The capital picture is different in Alabama

Dear Entrepreneurs in Alabama,

Let me tell you something you probably already know: there is not a lot of venture capital investment in Alabama. In fact, in 2016 there was only $47M invested according to PWC/ CB Insights.

I hear folks complain about this. Don’t. It’s a waste of time. Rather, I think it’s good to adjust. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Be smart about the idea you pursue. Are your customers in Alabama? Is the idea somehow leveraging something unique about the state? Is it something that will start generating revenue quickly? These are good things. On the other hand, does it need a lot of capital to get going? Are you planning world domination fueled by VC dollars? These are less good (for this state).
  2. Be (even more) disciplined. Your business model needs to be stellar. You need to be lean. You need to talk with others (and mentors) to avoid common pitfalls. You need to be careful about hiring. All of things are vital. There are lots of smart moves you can make here that make lean growth possible. Make sure you do them.
  3. Be smart about taking on capital. Good capital will flow to good ideas, so trust in that. But because of the thin capital market, the odds of getting great terms are lower here. That’s supply and demand. So be conscientious when you are looking for capital.

Great ideas do thrive here, but they will thrive better if we remember the context within which we are building. It matters.

Reach out if you have questions and good luck.