A Georgia native and seasoned tech investor, Kamath most recently served as Director at Primus Capital and as Director of Corporate Development at Cox Enterprises. In his over 15- year career, he has invested in companies that have totaled more than $4 billion in announced exits.
Kamath says he was drawn to Tech Square Ventures because of the team’s “competitive advantage, large market opportunity, plus my high regards for Blake.”
Kamath told Hypepotamus that he met Blake Patton, Managing Partner at Tech Square Ventures, back in 2015. Patton said that he originally reached out to Kamath to seek guidance on launching the firm’s second fund. “I wanted to scale and professionalize our firm without losing what I think is our strength — which is our entrepreneurial mindset,” Patton told Hypepotamus.
Patton said it was a natural fit to bring on Kamath as a partner as the firm grows and looks to add additional capacity.
Kamath is the latest addition to Tech Square Ventures this year. Melissa Pegus joined earlier this month as a Senior Associate.
Tech Square Ventures & The Atlanta Tech Ecosystem
“It’s a long-term play to back an ecosystem like Atlanta,” said Kamath. “But you see that paying off in the strong momentum in fundraising rounds and exits.”
Atlanta has made headlines in 2021 both for launching new Unicorns and attracting global players like Microsoft and Airbnb. Tech Square Ventures, which strategically launched around Georgia Tech’s Midtown campus, invests in the city’s budding early-stage startup founders.
“As a former entrepreneur, I knew that in addition to capital, what entrepreneurs needed most was access to customers and markets. And so we built our whole platform around this idea of how we can help our entrepreneurs go to market,” said Patton.
Corporate innovation has been crucial to the firm’s thesis.
Engage, the firm’s program for accelerating corporate innovation, partners with companies like Chick-Fil-A, The Home Depot, Delta — and most recently Inspire Brands — to support high-growth startups. Some of the Atlanta-based companies currently in Engage’s portfolio include Goodr, Stord, Gauge, Voxie, and Verusen.
“With the new funds, we’re very excited about accelerating Engage and accelerating investments in the startup community,” added Kamath.
The team has already started to deploy capital from Tech Square Ventures Fund II, with investments in Atlanta-based Slip Robotics and Speedscale along with Seattle-based Yesler.