HeadsUp: TN CRS private equity, Bioworks, Startup TN>Chile

Milt Capps

Layla Tabatabaie

BARTERSUGAR, the Memphis Upstart-powered business that supports mainly B2B trading, won't be pursuing its planned capraise, immediately, because Founder Layla Tabatabaie will in November wing her way to Latin America, where she has been accepted to Start-Up Chile, in Santiago. Tabatabaie told VTC she considers two-year-old Barter Sugar to be still-centered in New York City, where she's worked six years and is licensed to practice law. At the time the founder considered the Chilean opportunity, Barter Sugar was still mulling the optimal target for a raise, with a minimum $150K in mind. Co-Founder and CTO Andrés Arslanian may spend some time in Chile, also.

CANAAN PARTNERS Fund X has received a $27.5MM private-equity investment commitment by the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS). The Menlo Park-based fund, with a reported $650MM target cap, is said to be devoted to Tech and to Healthcare investments. TCRS previously made a commitment to Canaan IX. For our prior TCRS PE coverage, please click here.

Steve Bares

MEMPHIS BIOWORKS FOUNDATION is leading development of that City's EPICenter, which is to be the "front door" of the City's entrepreneurial ecosystem (related ecosystem story here.) Its 10-year goals include cultivating 500 startups (with at least 1,000 entrepreneurs) that will be rapidly scalable high-growth companies, producing a projected 4,500 new jobs, with aggregate $600MM beneficial impact within the Greater Memphis economy. Preliminary modeling for the effort assumes at least $90MM fresh capital injected, including Memphis BioWorks Innova venture-capital fund's recently announced Fund III, which targets at least $25MM. A further $270MM of "attracted capital" over the decade of the initiative is projected. Asked by VTC about the ambitiousness of the program, Memphis BioWorks Executive Director Steven Bares said the program's goals are "bold, but not out of reach." By one estimate provided VTC, key Memphis organizations supported a combined 963 entrepreneurs within traditional small-businesses and rapidly scalable ventures, combined, during the five-year period 2009-13, producing a net 532 FTE jobs. The new, aggressive initiative for Memphis and Shelby County involves a broad alliance of groups, and crucial backing from the Greater Memphis Chamber's Chairman's Circle. VTC