www.uncw.edu/cie