Search Launches Multi-Part Series

Natalia Pérez, Marketing and Communications Intern

After a tumultuous year, we're all acutely aware of the ways the pandemic has impacted our lives — since we have lived them in real-time — although there are lingering and unanticipated impacts yet to playout. To speak on this,, powered by PYA, a Knoxville-based and national professional services company, asked angel and venture investors in East Tennessee to look back on the events of 2020 and look into their crystal ball as it relates to 2021.

This resulted in a multi-part series capturing the thoughts of David Belitz, Charlie Brock and Courtney Watson, Partners, Chattanooga Renaissance Fund (CRF); Eric Dobson, Chief Executive Officer, Sheltowee Angel Network; Tony Lettich, Managing Director, The Angel Roundtable; Kristina Montague, Managing Partner, The JumpFund; Grady Vanderhoofven, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Three Roots Capital; and Ken Woody, President and Partner, Innova Memphis

The interviews in this series highlight the work of local leaders and investors — work with great potential to help achieve some of the goals of Chattanooga Climbs, a five-year plan to boost jobs.  

Each segment of this ten-part series focuses on unpacking an impact of COVID-19 on businesses and firms. 

INVESTOR OUTLOOK PART 1: Impact of COVID-19 on angel and venture firm operations

COVID-19 upended lives, took out businesses, and called for new business plans and possibly models. Each of the aforementioned business owners and leaders speaks on how it's specifically impacted their firm and its operations – from greater use of virtual platforms to the other ways they stay abreast of their clients. 

INVESTOR OUTLOOK PART 2: Advice then and now for portfolio companies

When COVID-19 escalated in this country in late March and early April of 2020, asked the same interviewees to describe the advice they were offering to their portfolio companies. In this segment, they discuss of that advice has changed in subsequent months, and how. 

INVESTOR OUTLOOK PART 3: Health of startups in portfolios at the beginning and end of 2020

Interviewees characterize the overall health of the startups served by their funds as a group at the end of 2020 compared to the beginning of 2021. They discuss their biggest challenges and how they have been able to address them.

INVESTOR OUTLOOK PART 4: Availability of angel and venture funding nationally and in the SE and Tennessee

From an investment perspective, interviewees predict the availability of angel or venture capital for the year. 

INVESTOR OUTLOOK PART 5: Availability of follow-on capital for existing portfolio companies

From an investment perspective, interviewees predict ​availability of follow-on investment capital for their existing portfolio companies.

INVESTOR OUTLOOK PART 6: Outlook for biotech/life science sector in 2021 and beyond

Biotech/life science companies have captured significant interest in 2020 for obvious reasons. Interviewees discuss whether that sector will continue to be hot in 2021 or if they see it cooling off. 

INVESTOR OUTLOOK PART 7: Other sectors that will attract attention in 2021

Interviewees discuss the sectors they believe will attract most attention from investors in 2021. 

INVESTOR OUTLOOK PART 8: Impact of greater focus on underserved populations

Funds focused on underserved populations seem to be growing. Interviewees discuss whether this trend will continue and how it's impacted their investment strategies.  

INVESTOR OUTLOOK PART 9: Potential impact of strategies at the federal level

Interviewees discuss significant initiatives that would impact the investment community at the federal level. 

INVESTOR OUTLOOK PART 10: Final thoughts from the panel

The panel closes out with final thoughts, challenging other investors to continue to look outside of their close networks and collaborate with investors who are leaning into closing these gaps to find new, high potential companies in which to invest, pitch their ideas, build great teams and seize 2021 as an opportunity for innovation. 

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