Southland Conference Announces Investor Panels Including Mark Kvamme, Founding Investor For LinkedIn

Southland, Launch Tennessee, Startup Conferences

Launch Tennessee’s Southland conference, happening June 11-12th in Nashville, Tennessee, will highlight the best in startups, technology, and down-home Southern culture. The event is intentionally sandwiched between the CMA Music Festival and the legendary Bonnaroo, and adds an element of entrepreneurship, almost SXSW-style to these two historic events. With the way Southland’s schedule is shaping up, it too will become a staple in the Music City.

Over the weekend we reported on the 50 startups from across the Southeast that were chosen to participate in Southland’s Startup Village. Eleven states were represented, with 17 startups hailing from Nashville.

On Monday, Launch Tennessee CEO and conference organizer Charlie Brock announced some heavyweight investor panels, which will provide firsthand, top-notch knowledge of early stage investing to startup founders, entrepreneurs, and local angels from across the Southeast.

The first panel “VC Trends: From Silicon Valley To The Southeast” will feature Mark Kvamme, Paul Santinelli, and Jason Sibley. Kvamme is a co-founder and partner of Columbus, Ohio-based Drive Capital. Previously, he was special limited partner and general partner at Menlo Park, Calif.-based Sequoia Capital, where he was the founding investor of LinkedIn, Cast Iron Systems (acquired by IBM), MarkLogic Corporation and

Santinelli is a partner at North Bridge Venture Partners in Palo Alto, Calif., where he specializes in communications and infrastructure and focuses on investments in open source, software, security, Internet applications, and infrastructure and communications. He founded and ran NOCpulse, a Silicon Valley software startup that was acquired by Red Hat Network.

Sibley is a director at GE Ventures, Healthymagination Fund. He was previously a Vice President at GE Equity and a member of its healthcare investment team. He is currently building out GE Ventures’ Boston investment office, which is focused on life sciences, medical technology, and energy investments.

“Mark, Paul, and Jason are experienced investors who can provide the kind of insight that early-stage companies need,” Brock said in a statement. “This panel will be an outstanding opportunity for entrepreneurs to get an insider’s perspective on what investors are looking for today.”

The regional investor panel, “VC Trends: Focus on the Southeast,” includes Rik Vandevenne with River Cities Capital Funds of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Raleigh, N.C.; David Jones with Southern Capital Ventures/Bull City Venture Partners of Raleigh, N.C.; Spence McClelland with Noro-Moseley Partners of Atlanta; and Sid Chambless of the Nashville Capital Network.

In addition to investor panelists, representatives from more than 35 venture capital companies are attending Southland, including Durham, N.C.-based Hatteras Venture Partners; Menlo Park, Calif.-based Shasta Ventures; and Battery Ventures, which has offices in Waltham, Mass., Menlo Park, Calif., and Israel.

Other Southland speakers and panelists include Slava Rubin, co-founder and CEO of Indiegogo; Dan Pelino, general manager of IBM Healthcare and Life Sciences Industry; Ali Partovi, co-founder of; George Kliavkoff, executive vice president and deputy group head of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication; Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk; and Paul Singh, partner at 500 Startups.

Stay tuned to Nibletz for even more Southland coverage. Here’s what we’ve covered so far.