3rd Quarter Open Letter

Thanks for following Valor's story. Here are the quarterly highlights.

Our name, “Valor,” is a tribute to the courage of visionary investors who break from the pack to seek extraordinary value.

We know Atlanta’s vibrant culture, Fortune 1000 headquarters community, and access to first rate education, talent and research organizations position the Southeast region to be among the most thriving startup economies in the world. In fact, you can look at our exits –about one per month for the last 10 years over $50 million, to sense that heartbeat.

As Mark Twain said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight. It’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

Over time, with patience, discipline, and partners, Valor’s mission is to open a new chapter for courageous investors and entrepreneurs. Valor Ventures aspires to be a world class venture capital firm headquartered in Atlanta, a beacon to investors and entrepreneurs alike. Over 40% of the U.S. population calls the Southeast home. It follows that we have 40% of the investors and entrepreneurs here, too.

Southeast regional venture capital matters

A strong local venture capital firm builds an even richer regional economy. It rewards risk with return. It creates more high paying tech jobs in the region around the firm, as most invested capital in a venture firm gets deployed close to that firm’s headquarters.

Valor’s first fund seeks to bridge the gap between the tech entrepreneurs our region produces and our regional investor’s appetite to diversify into venture. Cambridge Associates recently put out a report that advises pension funds and endowments to up their venture allocation to at least 15%–a 15% minimum.

We are the first fund in the region to leverage a sourcing strategy in concert with the region’s nationally ranked women’s entrepreneurship and minority entrepreneurship. Georgia leads the nation in the production of women entrepreneurs and is second in the country for black entrepreneurs. Our programmatic sourcing strategy, anchored by proprietary events like Startup Runway and outlets like Female Entrepreneurs Magazine, makes sure we find the best of minority and women led entrepreneurship, and dovetails that with traditional startups through our work with more traditional venues. Once we find a good opportunity, our investment strategy is separate from our sourcing strategy. We invest solely on financial merit. We will continue to apply this discipline going forward.

Growing proprietary pipeline

This last quarter, Valor launched Startup Runway, the first pitch event series in the Southeast specifically for women and minority founders. It runs twice a year, Fall and Spring. Partners such as The Gathering Spot, a coworking space near Georgia Tech with over 500 members, and the City of Atlanta’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, were quick to see merit and join us in the endeavor.

A number of early stage professional investors are judging our first showcase event, including investors from Chicago, Raleigh, Cincinnati, Chattanooga, San Francisco and New York. Events direct costs are offset by sponsorship from Pivotal Labs, Baker Donelson, Write2Market and Pollock Commercial. As I write this, a few weeks after we announced the program, over 70 startups have applied.

  • Only the top 10% will be showcased at our private event the afternoon of November 3, Startup Runway Showcase. I would love to have you join us.

New investments

In the quarter past, we completed two initial investments, and are posting our portfolio online.

Recognition this quarter

It was an honor to be featured in Forbes this month on seeking ROI. We were invited to join the National Venture Capital Association.

Our local midtown publication 17South featured Valor in its cover article.

In addition, Valor has been invited to speak on emerging value in New York and Austin. Please join us at events–our events calendar is here.