June 15, 1999

Alston & Bird To Sponsor “Venture and Expansion Capital For High-Tech Companies” Conference

Partner Lynn Walsh to Moderate a Panel on Raising Financing for Technology Firms

Many of the last ten years’ technology ventures, notably Netscape, Cisco, and Yahoo!, have been phenomenally successful and, as such, a trend toward high-tech investment is growing among venture capitalists. In recent years, over 60 percent of all venture capital investments went to technology firms, and of all successful venture capital-backed companies, 80 percent were high-tech. In an effort to bring together venture capital sources and high-tech companies seeking financing, the “Venture and Expansion Capital for High-Tech Companies” conference will be held June 24th at the Swissotel Atlanta.

Alston & Bird is a lead sponsor of the conference, which will be presented by the American Electronics Association, in conjunction with International Business Forum. As a lead sponsor, Alston & Bird has been instrumental in developing the program and arranging for key speakers and participants.

Lynn Walsh, a partner in Alston & Bird’s Technology Practice Group noted, “As one of the country’s preeminent technology and intellectual property law firms, Alston & Bird has made a long-term commitment to the ongoing development of its technology and intellectual property capabilities. In line with this commitment and our strong belief that technology is the currency of the future, Alston & Bird is participating as both a sponsor and an organizer of this event.”

Ms. Walsh added, “Because of the dynamic state of high-tech and Internet related companies and their industries, sophisticated funding sources will continue to play an important role for start-ups and more established firms. In founding a southeast forum for those involved in the industry, we hope to take a leadership role in advancing the growth of technology and Internet related companies in the region. In recent years, the average per company investment by venture capitalists exceeded $5 million. Although most investments are significant, funding sources invest very selectively, contributing to only one percent of the companies submitting business plans. Consequently, we felt it would be helpful to address the issues facing technology and e-commerce businesses looking to secure private and public capital.”

Ms. Walsh will moderate a panel on “How to Raise Venture Capital” during the June 24th conference. The discussion will focus on:

* Finding venture capital partners

* What venture capital funds want

* Negotiating with venture capitalists in later rounds of financing

* Financing issues related to new media and telecommunications companies

* Getting value out of venture investors on your board

Several other panel discussions will be held regarding:

* The southeast region: tapping available sources of capital

* IPO, M&A, and new liquidity strategies

* High-tech companies recently gone public: lessons learned

* Corporate strategic investors: how they think and what they want

* Corporate growth with minimal dilution

Mike Cummins, Director and CEO of the Georgia Center for Advanced Telecommunications and Technology, will speak at the luncheon sponsored by Alston & Bird on June 24th.

“First Annual Southeast Financial” Conference

The day before, the “First Annual Southeast Financial” conference will showcase over 20 later-stage private technology and e-commerce companies and discuss financing strategies for emerging growth firms.

Companies slated to make presentations at the June 23rd “Southeast Financial Conference” include Video Networks, Inc., Home Wireless Networks, VerticalOne, InfoXpress.com, anygear.com, Third Millennium Communications, and NetSoft Corporation. Governor Roy Barnes will speak at the luncheon sponsored by the AEA on that day.

“Southeast Capital Sources” Conference

The “Venture and Expansion Capital for High-Tech Companies” conference and the “First Annual Southeast Financial Conference” are being offered as a two day program entitled the “Southeast Capital Sources” conference. Attendees at both sessions will include CEOs, CFOs, corporate investors, investment and commercial bankers, venture capitalists, financing sources, buyouts, mergers & acquisition firms, and investors specializing in the high-tech sector.

Alston & Bird, with more than 450 attorneys serving both domestic and international clients, is one of the largest and oldest law firms in the country. With more than 90 intellectual property and technology attorneys, Alston & Bird’s commitment to technology is evidenced by the firm having built one of the largest intellectual property and technology practices in the nation and the largest in the southeast. The Firm’s commitment to technology is further evidenced as Alston & Bird tied for first place, out of 100 major law firms, in The American Lawyer’s Technology Magazine, AmLaw Tech’s, first “technological prowess” ranking. With offices in Atlanta, Georgia, Washington, D.C., and Charlotte and the Research Triangle in Raleigh, North Carolina, the Firm provides a full range of services to clients doing business throughout the U.S. and overseas. In addition to technology, Alston & Bird’s practice areas include: intellectual property; capital markets and investment; finance and public finance; financial institutions; international; trial and appellate; health care; real estate; environmental; antitrust and investigations; bankruptcy, reorganizations and workouts; tax and fiduciary; and labor employment.

Media Contact
Nicholas Clarke
Senior Communications Manager
Phone: 212.210.1222
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