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'Upside' article mentions Tampa, but not downside


© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 2, 2001

Things must be slow in Silicon Valley.

Upside, a San Francisco magazine that covers the business of technology, acknowledges in its July issue that there is a venture capital industry outside Menlo Park's Sand Hill Road.

In a five-part story on venture capital across the nation, the magazine recognizes the existence of institutional venture funds in the Southeast. Rating a mention under the cute headline "Tampa rising" is local investor Scott Miller, managing director of Lovett Miller & Co.

Miller is quoted saying the VC business in the Southeast had only a handful of players in the 1980s when the region was booming. "It was really a club back then, with $3-million deals that had room for all of the players in the region," Miller said.

Not mentioned is the fact that the venture capital business in Florida is in serious remission as many companies focus on sustaining shaky investments made over the past year.

The most candid statement is made by Chuck Johnson, a partner with Atlanta's Noro-Mosely Partners.

"If there had been more money available here (in the Southeast), even more bad ideas would've been chased," Johnson said.

Amen to that.

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