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Entrepreneurs

Chamber Partners With Venture Capital Firm To Support Local Entrepreneurs

By Audrey Elsberry, posted Nov 9, 2023
This week, the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce announced a partnership with early-stage venture capital firm VentureSouth.

According to a chamber news release, the deal aims to provide added support for early-stage companies in the region and foster growth in the local economy.

Rob Kaiser, the publisher of the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, helped establish Wilmington’s VentureSouth chapter in 2019. For the past four years, Kaiser served as VentureSouth’s market director for the Wilmington region, adding 40 investors to the group, chamber officials said. 

Although he remains a chapter member, Kaiser handed the director role to Josh Hallingse, the chamber’s vice president of small business development, in October. Hallingse hopes to use the group as a conduit for startup companies that don’t have experience with venture capital, he said. 

The partnership will provide community backing to the work VentureSouth has been doing in the region since the establishment of Wilmington’s chapter, Hallingse told the Business Journal.

To celebrate the partnership and Global Entrepreneurship Week next week, the chamber will host an investor information session at UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at 8 a.m. Nov. 17.

The event will include a presentation from a company in VentureSouth’s portfolio, an overview of VentureSouth’s complete portfolio of startups and information about how to get involved with the organization. 

“We have a lot of partners and a lot of resources that are trying to make our ecosystem more robust and make sure that our startup founders are successful,” Hallingse said. 

According to the chamber, VentureSouth provides support and guidance to startups in the Southeast through its angel investing network of over 550 investors. The firm has raised more than $80 million for over 100 companies. 
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