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If a region's business climate can be measured by the strength of its venture capital community,

No organization has had a stronger impact.


AVC’s mission is to educate venture investors across the state of Alabama. Here’s how we do it: 

  • Provide a platform for entrepreneurs to showcase their companies and venture capitalists to share thought leadership
    • Entrepreneurs share startup vision, early-stage growth models, fundraising style, and execution from 0 to 1 
    • Venture Capitalists share thought leadership on due diligence, macroeconomic trends, valuation methodology, etc.
  • Maintain strong relationships with local and regional VC’s


The Alabama Venture Club’s Annual Meeting is the state’s largest gathering of venture capitalists—as well as their related network of entrepreneurs, professional services firms and others—in Alabama. The event offers an unmatched networking opportunity for individuals and organizations seeking to strengthen their presence among high-growth entrepreneurs, investors, and ecosystem supporters.

If you’re interested in being an annual meeting sponsor, please contact us for more information.


“The Alabama Venture Club’s Jemison Award program recognizes today’s high growth, high value entrepreneurs while honoring the legacy of Mr. Jemison and other venture capital trailblazers.”

James Outland, Past Chairman
Jemison Award Selection Committee

Now in its 35th year, the Jemison Award is Alabama’s most prestigious honor recognizing high quality, fast growing companies based in the Birmingham area.

Past Winners

2024 Ship OGRE
2023 HighFive Healthcare
2022 PackHealth
2019 ProctorU
2018 Theranest
2017 Momentum Telecom
2016 BLOX
2015 Atlas RFID Solutions, LLC
2014 Vulcan Value Partners
2013 Daxko, Inc.
2012 First Partners Bank
2011 Proxsys, LLC
2010 SuccessEHS, Inc.
2009 Surgical Care Affiliates
2008 SourceMedical Solutions, Inc.
2007 ServisFirst Bank
2006 Community Hospices of America, Inc.
2005 MedMined, Inc.
2004 Emageon, Inc.
2003 Virginia College LLC
2002 Atherotech, Inc.
2001 Progressive Systems LLC
2000 The Banc Corporation
1999 Express Oil Change, LLC
1998 GuideStar Health Systems, Inc.
1997 PJ America, Inc.
1996 MedPartners, Inc.
1995 Just For Feet, Inc.
1994 Scandipharm, Inc.
1993 Simply Fashion Stores, Ltd.
1992 CMS Research Corporation
1991 ReLife, Inc.
1990 Complete Health Services, Inc.
1989 HEALTHSOUTH Corporation
1988 Birmingham Steel Corporation


Mandatory Eligiblity Requirements

  • Must demonstrate viable business model, i.e., company size, industry, cash flow, etc.
  • Must be based in the seven-county Birmingham region
  • Must have at least one third-party investor that is not a company employee


  • Outstanding sales growth
  • Impressive turnaround situation
  • Unique financing completed with a bank or outside investor group
  • Company has reached an annual sales level greater than $2 million
  • Founded within the last 12 years, or has had a significant change in ownership within last five years
  • Major restructuring of the Company’s marketing and/or operations

Who was John S. Jemison, JR?

John S. Jemison, Jr. is still remembered as one of the city’s most outstanding businessmen and leaders. Born in Birmingham in 1908, he graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1931 and began his career as a loan officer with today’s Chase Manhattan of New York. He later moved to Goldman, Sachs & Co., New York, one of the largest underwriters of industrial securities in the U.S.

In 1947, Mr. Jemison returned to Birmingham—where he was a resident partner at Marx & Co., investment bankers, of Birmingham and New York City. In 1955, Mr. Jemison left Marx & Co. to form Jemison Investment Co., Inc. From that point until his death in 1988, he truly earned the title of “deal maker.”

Under Mr. Jemison’s leadership, Jemison Investment became a highly diversified holding company—with interests in lumber products, building materials, steel containers, slurry & dredge pump manufacturing, magazine publishing and real estate.

Mr. Jemison helped countless young entrepreneurs start or buy businesses. His reputation for openness and integrity in all his business dealings inspired absolute trust among those who turned to him for advice and investment expertise. His motto was “work hard, and have fun doing it!” Those fortunate enough to have known Mr. Jemison will tell you he lived his own motto every day.

Mr. Jemison contributed so much to the Birmingham business community—through the growth of businesses, the development of careers, and the creation of jobs and wealth for so many. His contributions to the community are still felt today. The Alabama Venture Club is honored to offer its annual award in his name. John Jemison’s reputation as “deal maker” was firmly established long before the term “venture capital” came into vogue. He was truly Birmingham’s first venture capitalist.