Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

November 05, 2013 | Tom Ballard

Angel Roundtable growing in Northeast Tennessee, surrounding region

Angel Roundtable(EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is the second in a series of stories that will describe initiatives to bring more angel investors and their dollars to the region.)

By Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.

Angel funding is alive, well and growing in Northeast Tennessee and its surrounding region.

That’s the assessment we got recently from Tony Lettich, Chair and Managing Director of The Angel Roundtable which bills itself as serving the Mountain South Region of Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina.

“We have 16 members in the group,” Lettich said, adding that he is “extremely pleased” with the growth thus far in a little more than a year since the group was founded. Nevertheless, he says, “We would like to substantially increase our membership.”

The Angel Network is an invitation only group comprised solely of accredited investors. Those interested in applying for membership should contact The Angel Network by clicking here.

About 120 companies have submitted deals thus far, with approximately a dozen and a half of those proceeding to the Screening Committee.

“We’re seeing a tremendous number of companies in cloud IT, med devices and clean energy,” Lettich says, adding that seven or eight of those applications have been presented to the general membership, and one deal was just announced a few weeks ago – an investment in flexReceipts.

“We’re starting to see local companies in the mix,” he said proudly, reflecting a goal of the founders

In addition to its Founders’ Committee, The Angel Network also includes several out-of-town members on a separate Advisory Board. They include Sid Chambless, Executive Director of the Nashville Capital Network; Jason Denenberg, Director of Entrepreneurship for Launch Tennessee; and Paul Nolde, Corporate Program Manager for Virginia Community Capital.

As Lettich and the other members work to grow the organization’s membership, they are also focused on a consistent level of deal flow to keep the angels interested.

Besides leading The Angel Network, Lettich also has a “day job” as Managing Director of Excalibur Investment, LLC.