Thursday, December 10, 2009

TNInvestco might yet lure startup, too late for another

This item may cause a little discomfort: Acuitec, the Birmingham-based business built around surgical-centered information management systems developed in collaboration with Vanderbilt University Medical Center clinicians, surpassed its A-round goal earlier this year, raising just over $1.6MM, according to CEO Lionel Tehini, in conversation Tuesday with VNC. As VNC reported a year ago, Acuitec would have probably relocated to Nashville, had it raised the bulk of its funds in this region, but that was not to be: Tehini said the entire round was taken by Birmingham-area investors. Nonetheless, Tehini told VNC he sees many exciting things going on Tennessee -- TNInvestco, foremost among them -- and he said a future Acuitec move here should not be discounted entirely. He said it's possbile Acuitec will pursue another capital round in 2010. Nashville has gotten more than one lesson about losing startups to well-heeled competitors: In 2008, Veran Medical Technologies, founded by Owen Grad School alum Jerome Edwards, relocated to St. Louis, where, among other inducements, he found the capital and expertise he needed. Perhaps ironically, TNInvestco applicant Advantage Capital Partners, which recently failed in a bid to secure a role in Tennessee's new capital-formation program, was one of the investors that lured Veran to St. Louis. Yesterday, Veran announced FDA approval for marketing a Veran medical device that helps physicians gain access to potentially cancerous nodules in the pulmonary tract. RETURN TO LATEST VENTURE NASHVILLE NEWS HERE.

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