Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 12, 2015 – Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) announced today that 2014 Tennessee venture capital investments measured by the public-private partnership totaled over $276 million, an increase of 31 percent over 2013. LaunchTN’s investment goal for the state’s early-stage companies is $1 billion by 2017.
“The rise in investment dollars makes 2014 a banner year for Tennessee and propels us forward in achieving our goal to make our state the No. 1 place in the Southeast to start and grow a company,” said Bill Hagerty, Commissioner of Tennessee’s Department of Economic and Community Development and Chairman of the Board of LaunchTN. “Governor Haslam and I applaud LaunchTN for their work in facilitating this increased flow of capital for our state.”
Since its inception in 2012, LaunchTN has played a leading role in tracking investment data and venture funding for startups in Tennessee. To date, that total equals a resounding $645 million deployed into early-stage, high-growth companies across the state.
“We are tremendously proud of the progress made across the state in strengthening Tennessee’s entrepreneurial landscape in 2014,” said Charlie Brock, CEO of LaunchTN. “We aim to build on our success and continue to be a key driver of business and innovation in Tennessee and throughout the southeast for years to come.”
A portion of the uptick in investment numbers can be attributed to programs like TNInvestco and the INCITE Co-Investment Fund. The INCITE Co-Investment Fund, managed by LaunchTN, was created with funds received through US Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative. INCITE’s $30 million fund helps attract and leverage private sector equity investments in Tennessee businesses. To date, over $24 million INCITE dollars have been invested, leveraging an additional $75 million in private capital.
“This report validates the substantial growth in Tennessee’s entrepreneurial and investment landscape,” says David Mason, Co-Founder and CEO of StudioNow. “StudioNow is pleased to be a 2014 recipient of capital from both private sources as well as the state’s INCITE program. This investment will be instrumental to us in growing our revenues and national client base.”
Last month, LaunchTN announced the creation of a new flagship event dubbed 36/86 slated for June 8-10, 2015 at the Marathon Music Works in Nashville. A regional series of pitch fests will lead up to the national event highlighting the best of southern culture and entrepreneurship.
About Launch Tennessee – Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) is a public-private partnership dedicated to supporting high-growth entrepreneurs with the goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 state in the Southeast for entrepreneurs to start and grow a company. Through nine accelerators that it oversees, LaunchTN provides training, technical support, and assistance obtaining capital for promising early-stage companies. Visit LaunchTN.org to learn more about what makes Tennessee the best place for innovative tech companies.
Tennessee’s investment activity data is available here. Please note the data changes and updates frequently.