The Alabama Capital Network (ACN) on Monday announced that it will assume oversight and operational control of the Birmingham Venture Club (BVC).
ACN, a community economic development organization that facilitates relationships between investors and entrepreneurs, will take on BVC meetings and activities as a functional project.
According to a release, BVC will maintain its distinct membership base and mission. The two clubs had reached an agreement in late 2021 to combine forces in an attempt to expedite efforts to increase investment in early-stage Alabama startup companies.
BVC board chairman James Childs indicated that ACN would further advance the efforts that the organization had committed itself to over the years.
“The Birmingham Venture Club has been at the heart of our entrepreneurial ecosystem for more than three decades,” said Childs. “Our board unanimously determined that the opportunity to leverage the skills and experience of Josh and his team at ACN, especially in light of the strong strategic synergies that exist between the two organizations, makes this a compelling and natural progression of the club. We are certain ACN will be an excellent steward of the club and its preeminent Jemison Award.”
The BVC for three decades has provided a network for venture and entrepreneurial professionals in the Birmingham community. The organization took note of its well-regarded Jemison Award, which honors fast-growth Alabama companies and is one of the most prestigious awards within the state’s business community.
ACN, as a major player in Alabama’s innovation ecosystem, has served to provide funding opportunities for entrepreneurs which has had a significant impact on early-stage companies.
ACN CEO Joshua Jones asserted that through combining efforts, the organizations could enhance the quality of services provided to the business community.
“Both ACN and the Birmingham Venture Club have brought unique and necessary components to the venture ecosystem, and we saw the opportunity to join these organizations to accelerate our combined ability to grow Alabama’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by increasing access to capital,” said Jones. “In doing this, we also get the benefit of eliminated duplication of services and efforts, while still allowing each to serve its own unique mission and objective – venture inspiration, and venture funding, respectively.”
ACN staff will assume control of BVC operations and fold both organizations into a single nonprofit entity that will be led by Jones and governed by the ACN board of directors.
A release advised that each organization will maintain its current membership and event structures as some activities will include all members of the innovation community. The annual BVC meeting will be hosted by ACN, where it will continue the Jemison Award tradition. Additional details regarding the dates and format of the annual meeting will be forthcoming.
According to ACN, the bi-monthly BVC lunches will be phased out in favor of periodic meetings. The meetings will consist of the discussion of topics centered around engaging and educating members about early-stage investing.
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL