Friday Nooner: SVB’s No Good, Very Bad Week; Guest Vasant Kamath

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

If you missed Joe and Pete’s attire on this week’s Friday Nooner, fear not—we can confirm that neither of the green-clad duo are getting pinched. The Jackie-less pair debated their respective Irish heritages, with Pete confirming that all four of his grandparents were born in the Emerald Isle and Joe touting his 2/3 Irish heritage according to a DNA test. The pair was joined about halfway through the show by their guest—Vasant Kamath, a Partner at Tech Square Ventures. Keep reading for more info on the Atlanta-based early-stage VC firm.

Joe did not have the luck of the Irish yesterday when he got into a fender-bender in this writer’s hometown, Cary (I do not endorse his Cary slander). Luckily, though, Joe was still able to make it to Bull McCabe’s last night for some homemade (by Pete) Irish sodabread and a pint courtesy of GrepBeat Happy Hour sponsor Hutchison Law.

If you couldn’t make it to this month’s festive Happy Hour, fear not. GrepBeat will host another Happy Hour on Tuesday, April 18, back at Bull McCabe’s to kick off Raleigh-Durham Startup Week (April 18-20). Stay tuned for more details later this month!

  • Silicon Valley Bank brings “March Madness” to venture banking
    • It’s been exactly one week since runs on venture banking firms Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank led to them being taken over by the FDIC. Venture banking firms mostly serve investment firms and related startups, meaning that many companies and funds had to write letters to their investors last weekend explaining what was going on with their money before the government said on Sunday that they would guarantee all deposits. For Joe’s part, he discloses that Colopy Ventures has an account with Signature, but the bank’s collapse did not have a material affect on CV’s finances other than a transaction that was delayed over the weekend. “Everyone is re-evaluating their banking relationships,” Joe said. Overall, Joe muses, the bank’s collapse will have a positive affect on how the startup community views its finances.
  • Introducing Tech Square Ventures’ Engage Fund
    • An early-stage venture firm in Atlanta founded in 2015, Tech Square Ventures invests in B2B companies across multiple sectors primarily at the seed stage, Kamath said. In addition to its primary fund (Tech Square Ventures Fund II), the firm also manages Engage, a program that helps startups connect with the largest corporations in Atlanta as well as Georgia Tech. The Engage program has a fund associated with it that writes checks of around $250K that helps approximately eight startups per cohort. More than the money, though, the Engage program matches the startups to the 13 Fortune 500 companies that are LPs in the fund as customers. The program targets startups that have a shot of signing contracts with multiple companies, with over 130 contracts since the program was founded.
  • Vasant’s Triangle connections
    • Vasant may live in the Peach City, but the Georgia native has some Triangle connections. He grew up in Augusta alongside Archive Social founder (and For Starters host) Anil Chawla, who we’ve heard has a mean tennis serve. Vasant also shared his (very positive) feelings on Cofounders Capital‘s Tim McLoughlin, another Triangle-based founder-turned-investor.  Plus Tim, Joe and Vasant all went to a small school outside of Boston… you probably haven’t heard of it, though. Rhymes with “Shmarvard.”

You can watch the full episode on LinkedIn here or Facebook here.

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About Suzannah Claire Perry 74 Articles
Suzannah "Claire" Perry is a senior Journalism and Peace, War and Defense major at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When she isn't at GrepBeat, you can find her in a coffeeshop, her hometown of Cary, N.C., or on Twitter @sclaire_perry.