SLAAM in Business in Savannah

Firm targets local entrepreneurs

John Morisano gave up on predicting the turnout.

The new Savannah resident and one-half of the area’s latest venture capital group knew word had spread quietly among the local entrepreneurial community about a Thursday night meet-and-greet mixer. And he’d been told of Savannahians’ fondness for a cocktail party.

Maybe 25 fledgling entrepreneurs would show up. Then again, maybe 100 would.

“I called the bar owner and told her we might have more than the 25 to 50 I originally thought and asked how many is too many,” Morisano said. “She said 150. I figure if we have more than that, that’s a good problem to have.”

Savannah’s entrepreneurial community indeed packed the downtown tavern Sparetime to meet Morisano and his business partner, Amy Factor. The turnout confirmed what the New York duo suspected about Savannah when they set up SLAAM Ventures: The city is swarming with innovative entrepreneurs with little access to seed capital.

SLAAM will focus on start-ups, with investments between $10,000 and $100,000 with equity participation ranges from 5 percent to 25 percent. From an investment standpoint, Savannah is a “soft spot,” they acknowledged.

“I’m in it for the fun,” Factor said.

Savannah’s entrepreneurial community should be just as giddy, said Creative Coast Executive Director Jake Hodesh.

— Adam Van Brimmer

December 20, 2012

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