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October 20, 2016 | Tom Ballard

ACA bringing its “2016 Angel Insights Exchange” to Tennessee


By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

The Angel Capital Association (ACA), an organization with more than 13,000 accredited investors, is bringing its “2016 Angel Insights Exchange” conference to Nashville next month.

The day and one-half event, which is expected to attract as many as 300 angels, is set for November 8 and 9 at the Nashville Public Library Conference Center, 615 Church Street.

“This is a huge honor for Tennessee and recognition of how far our state has come in recent years,” Eric Dobson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Knoxville-based Angel Capital Group, says. “I started lobbying two years ago for the Exchange to be held in Tennessee.”

No good deed goes unpunished, as the old saying goes, so he agreed to serve as Chair of the event when ACA accepted his proposal.

“We’re really focusing a lot on Tennessee and the Southeast,” Dobson says. “We already have leaders of 180 angel funds coming. I would encourage anyone interested in becoming an angel or already actively involved to consider attending.”

With the exception of a few general sessions, the agenda is divided into two tracks – one, titled “Investing Best Practices,” that is focused on the basics of angel investing, while the other is for more experienced investors. It is titled “Experienced Angels/Managing Angel Groups.”

The first session begins at 9:30 .m. November 8 with a fireside chat featuring Charlie Brock, President and CEO of Launch Tennessee, and Alan Bentley, Assistant Vice Chancellor at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization. The title of their session is “The Nashville Start-up and Innovation Scene (and New Ideas for Angel-University Relationships).”

Other Tennessee speakers include Dobson; Sid Chambless, Executive Director and Managing Partner at the Nashville Capital Network; and Kristina Montague, Managing Partner of The JumpFund in Chattanooga.

The concluding presentation on November 9 will be delivered by Chris Booker, Partner in Frist Cressey Ventures LLC in Nashville.

A full agenda can be found here.

Dobson says the implications for the state and for start-ups having the Exchange occur here are significant.

“It will really raise our visibility,” he says, while also noting that it will further connect angel funds, groups and individuals in networks that can help address the region’s need for more early stage capital to help grow companies locally.

To register, click here.

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