Pete Meets… Matt Dunbar, Managing Director of VentureSouth

Matt Dunbar was not someone who necessarily planned on getting involved in startup investing, never mind becoming the Co-Founder and Managing Director of VentureSouth, a Greenville, S.C.-based collection of 11 angel groups and two angel funds focusing on the Southeast, including the Triangle. It was a role he says he stumbled into after experience in consulting and engineering, along with a desire to get back to his home state of South Carolina.

With an interest in entrepreneurship, Dunbar joined the ranks of the Upstate Carolina Angel Network founding team in March of 2008. More than a decade later, he joins the list of esteemed Pete Meets… guests and delves into life as an angel investor and what investors look for in an entrepreneur and company.

A note to founders of early-stage startups in the Triangle: VentureSouth has done a bunch of deal here, so you’ll want to pay extra-close attention.

Thanks as always to our season sponsor, TriNet!

Three highlights
  • Why was starting the Upstate Carolina Angel Network in 2008—heading right into the teeth of the Great Recession—helpful? As Dunbar discusses: Timing is everything. [10:20]
  • There is a sweet spot for companies that VentureSouth invests in, and it has to do with proven product-market fit. [28:12]
  • Speed ahead to Dunbar’s thoughts on the Triangle tech ecosystem: “I think the Triangle is certainly one of, if not the, top source of—at least volume-wise—deals that we see.” [31:07]

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About Suzanne Blake 94 Articles
Suzanne profiles startups and innovation for GrepBeat. She is also a junior studying journalism and political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Reach Suzanne at suzanne@grepbeat.com.