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    7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 20, 2008 2:15 PM by DomainDiva

    Start up investment problem Atlanta and Southeast.

    golfheaven Adventurer

      The problem: The Atlanta area, and much of the Southeast in general, suffer from lack of capital investment into start-up stage companies, despite booming population and economic growth, the long-established presence of some of the world's most important companies, and being home to outstanding centers of academic excellence. Because of certain systemic defects in the Atlanta early start-up market, many entrepreneurs have become discouraged about the opportunity to start their businesses in Georgia. This problem plagues much of the southeastern United States.

       

      The causes: Atlanta, relative to markets like Boston and San Francisco, is a relatively young capital market. Consequently, there is not the broad, established base of investors that exists in these other markets. Further, entrepreneurs are generally not as sophisticated in their approach to raising capital in the Southeast as they are in more developed capital markets. Symptoms of the dysfunctional market in Atlanta include the following:

      • Most entrepreneurs in the region are untrained in how to identify and approach investors, how to credibly present their opportunities to investors, and how to make their companies attractive from an investment perspective.
      • Much of the investment community in Atlanta is disengaged from entrepreneurs. They do not make themselves available to coach and teach entrepreneurs how to make their opportunities more financially attractive.
      • Most "professional networking" meetings are attended neither by investors nor by executives of emerging high-growth companies. The mass of service providers and salesmen have scared them off.
      • The few consultants who are competent to advise companies are prohibitively expensive.
      • Most "professional networking" meetings are located in the parts of Atlanta to which are the least convenient for most investors to travel.
      • Almost none of the investment community in Atlanta is willing to tolerate the risk associated with what used to be called true capital opportunities.
      • Unscrupulous members of the business community attempt to monetize their rolodexes by promising introductions to potential "investors" in exchange for buying their professional services or for paying thousands of dollars to deliver presentations ("pay-to-pitch") to rooms of strangers. Others act as amateur brokers, seeking finder's fees for early-stage investments that result from their introductions. All of these forces create friction in the start-up market that prevents capital from locating investment opportunities.
      • Successful entrepreneurs who achieve a successful high-value exit for their companies frequently withdraw from the entrepreneurial community, often because they realize that they lack the skill and experience to invest in other, Start-up companies to give someone else the chance that someone years ago gave them.
      • The myths: Many entrepreneurs believe that there is no early capital available in Atlanta, and investors think there is a scarcity of quality investment opportunities. Neither is true, but the environment is dysfunctional and there are systematic characteristics of the environment that actively prevent capital and quality opportunities from finding one another.

       

      The solution: Entrepreneurial community and investors (current and potential), with

       

      Opportunities and capital to find each other in local markets.

       

      What are your thoughts on this post.
        • Re: Start up investment problem Atlanta and Southeast.
          DomainDiva Ranger
          Believe it or not, it's just as bad in Dallas/Ft. Worth. The problem is that there is no general pool of technology know how in these areas...thus the money flows elsewhere.

          My technology people are in California to illustrate my point.
            • Re: Start up investment problem Atlanta and Southeast.
              golfheaven Adventurer
              Hi; DD I would assume so their are markets with good and bad investors. I just know my market well and it seems to me that any help out of local market is better then help out of out of state markets when it is with good intentions to network in person.
                • Re: Start up investment problem Atlanta and Southeast.
                  DomainDiva Ranger
                  I have made a few of the local 'venture capital breakfasts'. Here it is nothing more than a chance to network amongst the investors. Some of the presentations I saw were just awful. I was the only one waving aircraft records technology and unfortuantely because I am not a male 20 something college drop out from Cambridge or New Haven, people just mostly smiled and turned away..... thats OK as well.

                  I was told that locals want to see a 'viable product'. Which you actually have. Have you hit the road yet and started cold calling?

                  I love your idea I have seen your website. I am wondering if there would not be a use for your product in sporting goods stores that sell golf equipment? Or even a specialty golf store so that people could come in and 'try out' that 9 iron before they bought it.
                    • Re: Start up investment problem Atlanta and Southeast.
                      Iwrite Pioneer
                      What about in high schools and colleges without courses or access to courses? Students could learn the game and practice on it. It seems to me that the pro leagues might be keen on this as a way to bring the game to a larger crowd. What if you created something similar to the NBA All-star and Super Bowl experiences, a place during the major tournaments where fans can go and test their skills?

                      DomainDiva is right, this could be huge. I also think she has hit on something about investors, make them come to you. Make sure your first opening is so great that people beg you to invest, create hype - invite local sportscasters and sportswriters to try it before anyone else, get as much press as possible. You'll be surprised how big an impact that will have on things. Also, think about branding and marketing, contact the golf equipment makers and offer them an opportunity to place their product with you idea. Sort of like product placement in the movies and television is doing now.

                      You really do have a great idea.
                        • Re: Start up investment problem Atlanta and Southeast.
                          golfheaven Adventurer
                          Thank you for your response.

                          I will paste my 1 line here, your opinion will be appreciated

                          Golf Heaven LLC is a start up opportunity with an initial service offering for providing a development programming model for the greater Atlanta market. Management envisions branding this model in the first location by emphasis on supporting personal growth of all members.

                          Yes I have already defined local school's who would benifit from launch and have included in plan i am working on.

                          In regards to "created something similar to the NBA All-star and Super Bowl experiences, a place during the major tournaments where fans can go and test their skills?"

                          I have program in place to do just that Monthly tournaments leading to yearly championship with great prizes and free membership for winner
                        • Re: Start up investment problem Atlanta and Southeast.
                          golfheaven Adventurer
                          DD: In Atlanta it is pay to play to meet investors. I believe that many who attend are not true investors but plants to lead you to higher cost association to find what you want. I see quite a few start up;s who will spend and spend and never catch the carrot at end of pole.

                          I am trying to hit the road locally to cold call and finding everyone likes idea but no intrest in project so to say. I have found two 2 local professional's who are assisting me in developing plan at no cost so far. Which i do appreciate.

                          In regards to golf stores I have approached a couple of underpants who said it would be nice for them to sell more equipment but seem to lack vision of concept even thou i try and try to explain model they seem to go by the old adage if it is not broke don't need to fix it