Greg Foster to Look at Deals for Chrysalis

Atlanta Business Chronicle, May 10, 2010

Social media venture capitalist Greg Foster is Chrysalis Ventures’ man in Georgia.

Foster’s role as entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR) will help the Louisville, Ky.-based venture firm expand its Georgia footprint.

As entrepreneur-in-residence, the 37-year-old will be Chrysalis’ boots on the ground — bringing health care, IT and digital media deals to the venture firm and vet potential portfolio companies.

Foster could take an operational role in the companies he partners with Chrysalis on.

This is not a full-time gig, but a way to settle into one, Foster told me this afternoon.

Foster, who focuses on media and technology, left Atlanta venture firm Noro-Moseley Partners last year.

Foster’s industry experience and familiarity with the Southeast market make him an attractive partner, Chrysalis principal Wright Steenrod said in a conference call Monday afternoon.

Chrysalis invests in early and growth stage companies in the health care and technology arenas. The company eyes firms “between the coasts” that have revenues of between $1 million to $5 million and are nearing profitability.

Atlanta is an attractive investment destination because its has a healthy deal flow and strong entrepreneurial talent, Steenrod said.

“Atlanta has a venture capital ecosystem that’s one of the best,” he said. “It has the universities that produce the talent with the great ideas.”

Local Chrysalis investments include Connecture, a sales automation software company serving health insurance firms; and afterBOT, a supply chain management company geared toward retailers.

“Atlanta has a lot going on, a lot to look at,” Chrysalis Chairman David Jones told me last September. “I bet you we’ve got 25 or 30 Atlanta companies in our deal log right now.”

Chrysalis has the dry powder to make those deals happen. The firm closed a $175 million fund — it’s fourth — in 2008.

Foster, a Georgia Tech grad and Harvard MBA, was an executive at Silverpop and now-defunct IXL Enterprises Inc., before launching Southern Direct Inc., which Turner Broadcasting Systems Inc. acquired in 2005.