New report shows increasing access to startup capital in America’s southeast region
TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 16, 2021 — Embarc Collective, the startup hub which helps founders in Florida build bold, thriving, scalable companies and Build In SE, a community on a mission to support founders choosing to build their companies in the Southeast, today announced the findings from their third annual Southeast Capital Landscape Report.
The report, which was created to help startup founders more easily find local capital resources and funding opportunities across the Southeast (a region defined as Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, & West Virginia) shows an increasing rate of new venture capital firm creation over the past three years.
In 2021, the report identified 280 firms in the region that are actively investing in pre-seed to private equity—demonstrating a growth of 40 new firms since 2020’s report and 80 added firms since the inaugural report in 2019.
The report attributes the region’s increasing access to capital to a number of factors, including:
- Tech Migration to the Southeast: With remote work normalizing virtual meetings between investors and startup CEOs, dollars allocated to Southeast-based startups grew. This led to an influx of newly relocated firms and new funds raised to capture local deal flow. Some examples include Founders Fund, Harlem Capital, and General Catalyst, which all opened Southeast offices in the past year.
- Densities of Startups in New Industries: Numerous startups focused on fintech, digital health, and enterprise SaaS are creating a density of talent that attracts investors. For example, since the beginning of 2021, life sciences companies in North Carolina have experienced over $3B in investment and created nearly 3,000 new jobs.
- Focusing Capital on Underrepresented Founders: 2021 brought a shift in the VC landscape, with an increase in the allocation of funding for underrepresented founders. This shift is most dramatically seen in Atlanta, where 41% of the 36 early-stage VC firms identify as having a diversity focus across investments, a diverse fund management team, or both.
- An Increase in Women Investors: The state with the highest number of active women investors is Georgia with 25, followed by Tennessee and Florida tied for second place with 19 institutional investors. Over half (53 of 90, or 58%) of women investors in the Southeast hold top leadership titles of Founding and/or General Partner, Managing Partner/Director, or Partner.
“Through the Southeast Capital Landscape report, we’re not only documenting this incredibly encouraging rise in startup funding availability in the Southeast, but I believe this project contributes to it as well,” said Allie Felix, VP Platform of Embarc Collective. “Over the years, we’ve heard many anecdotes from founders crafting their investor prospecting list and investors finding deal flow from this resource, and I hope it continues to be a powerful tool for those groups.”
“Within our respective startup communities, one of the most common questions we hear is, ‘Who are the active investors in the Southeast I should connect with?’” said Monique Villa, co-founder of Build In SE. “Our primary goal is to not only answer these questions for founders but to save them precious time in identifying right-sized local capital so they can focus on company building. The potential for growth in the Southeast is exponential, as we are witnessing with MailChimp, Calendly, SmileDirectClub, and a growing list of other marquee companies building and scaling here, turning the heads of investors who will find themselves drawn to the Southeast in the years to come.”
To learn more about the Southeast Capital Landscape, visit https://bit.ly/SECapitalLandscape
About Embarc Collective
Embarc Collective is a nonprofit startup hub helping founders in the Tampa Bay region build bold, scalable, thriving companies. Embarc Collective offers hands-on support driven by the unique goals and needs of each member startup at its 32,000 square-foot office in downtown Tampa. Member companies receive customized, ongoing coaching and support from startup veterans to help propel member companies’ growth. Embarc Collective works with a growing roster of over 100 early-stage startups and is the fastest-growing startup hub in Florida.
About Build In SE
Build In SE’s mission is to increase the number of startup success stories in the Southeast by leveraging a cross-regional, collaborative network. Build In SE is building regional intelligence through its team of local Ecosystem Curators, Alliance partners, and investor communities, all in support of founders as they launch and scale their startups. Build In SE is a certified Benefit Corporation headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.