While we were grinding through the winter months, our VentureSouth investors and staff enjoyed a delightful early taste of spring last month at our annual VentureSouth Summit. For the first time since we started the event in 2016, we ventured out from Greenville and hosted the event at the Francis Marion hotel in beautiful Charleston SC.
The Summit was a hit! We enjoyed the company of 150 angel investors, 25 portfolio company CEOs, 20 sponsors and supporters, and 12 of the VentureSouth team (and two babies!) for the 2023 Summit.
We were delighted that so many of our investors converged from across our network – from groups as far away as Chattanooga and Richmond. Several individuals traveled over 500 miles, from as far afield as Connecticut, Ohio, and western Florida – so we particularly appreciate their dedication! Many others braved the perils of I-26 to get to Charleston from Asheville, Greenville, and Columbia, and I-77 or I-95 from Charlotte, Greensboro and the Triangle. And over 25 Charlestonians provided local knowledge and southern hospitality to welcome these interlopers to town!
We gathered to “do angel investing.” We heard companies solicit investment; we debated diligence reports and the merits and concerns of open rounds of investment; we celebrated the “state of VentureSouth” as the group surpassed $12M of investment in 34 companies in 2022; we quizzed and assisted our portfolio companies, celebrating their progress and trying to mitigate their challenges; and we came to network and socialize across the largest group of angel investors in the region.
Organizing something like this is a ton of work (so thanks from me to the whole VentureSouth team on a job very well done). Why do we do it? Primarily because being part of a “virtual community” of nearly 500 angel investors is one thing on paper – but quite another to see in person. We hear from our members every time we run a Summit that you only really appreciate the power of a collective angel group from being together in person.
Looking forward to February 2024 for the next one!