VCs Form Another Networking Group –

ST. LOUIS – The new National Association of Venture Forums has created a nationwide organization that will offer another networking avenue to entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

The association, conceived of by Tom Siegel, a vice president at New Orleans-based Advantage Capital Partners, will give entrepreneurs an opportunity to give presentations at their local venture forums, which in turn will pass the information to a nation-wide network of venture capitalists.

Siegel, former president of the Missouri Venture forum, will lead the association as its first president, working with the Kay Group, a management firm that will be in charge of administrative and back-end office work, said William Kay, the company’s executive director.

The National Association of Venture Forums will have a nine-person board of directors, two of whom have already been selected: Bob Ogden, president at Ogden Associates, a Louisville-based investment banking firm, and Diane McMahon, a director at the Western New York Venture Association. Some of the remaining seven members are expected to formalize their posts by the first board meeting, slated for the second week in November.

At press time, the organization had 26 members, and that figure is expected to rise to about 100 within the next three months, Siegel said. Active membership, which costs $200 per year, is open to target markets – state or area venture capital clubs, associations or forums and organized angel networks.

Associate membership, the terms of which are still being tweaked, is available to capital formation conferences, national venture capital clubs or associations, professional service firms or individual venture capital professionals, Siegel said.

Members of the association will communicate through a Web site located at www.ventureforums.org, a newsletter, a membership directory, a resource guide and a yearly conference, the first of which is scheduled for May 2000.

Eventually, the association wants to create resources such as a library of videotaped presentations given by venture capitalists at forums cataloged according to industry specialty, Siegel said.