In January of 2010, there will be six new venture capital funds (TNInvestco’s) across the state of Tennessee with a total of $120 million to invest in seed stage companies. These TNInvestco’s will have a requirement to deploy up to half their capital within the first two years. What that means for entrepreneurs is there will be a bit of frenzy over the next several months as both the investors and entrepreneurs work to find each other.
ThrottleUp 2009 is a pitch competition that is part of Technology 2020’s annual fall conference, this year called Innovation Imperative. The competition is aimed at startup companies in the East Tennessee Development District that have:
1. An innovative business model or technology
2. The ability to sustain annual growth of 20% or more
3. The need for other people’s money to fuel the growth
ThrottleUp 2009 is an opportunity for seed stage ventures to begin getting experience preparing for a venture pitch, with the goal of putting them in the best position to raise capital from any investor. Applications are now being accepted from which six local companies will be chosen to present an eight minute pitch in a venture forum setting. Following the pitches, the companies will have the opportunity to receive feedback from six pairs of judges on their business idea and their presentation. The winner of the competition will have the opportunity to present at a state-wide showcase for the TNInvestco’s in January 2010. There is no cost to apply or present at ThrottleUp 2009.
The Throttle Up 2009 website has information on the competition format, judging criteria, application and there is also an educational video on making a funding pitch.
The website is: www.throttleup2009.squarespace.com