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Record Gathering of Venture Capitalists Confirmed for NEXT Venture Summit this Fall

The premier venture conference returns to Greenville on September 22nd, drawing the largest collection of investors in the Carolinas for the 7th year running connecting companies and capital.

(Greenville, SC)June 7th, 2022

The roster of on-stage judges for NEXT Venture Summit is confirmed and represents the most diverse slate of investors in the history of the event. On September 22, these judges will convene at the Greenville ONE Center from 1:00pm to 5:00pm to participate in live Q&A sessions with the top startup founders in the Carolinas ultimately selecting one company to represent the group at the Venture Atlanta conference later this fall.

Applications are open through August 19 to present your startup on stage in front of 30 attending investors, including the following:


Accel is an early and growth-stage venture capital firm that powers a global community of entrepreneurs. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Accel backs entrepreneurs who have what it takes to build a world-class, category-defining business. The company brings more than three decades of experience in building and supporting companies. Accel’s vision for entrepreneurship and business enables it to identify and invest in the companies that will be responsible for the growth of next-generation industries. Accel-backed companies include Atlassian, Braintree, Cloudera, DJI, Dropbox, Dropcam, Etsy, Facebook, Flipkart, Lookout Security, MoPub, Qualtrics, Slack, Spotify, Supercell, Vox Media, and others.

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.

Bessemer Venture Partners

Bessemer Venture Partners is a venture capital firm that invests in enterprise, consumer, and healthcare early-to-late stage startups. Bessemer Venture Partners helps entrepreneurs lay strong foundations to build and forge long-standing companies. With more than 135 IPOs and 200 portfolio companies in the enterprise, consumer, and healthcare spaces, Bessemer supports founders and CEOs from their early days through every stage of growth. Bessemer’s global portfolio includesPinterest, Shopify, Twilio, Yelp, LinkedIn, PagerDuty, DocuSign, Wix, Fiverr, and Toast and has $19 billion of assets under management. Bessemer has teams of investors and partners located in Tel Aviv, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, New York, London, Boston, Beijing, and Bangalore.

Blue Heron Capital

Blue Heron Capital invests in small-cap growth equity companies in healthcare and tech-enabled business services. The company believes in acting as committed partners to build value for companies and returns for their investors. Their firm brings strategic capital, industry expertise and a powerful network to support companies. Blue Heron Capital is an operationally focused investment firm based in Richmond, Virginia. The company firmly believes that people make the difference in building great companies. Therefore, Blue Heron Capital only invests in companies where they have deep, relevant experience and can play an active role in the oversight of the business.

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.

Construct Capital

Construct Capital is an early stage venture capital firm that invests in extraordinary founders building technology to transform the most foundational industries of our economy — from manufacturing and supply chain to food and transportation — that drive half the US economy’s GDP yet are failing to meet customer expectations. By investing in a limited set of companies, they set aside the time and the resources to support founders and their teams. Construct leads investments at the Seed or Series A stage, and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Cox Enterprise Ventures

Cox Enterprises is carrying on the spirit of innovation they have championed for more than 120 years as a key supporter of programs designed to nurture technology startups. Through their support of programs like Techstars Atlanta, Engage Ventures, Endeavor, Startup Runway and many others, Cox is fostering Atlanta’s emergence as a global tech hub.

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 $500k – $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 their first southeastern office in Greenville, South Carolina in January 2021.

Drive by DraftKings

Drive by DraftKings is a multi-stage venture capital firm that invests in sports tech and entertainment. Founding partners include DraftKings, General Catalyst, Accomplice and Boston Seed Capital. Drive by DraftKings is unique among investment firms as a fully independent and highly strategic venture capital partner. Together with inspired founders pushing the frontier of new markets and categories, they are driving the future of sports, gaming and media.

Edison Partners

Edison Partners, headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, is a growth equity firm that focuses on technology-enabled solutions in fintech, healthcare IT, and enterprise software. Through its combination of expansion capital and the Edison Edge platform, consisting of strategic advisory, the Edison Director Network, and executive education, Edison employs a holistic approach to nurturing invention and creating value for growth-stage businesses ($10-$30 million in revenue) in financial technology, healthcare IT, enterprise IT, and marketing technology industries. Edison investment objectives also include buyouts, recapitalizations, spinouts, and secondary stock purchases.

Fulcrum Equity Partners

Fulcrum Equity Partners is an Atlanta-based growth equity firm that manages over $600 million and provides expansion capital to rapidly growing companies led by strong entrepreneurs and management teams. Fulcrum targets companies within healthcare services, healthcare IT, B2B software, and technology-enabled services. Fulcrum’s initial target investment is $5 million - $25 million to provide financing to meet a wide range of needs, including internal growth initiatives, acquisitions, divestitures, shareholder liquidity and recapitalizations. The partners have over 140 years of relevant experience in Fulcrum’s target markets, including significant operating experience in senior executive positions at companies that grew rapidly and enjoyed successful exits. Additionally, Fulcrum’s limited partners include over 100 current or former business owners/CEOs of leading companies in a wide variety of industries that provide a rich resource for the firm and portfolio companies.

