South Carolina network of angel investors rebrands, expands reach to cover Charlotte

The South Carolina Angel Network is spreading its wings to cover more of the Southeast.

The network of over 200 investors will now be called VentureSouth and will cover the Charlotte area. VentureSouth is currently looking for active investors in Charlotte to join the network.

Charlie Banks, managing director of VentureSouth, told me the network already has a few investors in Charlotte but hopes to grow the group in the Queen City.

The angel network covers companies all over the Southeast and is actively looking for startups in Charlotte, too.

VentureSouth currently manages angel investment groups and funds across South Carolina and western North Carolina, including groups in Greenville, Columbia, Asheville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Aiken, Rock Hill, Myrtle Beach and Charleston. The groups have collectively invested over $17 million in 50 early-stage companies since Upstate Carolina Angel Network started in Greenville, S.C., in 2008.

The goal of the expansion is to develop a more robust market for early-stage capital in the Southeast, where there hasn’t been much capital for startups.

Charlottean and serial entrepreneur Mac Lackey has joined the network as a managing director.

“I have been an entrepreneur based in the Southeast for over 20 years. I know the challenges as well as the opportunities, and I am incredibly excited to leverage what I have learned about building and selling companies with this group of investors and their entrepreneurs,” Lackey said in a statement. “VentureSouth will make a significant impact here in the Southeast.”

VentureSouth is different from angel groups like the Charlotte Angel Fund, which pulls from a committed capital fund.

"We are network model," Banks says. "Investors don’t invest until they see something they like."

Banks feels confident Charlotte could be the largest group within the investor network.

"There is a great contingent of wealth — a contingent that is sophisticated and understands what it means to have good quality deal flow," Banks says.

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