Deal Making with Investors and Entrepreneurs was a
Huge Success at SPEC 2008!!!


The Next Southeast Private Equity Conference will take place on April 14-15th, 2009. Last year SPEC presented "one-of-a-kind" private investment opportunities and was an ideal setting for new business development, exchange of ideas, creation of deal flow, location of capital sources and ultra high-end networking.  Business visionaries, angel investors, venture capitalists, investment professionals, money managers, early and emerging growth companies came together with the exhibition area, company presentations, featured speakers and top industry expert educational break-out sessions. SPEC showcased forty-four exhibitors and twenty-two of the most promising emerging growth companies.  What attendees say about SPEC?   SPEC Recommends NBAI Private Equity Investor Forum.



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SPEC Recommends

The NBAI Private Equity Forum

Next Events for 2009:  Feb 11th, May 13th, Jun 10th, Aug 12th, Sep 9th, Oct 14th, Nov 11th, Dec 9th

All pre-registered attendees will receive "sneak peak" at the investor profiles so you may review in advance. We intend to showcase up to 6 companies that are early stage or emerging growth companies. We work with a variety of industries: technology, software, bio-med, services, and consumer goods.

Who should attend?
Accredited Investors, Sophisticated Investors, Equity Acquirers, Investor Representatives, Wealth Managers, Fund Managers, Institutional Funds Representatives, Venture Capital Firms, Community Development Funds.

Who should apply to present?
Early Stage and Established Growth Companies seeking capital to expand operations and sales and marketing. Companies must have good management, validated business models and complete investor-ready.



What Sponsors, Investors, Presenters and Attendees Said About SPEC
A. Johnson Alex Cruz Mary M. Dan Rosen

 Cary Shiferess

Charlie Wilkinson Chas Scarantino Lucy Holifield
Richard Odessey Tom Meredith Phillip Codrinton Tom Wolf
Dan Rosen Bob Henderson Joe Summerville Archie Bertrand
George Ishee Kevin Kyley Matt Donnelly Mary M.



SPEC Articles

What's Your Secret Sauce?

Associate Publisher / Editor  Drew Ermenc
April 29, 2008

On Monday, I sat in on the pitching workshop at the Southeastern Private Equity Conference currently held at 103 West in Buckhead. The seminar was specifically for entrepreneurs and small business owners from around the region looking to sell their idea to private equity, venture capital and angel bigwigs. The host was Karyn Rands, local angel investing expert, and she gave some great points on the ways to summarize a business model, vision and goals in 10 minutes or less.

Here are some tips I gathered from Karen and Co. on how to maximize your 10-minute pitch time to those with the deep pockets.

Anatomy of a 10-Minute Pitch

  • Introduction
  • What's the problem?
  • What's your solution? > What's the traction?
  • Distinguish market size.
  • Define your customers.
  • Now focus on your business
  • What's your business model?
  • Define sales cycle.
  • Who is your competition?
  • Who are your partners?
  • Who is your management?
  • Who is your advisory board?
  • Define financials (forecast five years out, define market risk and explain top line and bottom line)
  • What's the offer?

SEPrivateEquity.jpg What are the typical mistakes of a formal pitch?

  • This is not a product sales pitch.
  • Figure out your secret sauce and give them the sizzle.
  • Use 36 point text or higher on PowerPoint presentations.
  • Leave out what is in it for them.
  • Must be better than the other options.
  • Don't be too tense; just tell your story. 

Interesting stuff here, and the entrepreneurs here are wide ranging in age, industry and market. I'm looking forward to hearing the actual pitches later today...


Three Times A Charm

Associate Publisher / Editor Drew Ermenc
May 19, 2008

In the past month, I've been able to attend three different local events for the emerging entrepreneur and Atlanta startup. All showcasing a variety of ideas, business models and pitches in vastly different industries, these events represent three vastly different ways to get your idea noticed - and potentially funded.

At the end of April, I blogged about the Southeastern Private Equity Conference, and witnessed nine-minute presentations, often by serial entrepreneurs looking to make connections.  And last Thursday, Georgia Tech's ATDC celebrated the graduation of six companies of its companies, showcasing its history and promoting the future of this startup machine. This great event saw more than 700 people by some estimations. (Click here to learn more about Tech's ATDC and Venture Lab from a recent Catalyst feature.)

And yesterday was no different. At Startup Riot, 55 companies - many of them located here in Atlanta - regurgitated three-minute pitches to a sizable crowd of venture capitalists, angel investors, fellow entrepreneurs and curious onlookers. I met folks from both coasts including New York and San Francisco who flew in just to see what Atlanta's future looks like in the startup space. 

Catalyst was fortunate enough to be a sponsor of Startup Riot, and I thank Sanjay Parekh, local serial entrepreneur and organizer of the event, for spending countless hours getting this together (and his humorous vents on Twitter). Yesterday really showed to me and many others that Atlanta is a hotbed of ideas, talent and entrepreneurial opportunity.

As one well-respected veteran of local startups said last night, Atlanta may have been the worst hit city in the country during the dot-com bust more so than the valley and it's taken up until this last year to gain back the momentum lost.

The question now remains: Can these ideas get funded? I know a couple of guys who are trying to make that happen. If you're on the invite list, I strongly suggest you make it to Capital Lounge on Wednesday night, put on by StartupLounge and super nice guys Michael Blake and Scott Burkett. If you're an entrepreneur in Atlanta, these are the guys that can help you grease your wheels. If you don't know them, you need to.

I know I sound like a broken record at times, but I really do love this stuff, and I can't wait for Catalyst to dig a little deeper into some of these business pitches I heard yesterday. Stay tuned...


What Attendees Wrote About SPEC

Congratulations again on a brilliant conference. -- Stephen Patrick

Congratulations on a superb job on SPEC -- great organization, many interesting companies and an attendance that far exceeded my expectations. -- Michael Horten

An  excellent conference! -- Mike B. Orr

Good open Bootstrapping Break-out Session.  -- Chuck Carey

Informative Business Plan Break-out Session.  -- Matt Donnelly

Good selection of panelists in the Valuation Tips & Techniques Break-out Session. -- Ron Reardon

Enjoyed the talk in the Valuation Tips & Techniques Break-out Session. --Jorge Almirall

Good Valuation Tips & Techniques Break-out Session. -- Anonymous

Excellent panelist and insights on the Valuation Tips & Techniques Break-out Session. -- Susan Nicholas, MD

Great knowledge; Great resources for the Business Plan Break-out Session. -- Charles Wilkerson

Superb information in the Business Plan Break-out Session. -- Ron Reardon

Great information that can be shared from the Bootstrapping Break-out Session.  -- Randy Padilla




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