The Venture Forum, formerly known as the Richmond Venture Capital Club, was created in 1986 when a group of local entrepreneurs and service providers saw that there was no venue or organization in the Greater Richmond area dedicated to serving the social networking needs of the entrepreneurial community. There was no Twitter, no Facebook, no e-mail or even an Internet. Stan Maupin’s revolutionary (at the time) fax blasts promoted bi-monthly meetings at the Commonwealth Club and the group took off educating the business community on terms such as “venture capital” and “entrepreneurship” to a city comfortable relying on its Fortune 500 tobacco, aluminum, banks and retailer companies as well as government.

Over the years, the Venture Forum has been the place where startup and serial entrepreneurs, growing service providers, displaced middle management executives, dotcom winners and losers, angel investors and the entrepreneurial community have come together to network and form new businesses, business relationships as well as forming friendships. As the economy has had its ups and downs – the Reagan boom, the S&L crisis and resulting credit crunch, Y2K, the introduction of the information superhighway, the dotcom bubble, post-9/11 recovery and the inevitable economic recovery from the current recession, the Venture Forum and its ongoing volunteers have been there to provide a service to the entrepreneurial community.

As it enters its next 25 years, the Venture Forum is stronger than ever. Lunch meetings average around 120 attendees, Venture Out meetings at the Bull & Bear typically draw 100+, Greater Richmond Companies to Watch has helped to highlight our area’s most promising entrepreneurial companies, the Entrepreneur Fair provided a forum to connect 300 job seekers and businesses and the Women’s Venture Forum is rolling out a series of new programs.

We hope you join us at our 25th Anniversary Celebration and become a long time member of the Venture Forum.


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