Over the past 20 years, Atlanta has been economically resilient as compared to other major U.S. cities. Atlanta has done a great job of protecting itself from the risks associated with an economy dependent upon a single industry or a single very large corporate presence. Even though we have lost several of our corporate logos in the last 12 months, I believe Atlanta will again outpace the national economic performance in 2007. However, the national growth rate appears to be settling in at a lower level than the past several years and Atlanta’s gap over the national average will be smaller in 2007. 2. Do you see any major shifts in the Venture Capital market in Atlanta? If so, what would they be?
Major market shifts require either significant market discontinuities or a more methodical shift over a longer time frame. I prefer the slow but sure approach. In the 2000-2001 period, we experienced the negative impact of an unnatural market growth period, and it was painful. It was a very difficult period for venture capital nationwide, but particularly difficult for the Southeast. Since 2002, the venture market has shown significant improvement and we appear to be on track for a solid venture capital market in Atlanta in 2007. We need to continue to foster innovation in our region and convince the really good entrepreneurs that good opportunities can be realized in Atlanta.
3. What is your favorite reason, besides your career, that you enjoy living in Atlanta?
My career brought me to Atlanta, but the environment, the wonderful people, and the business opportunities keep me here. I just hope Atlanta and the surrounding communities can continue to foster the friendly environment that allowed us to grow over the past 20+ years. At some point, we really need to solve our ever troubling traffic situation.
4. Where is your favorite place to entertain clients/partners?
In the venture business, networking is the key. It is our objective at Noro-Moseley to be aware of most, if not all, of the venture opportunities in our target region. This means we spend a lot of time with entrepreneurs, company executives, and the professional services firms in the area. Therefore, I find myself at Goldberg’s frequently for a breakfast meeting.
5. What hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time?
I spend more money and not enough time trying to improve my golf game. I am just thankful that my venture capital handicap is better than my golf handicap. And, as with most avid golfers, I am confident that 2007 will be a better year.