Chip Shots by Chip Griffin

Looking for Seed Funding or Angel Investors Outside of Silicon Valley?

Scott Burkett has a great write-up with ideas for entrepreneurs seeking early stage funding.  He writes with a geographic focus on Atlanta, but much of what he writes applies regardless of where one is located.

Raising money is rarely easy. It is even harder in Atlanta. The good news is that software/IT is a sector in which Atlanta is very strong. There are a lot of people in this city that get information technology.

Whenever the “panels” and “luminaries” are asked this question, they usually throw out the two stock answers: the 3F’s and Sig Mosley. The 3F’s being friends, family, and fools, and Sig Mosley being the unwitting godfather of early-stage technology investing in Atlanta.

If you take out Atlanta and Sig Mosley, Scott could be talking about New England as well (or many other non-Silicon Valley parts of the country for that matter).  As the managing director of a small angel group (AOS Ventures)

Last year I interviewed Matt Rightmire of Borealis Ventures (formerly of Yahoo!) and he discussed VC life outside of Silicon Valley.  He had a lot of good insight for anyone looking for funding and not located in California.

On a related note, Will Price shares some thoughts on the question “Does Geography Matter?”  There’s also an Atlanta nexus in his analysis:

The most important insight for me is that the modern economy competes on innovation and that operating within a cluster shortens the cycle time to identifying, resourcing, and realizing areas of need and opportunity.

The genesis for this post was a conversation I had with two founders, currently based in Atlanta, about the merits of moving to the Bay Area to start their company. Michael Porter’s thoughtful analysis helps me better understand why the Bay Area “cost premium” is well worth it. Market cap is a function of innovation and growth, and innovation is a function of access to ideas, talent, and supporting resources that eliminate frictions and catalyze connections and progress.

Personally, I waver a bit on the geography question.  Maybe I’ll do a more thoughtful post on this soon, but my quick take is that while Silicon Valley offers clear benefits to Internet entrepreneurs, it also makes it harder for companies to differentiate themselves.  Does one outweigh the other?  As always, it depends!

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