Internet Decisisions


February 2008: Alan Koenning of the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund Headlines an Empowering Entrepreneurs Luncheon Hosted by Internet Decisions

Alan Koenning

Atlanta, GA (February 29, 2008) - Emerging growth companies seeking to raise capital should consider corporations as a viable source of investment funding, said the manager of a UPS corporate venture fund in a recent speech to Atlanta area entrepreneurs.

Citing statistics from the National Venture Capital Association, Alan Koenning said corporations participated in 21 percent of venture deals completed in 2007 and contributed slightly more than nine percent, or $3.2 billion, of the total venture capital invested last year.

"This was the highest level of activity we've seen by corporations in venture investing since 2001. Corporations have been gradually stepping up their investment activity since then, and companies that are looking to raise money should be aware of this source of funding" said Koenning, who is Fund Manager for the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund.

Raising Capital - Book Cover

Koenning's remarks were part of his keynote address at an "Empowering Entrepreneurs" luncheon held at the University of Georgia Atlanta Alumni Center in Buckhead. The luncheon was hosted by Keith Herndon, an Atlanta-based business research consultant. Herndon's book, a compilation of expert interviews entitled "Raising Capital When You Don't Have a Silicon Valley Address," was published last October by Innovations Publishing, LLC. Koenning also was a featured interview in the book.

Koenning said that many corporations involved in venture investing today have a different philosophy than a decade ago. "At UPS we have always taken a strategic approach to our investments. The information and market knowledge we obtain is more important than purely financial returns," he said. "We're seeing more companies involved for strategic reasons now than, say in 2000, when the motivation was more for financial gains."

Entrepreneurs approaching corporations for investment capital should seek out funds where there is an industry alignment, Koenning said, noting that UPS favors investing in companies that are developing solutions in areas such as supply chain management, telematics and mobile computing. "We want to make investments that provide UPS with an eye on the marketplace and emerging technologies."

Keith Herndon

Herndon, who is President of Internet Decisions, LLC, opened the luncheon with remarks based on the interviews in the book. He offered four specific points of advice for entrepreneurs seeking to raise institutional capital:

Herndon's collaboration with Innovations Publishing is intended to help entrepreneurs understand how funding professionals think so they can use that insight to better position their businesses to attract capital investment. In addition to Koenning, other experts featured in the book include: Knox Massey, Atlanta Technology Angels; Sig Mosley, Imlay Investments; John Mills, SBIR Assistance Program, State of Georgia; Lori Whitted, Atlanta Life Venture Fund; Wright Steenrod, Chrysalis Ventures; Charles Moseley, Noro-Moseley Partners; John Huntz, Arcapita Ventures; Ted Bender, Croft & Bender; and Rick Winston, E.H. Winston and Associates.