Good Growth Capital

Good Growth Capital is a majority women and minority-managed early-stage venture capital firm that funds transformative start-ups in sectors including health tech, green tech and data sciences. Good Growth Capital and its funds meet both ESG and UNSDG impact goals.

Grotech Ventures

Grotech Ventures has built a reputation as one of the longest-established firms in the venture industry, for being a collaborative, long-term partner for CEOs and entrepreneurs by aligning their definition of success with that of their partners. They initially invest between $500,000 and $5 million in early stage, high growth technology companies, reserving significant capital for subsequent investments to support companies through early and growth stages. They look to partner with entrepreneurs who have fresh ideas, breakthrough innovations and unconventional approaches that will yield explosive growth. They believe that their ability to meaningfully contribute to a business’s development is just as important as the capital they invest. As such, they seek investment opportunities that offer them the chance to leverage the experience, insight and network they have built since their inception in 1984. Their approach is personal and long-term, not institutional.

Hi Mark Capital

Hi Mark Capital is a venture capital fund that invests in healthcare, software, digital transformation, and technology companies. The firm focused on black, women or indigenous-owned, and other minority businesses. Hi Mark Capital was founded by Herbert Drayton III in 2020 and is based in Charleston, South Carolina.

Home Depot Ventures

Home Depot Ventures is a venture capital fund to support early-stage companies that enhance customer experience and home improvement. The $150 million fund will consider investment opportunities in businesses at various stages of development, but will focus on early and growth-stage companies that help Home Depot customers and show potential to scale.

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.

Intel Capital

Intel Capital invests in innovative startups targeting cloud and AI infrastructure, edge, 5G, autonomy, cybersecurity, client & gaming, enterprise applications, silicon design & manufacturing, and a wide range of other disruptive technologies. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested US $12.9 billion in more than 1,582 companies worldwide.

The JumpFund

The JumpFund seeks to seed and grow strong, female-led ventures in the Southeast U.S. Headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee, they invest in women-led companies headquartered in the Southeast U.S., specifically in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Virginia.

Knoll Ventures

Knoll Ventures is an early-stage venture capital fund that invests in pre-Series A technology-enabled businesses focused on B2B markets. Founded in 2018, headquartered in the Greater Atlanta Area.

Lightship Capital

Lightship Capital is the new impact venture capital fund focused on technology-driven startups founded/led by underrepresented professionals. The fund is modeled to offer underrepresented founders an alternative to traditional firms enabling them to avoid the challenges associated with traditional funding. It was founded in 2018 and is based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Noro-Moseley Partners

Noro-Moseley Partners is a growth equity firm that has invested in more than 160 promising start-ups and early-growth-stage companies in the technology, healthcare and business services industries. The firm is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and invests primarily in companies located across the United States.


Overline is a founder/operator-led seed-stage venture capital firm that invests in exceptional founders building in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast. The firm is industry-agnostic and leads pre-seed and seed rounds with investments ranging from $250,000 to $1.5 million. Overline takes a highly engaged, platform-centered approach to supporting its founding teams, providing insights into key areas like product, technology, finance, go-to-market, and talent that help create an unfair advantage for its portfolio companies

Panoramic Ventures

Panoramic Ventures is a venture capital firm based in Atlanta that takes a “wider-view” approach to investing by targeting the south east and Midwest and placing a focus on diverse founders and university startups. Panoramic opens new doors for overlooked founders, giving more entrepreneurs access to capital to build leading tech companies.

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.

Tech Squares Ventures

Tech Squares Ventures is an Atlanta-based early-stage venture capital firm investing in enterprise, marketplace and platform, and tech enabled service companies. We are a team of founders, operators, and investors that partner with visionary entrepreneurs to help them with what they need most – access to markets and customers. Our platform is built on a strategic network of innovation ecosystem, corporate, and university relationships that help founders inform and accelerate go-to-market strategies.

Venture Atlanta

Venture Atlanta is the shared goal of bringing the premier venture capital event to the state of Georgia each year the Atlanta CEO Council, Metro Atlanta Chamber and Technology Association of Georgia joined forces in 2008 to create Venture Atlanta. Venture Atlanta evolved from the Atlanta CEO Council’s ION Venture Forum (previously called the AtlantaCEO Venture Forum). The annual non profit event is held every October as the forum for Georgia’s top technology innovators and top-tier investors.


VentureSouth is an early-stage venture firm that supports Southeastern startups with capital and expertise through its angel investment network and funds. With more than 400 active investors, VentureSouth is one of the largest angel groups in the United States and is consistently rated one of the Top 10 Angel Groups in North America.

*All investor data has been sourced from Crunchbase as of June 2022


NEXT Venture Summit is the premier venture conference in the Carolinas, drawing the largest collection of investors to Greenville to connect companies and capital. Our mission is to recognize and celebrate the top ten venture-ready startups in the Carolinas and shine a spotlight on high-growth companies in our region.

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