Chairman, Southeast Investor Group
Martin Tilson is a respected corporate attorney, business advisor and innovative leader, with thirty years of experience focused on law and business. He draws upon his corporate legal experience, strategic business development background, and C-level advisory services to offer consulting through The Tilson Group. His legal experience includes general corporate, securities, M&A, corporate finance, venture and private equity transactions, working primarily with companies, as well as representing investor funds. He has managed more than 400 M&A, private equity and venture capital closings, and public offerings.
On a retained basis, Mr Tilson serves as counsel to several C-level executives in the creation of business development strategy, analysis of competition, development of strategic acquisition plans , provides access to capital ,and identifies corporate investments into synergistic technology and/or processes valuable to the acquirer.
Mr. Tilson was Atlanta Managing Partner (2007-2009) of Burr & Forman, a regional full-service law firm with over 200 attorneys in six offices throughout the Southeast. From 1995-2007, Mr. Tilson was a Corporate Partner and built and Chaired the multi-office Technology Practice at Kilpatrick Stockton, a 500 attorney international law firm headquartered in Atlanta. He was a member of the Firm Strategic Plan Committee, the Compensation Committee, and was Marketing Partner. From 1991-1995, Mr. Tilson was Counsel, and built and chaired the technology practice and was also chair of practice development at Long, Aldridge and Norman, (now McKenna Long & Aldridge).
From 1986-1991, Mr Tilson developed, built and managed the 36,000 Sq. Ft. UAB High Tech incubator, launching and financing 27 companies with private capital. Mr. Tilson previously served for eight years in Washington, D.C. as in-house counsel and senior government affairs attorney to Sonat Corp., a $3B international energy company.
Selected business and community leadership includes: Metro Atlanta Chamber Board of Directors (1997-2000, 2008, 2009); Technology Association of Georgia: Executive Board and Secretary (2000-present); Emory Goizuetta Business School Board of Advisors (2000-present); Georgia Tech College of Computing Board of Advisors (2000-2002); Emory Winship Cancer Center Board of Advisors (2006-present) . He served on the Atlanta United Way DeTocqueville Cabinet, was a Board Member and General Counsel to the Atlanta International School, and served as a ten year member of the Woodruff Arts Center major gifts committee, honored in 2006 with the Charles R. Yates Award.
In 1998, Mr Tilson Founded and became Chairman of the Southeast BIO Venture Forum (SEBIO) , the largest biotech venture event in the Southeast, now in its 14th year. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of SEBIO for 10 years, the organization created and financed the Martin Tilson scholarship in his honor.
In 1995, Mr Tilson and three investors created the Southeast Investor Group (SIG), composed of partners from 20 regional venture capital funds and 27 independent SuperAngel investors. Mr Tilson has chaired the SIG for 16 years, and it meets monthly to review pre-screened technology growth companies for investment and mentoring.
A graduate of the University Of Alabama School Of Law, Mr. Tilson obtained his JD and was Chairman of the John A. Campbell Moot Court Board. He later served as an Alumni Lecturer and is a member of the Board of Directors of the law school’s Farrah Law Society. He received his BA from Sewanee: The University of the South. He later served ten years as a member of the Sewanee Board of Trustees, and 30 years as Class of 1974 Alumni Chair.