Teknovation.biz’s “Investor Outlook” series interviews local investors, highlights value of Tennessee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem

A recent multi-part “Investor Outlook” series from Teknovation.biz featured panel interviews with local investors, where they assess the “then” and “now” of a variety of topics, including the overall quality of startups and the availability of early stage capital.

According to Tom Ballard, PYA’s Chief Alliance Officer and Editor of Teknovation.biz, “We’ve just entered a new decade with arguably some of the most sustained economic growth and lowest unemployment rates in our nation’s history. An important part of that growth has come from new startups, and the state of Tennessee has clearly been part of that entrepreneurial wave over the last 10 years.”

Panelists include: Eric Dobson, Chief Executive Officer of Angel Capital Group; Tony Lettich, Managing Director of The Angel Roundtable; Charlie Brock, Partner of Chattanooga Renaissance Fund; Brandon Bruce, Entrepreneur-in-Residence with Greater Sum Ventures; Ken Woody, President and Partner of Innova Memphis; Kristina Montague, Managing Partner of The JumpFund; John Morris and Geoff Robson, Fund Managers at The Lighthouse Fund; John Bruck, Knoxville-based Member, and Scott Jacobs, Executive Director, of Queen City Angels (QCA); and Grady Vanderhoofven, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Three Roots Capital. 

Read each part in the series here:

As the Innov865 Alliance develops, supports, and promotes the Knoxville region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, we champion Knoxville as a great place for entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses and increase access to capital. The work of investors featured in this series reaffirms this mission.

The JumpFund Women Investing in Women

Free event by invitation-only to those interested in investing in women-led ventures, REGISTRATION REQUIRED.

To request an invitation and registration code, please email Melissa Aldridge at maldridge@thejumpfund.com

Join us to hear about the success of the JumpFund, a start-up investment fund comprised of women investing in women-led growth ventures across the Southeast.

The JumpFund’s mission is to invest women’s capital in female-led companies with growth potential in order to generate a strong financial return and elevate the role of women in business.

The JumpFund hosting invitation only event on angel investing during “Innov865 Week”

(Note: This article was originally published on Teknovation.biz)

One of the topics you always hear whenever start-up entrepreneurs gather is the matter of available investment capital, and that’s certainly the case in Knoxville. While it’s not the only area where more “players” are needed, it is certainly an important one, and early stage funding is particularly critical for new ventures.

With an eye toward getting more people off the sidelines and in the game, The JumpFund, a Chattanooga-based angel fund that invests in female-led ventures throughout the Southeast, will be hosting an “invitation only” discussion on September 21 as part of “Innov865 Week.”

It’s the second year in a row that The JumpFund has held an event ahead of Knoxville’s “Start-up Day” which occurs that afternoon.

“It’s not just about our funds,” Melissa Aldridge, Managing Director, told us. “It is a little bit of Angel 101. We will provide some basic overview education on angel investing and venture funds and information about the success of the JumpFund.”

Read the full article here.

Rise & Grind highlights the importance, financial advantages of leadership diversity in the workforce

Coffee, donuts, and an engaging conversation held at UTRF’s Business Incubator showcased the need for increased flexibility and diversity in the workforce.

On Wednesday’s Rise & Grind event the audience became acquainted with Kim Seals, General Partner of MomSource Network investor The JumpFund and Courtney Jones Startup Day alum & Founder of the MomSource Network.

MomSource Network is a startup focused on seeing women achieve their ideal work/life blend. The company has two separate parts to its business. Part one is a tech platform focused on development and training for women as they navigate their journey in and out of the workforce. MomSource Network also provides a gateway of progressive employers who are willing to use their skill set in a flexible full-time, permanent, or part-time remote capacity.

The other half of the company is providing consulting services to those progressive employers who are mindful about attracting and retaining great female talent.

The JumpFund’s mission is to invest women’s capital in female-led southeastern companies with growth potential in order to generate a strong financial return and elevate the role of women in business.

The JumpFund invested in MomSource Network about two years ago, and Kim Seals along with her sister Pam made a sidecar investment as well.

“There’s a lot of data that supports that there is a need for women to invest in women, and it can produce a good ROI,” said Seals.

During the Rise & Grind event Seals recited striking statistics that highlight the positive financial outcomes from employing a woman within a company’s leadership.

According to a recent MacKenzie survey, companies with at least one female founder are performing 63% better than investments with all male-led companies.

“We want to see diversity in that leadership, and one of the key reasons is that most purchasing decisions made in the household are made by females,” said Seals.

Seals brought up that 80% of all purchasing decisions in the household are made by women. If a company doesn’t have a female in its leadership team helping make product and strategy decisions, that business is missing a key voice of their customer.

“We’re seeing companies with women in the top leadership positions producing 47% higher returns on equity and 55% higher returns on EBIT,” said Seals.

On top of that, Courtney Jones echoed the importance of flexible employment.

“85% of people say they would be more loyal to their current employer if they were offered increased flexibility,” said Jones.

Jones mentioned that in society, women are often pushed into choosing whether to become a full-time working mother or a full-time stay at home mom.

“At the end of the day, it’s really about organizations being progressive enough to say, ‘We’re willing to offer some agile workplace arrangements if we can still get the results that we need for our business,'” said Jones.

Seals reinforced that need for flexibility after describing her background in human resources with Mercer and it’s importance at the time.

“There was a real financial ROI for our companies that we were working with at Mercer about how to keep women in the workforce,” said Seals.

Seals said Mercer quickly discovered that they needed to keep women engaged, figure out how to create that work/life blend for them because it was something their clients were asking for. Ultimately, that’s what led to her interest in MomSource Network.

Rise & Grind was hosted by UTRF, Three Roots Capital, and Best Behavior Creative Club

Rise and Grind, Hosted by Three Roots Capital

Free coffee and donuts! Yum!

If that’s not enough reason to attend, there will be an interview and Q/A session with Courtney Jones, founder of MomSource Network, and Kim Seals, a board member of MomSource Network and general partner of MomSource Network investor The JumpFund. They will be discussing entrepreneurship, raising capital, investor/operator relationships, and… doing those things as women.

RSVP for Rise & Grind Here.

Founded in August 2013, MomSource Network is an online community that provides continuing education, virtual networking and a gateway to progressive employers offering flexible work options. The JumpFund provides necessary capital for women entrepreneurs to ignite growth ventures throughout the Southeast.

Sponsors for Rise & Grind include: