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NEXT Venture Pitch Announces Top Carolina-based Funds to Participate in 2021 NEXT Venture Pitch

Representatives from seven Carolinas-based funds, representing 500 venture investments to date, will join Accel, Kleiner Perkins, and NEA as judges for this year’s top entrepreneurial pitch event of the Carolinas

(Greenville, SC)

The incredible Carolina-based entrepreneurial network promises to bring together top companies, investors, entrepreneurs, VCs, Angels, and innovators at this year’s NEXT Venture Pitch to connect and change the world through revolutionary business ideas.

Derek Pedersen, Chair of the Venture Pitch Selection Committee says, “We are excited to host a line-up of great Carolina venture firms. At NEXT Venture Pitch, our region’s entrepreneurs will gain exposure to both Carolina-based firms, dedicated to that more local touch that can be important to long-term success, and to nationally acclaimed firms with deeper pockets that can drive faster growth”.

The lineup of investor representatives who will serve as judges at the 2021 NEXT Venture Pitch Conference continues to grow, featuring a number of funds with roots in the Carolinas. Each individual investor will serve on the panel of judges for the pitch competition portion of the conference.

Alerion Ventures

Alerion Ventures is an evergreen venture capital firm focused on early-stage investments in scalable startups. Alerion will consider companies in a variety of industries, so long as they are capital-efficient and are targeting markets that will allow for substantial scale and return-on-investment. Primary areas of interest include business-to-business software and technology-enabled services and, more selectively, healthcare software and services and energy-efficient technologies. While the primary focus is early-stage, opportunistic investments in growth-stage businesses with nearer-term exit potential may also be considered. Based in Charleston, South Carolina, Alerion partners with entrepreneurs primarily in the Southeast.

Number of Investments: 31

Active Since: 2014

Bull City Venture Partners

Bull City Venture Partners partners with entrepreneurs with a focus on investing in software, health IT, mobile, internet, e-commerce, and digital media companies. While primarily early-stage focused, they have also been known for selectively investing in seed and growth-stage companies as well, with an interest in investing in the best entrepreneurs they can find. They are headquartered in Durham, North Carolina.

Number of Investments: 29

Active Since: 2012

Cultivation Capital

Cultivation Capital is a venture capital firm that manages a family of funds focused on early-stage investing. Most of their initial investments are during a startup’s Seed or Series A phase, and their initial checks range from $100k – $3.5M. Industries of focus include life sciences and health tech, software and IT, agriculture tech, and geospatial tech. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, Cultivation opened its first southeastern office in Greenville, South Carolina in 2020.

Number of Investments: 167

Active Since: 2012

Good Growth Capital

Good Growth Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm specializing in finding, cultivating, and assessing complex science and deep-tech start-ups. GGC invests in seed-stage and Series A deals through the General Fund family and in pre-seed and seed-stage companies through the Infinite Corridor Fund, which primarily targets MIT-affiliated and transformative science start-ups. GGC is majority women- and minority-owned and is uniquely positioned geographically in both the Southeast and New England, with headquarters in Charleston South Carolina, and Boston, Massachusetts.

Number of Investments: 65

Active Since: 2017

IDEA Fund Partners

Idea Fund Partners is one of the oldest and most active early-stage investment firms in the Southeast. With an investment philosophy honed from years of experience. They fund entrepreneurs who are applying technology and business model innovations to industries in the earliest stages of digital disruption with an emphasis on underserved people, places, and stages. headquartered in Durham, North Carolina.

Number of Investments: 58

Active Since: 2007

SC Launch, Inc.

SC Launch, Inc. SC Launch, Inc. is the investment affiliate of the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA). SC Launch, Inc.’s mission is to provide entrepreneurs with the key tools, including seed-stage investments, for successfully building and growing South Carolina-based technology startups. Qualifying companies generally have a product offering in the advanced manufacturing/materials, information technology or life science sectors, a strong value proposition, and a scalable go-to-market plan.

Number of Investments: 190

Active Since: 2006


VentureSouth is an early-stage venture firm that provides early-stage capital to high-growth companies. As one of the largest firms in the U.S., its network comprises more than 350+ investors. Started in 2008, VentureSouth has been named three times a Top 10 Angel Group in North America and has funneled more than $54 million to over 81 companies.

Number of Investments: 180

Active Since: 2008

Earlier this week, NEXT Venture Pitch announced the top national venture firms that would be attending this year’s annual event. You can read more about these firms here.



Now in its sixth iteration, the NEXT Venture Pitch Conference is a half-day venture capital conference that brings together high-growth entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, world-class speakers, and more to establish Greenville as an innovation and entrepreneurship hub in the southeast. For more information, visit


NEXT is an entrepreneurial support organization that attracts and helps high-impact, knowledge-based companies grow by developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem and connecting entrepreneurs to it. NEXT currently supports over 120 knowledge-based companies in Upstate South Carolina. For more information, visit

CONTACT: Susan Durden | 864-735-7516 |

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