Dave Chitester, the founder and managing partner of St. Petersburg-based Seedfunders, has been named to the board of directors of Florida Venture Forum, a statewide support and member organization for venture and private equity professionals and entrepreneurs.
In addition to founding Seedfunders — which, to date, has invested some $2.85 million in 22 early-stage tech startups — Chitester founded Tampa-based Florida Funders, a venture capital fund and angel investor network. Florida Funders General Partner Marc Blumenthal was also named to Florida Venture Forum’s board of directors.
Seedfunders has invested in innovative startups across a wide range of industries, such as Guidesly, a Boston-based company that has created a mobile app that aims to disrupt the archaic ways that fishing guides are researched and hired. It has also launched an Opportunity Fund that aims to provide funding for Black-owned startups headquartered in Florida.
Florida Venture Forum also named to its board of directors Gretchen Perkins, a partner at Avance Investment Management, and David Zinn, co-founder and managing director of Ocean Azul Partners. With the appointments of Blumenthal, Chitester, Perkins and Zinn, Florida Venture Forum now has leaders of nearly 50 investment firms guiding it.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Marc, Dave, Gretchen and David to an already strong board,” said Travis Milks, managing partner of Topmark Partners and 2020-2021 Florida Venture Forum board chairman, in a prepared statement. “The forum’s strength lies in its strong membership comprised of the most active players in venture capital and private equity. Adding these new investor members, who deploy capital at nearly every level, is a major win for our organization and a huge boost to the continuing growth of Florida’s venture ecosystem.”
Florida Venture Forum was founded in 1984, and in 1992 it launched the Florida Venture Capital Conference, which serves as a showcase for high-growth companies looking for equity financing before a nationwide audience of venture capitalists and investment bankers. According to the organization’s website, over the past 30 years, companies that have presented at the conference have gone on to collectively raise nearly $11 billion.
Note: Catalyst publisher Joe Hamilton is a partner in Seedfunders.