Atlanta Tech Village has a coveted group of Advisors and Mentors available to Village startup Founders. They are a highly vetted community of people who have a wealth of experience, insight, and a pay it forward mentality. We strongly believe that every Founder should have at least one Mentor.
offering advice and support for your entrepreneurial journey
About: Dave’s been locked into startups since the earliest days of the consumer internet. Going back to the early 90s, he was helping businesses spend their newly minted VC raises on go-to-market programs, product positioning, customer acquisition and buying millions of dollars of servers (AWS who?). He’s spent the last 20+ years in almost four perfectly equal market segments: Top Five digital agencies; Fortune 100 companies; fast-growth software companies and startups. In 2015, Dave wrote the first-ever book on Behavioral Marketing for Wiley & Sons. Today, he runs the Services Delivery business for all of Watson Marketing, including both SaaS and on-premise software —along with a full Managed Services capability. Dave’s a man with style, owning a blue patent leather Steve Madden wingtips. To go with his cool vibe, his music tastes run from Pavarotti to Kendrick Lamar to Crowded House, so don’t forget to get two new music recommendations during your first meeting.
Company: Endeavor Atlanta
About: Aaron is the founding Managing Director of Endeavor Atlanta, part of the global Endeavor network that supports high impact entrepreneurs in 28 countries. He’s worn many hats in his career including company founder, early stage investor, GM, innovator, product manager, and consultant. His favorite career achievement was launching an award winning software module Dayforce ConnectedPay, while turning around a failing business unit at Ceridian. Their team created a modern user experience in an antiquated industry, global payroll, and helped customers pay their employees in over 60 countries. Above all, he enjoys playing with his three children when he’s not working. He loves cooking and at one point considered going back to culinary school. He has a risk-taking streak (beyond starting companies) as he’s been hang-gliding in Brazil (off of a mountain) and skydiving in West Georgia.
Company: Stoney River Capital
About: Alan is an experienced mentor and executive who is currently on faculty at Georgia State (Go, Panthers!). Alan’s experience has ranged from supporting a startup health IT company that expanded from a trailer in Peoria, Illinois to an eventual sale of $13.8B to McKesson in 1998, to leading a team that grew from a 2,000 square foot building with 2 programs to a 20,000 square foot building with over 8 programs. Being the world traveler he is, Alan also worked at the Vatican in Rome for 4 years to leverage the internet in the Roman Catholic Church. He honorably served our country in the Army during the Vietnam era, and he loves to volunteer with different Vet organizations. Although he’s seen the world and accomplished much, the pride and joy of his life are right at home with his wife of 47 years as well as their 2 children and 3 grandchildren, some of whom live right next door to him in Roswell.
About: Anand enjoys empowering and enabling marketing and growth leaders. He has over 15 years of experience working with MarTech startups to growth-driven groups at F500 companies in marketing & sales technology, strategy, operations, talent, and innovation. His expertise extends into data management, decision support and intelligent systems across the marketing, finance, government and energy industries.
MARKETING: SEO/Pay Per Click
Company: Relevance Advisors
About: Benjamin Rudolph is the President & CEO of Relevance Advisors, a digital marketing agency specializing in search engine marketing. In his role as a Village Advisor, he helps startups drive traffic to their websites, measure results, and optimize performance. Benjamin previously worked in the cable industry at Showtime and Comcast before shifting to the agency side. Benjamin is a Cum Laude graduate of Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, and he received his MBA in Marketing from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.
About: Brooke Beach is the Founder and CEO of Marketwake – a digital marketing agency that helps businesses grow their revenue and share their story.
Brooke graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia. After graduation, she became a spokesperson for Fortune 500 companies and helped lead nation-wide PR and marketing campaigns. She was recently the CEO of the local tech company, Kevy, after it pivoted to Marketing Automation in 2015.
An entrepreneur and sought-after speaker in the industry, Brooke has a passion for helping businesses and leaders grow.
Carl R. Johnston
LEGAL: General Needs of Startups
Company: FisherBroyles LLP
About: Carl’s extensive experience includes mergers and acquisitions work with law firms in Washington, DC, two in-house General Counsel positions with large Japanese-owned companies, and before law school he worked as a CPA (HOLY COW!). He has provided legal services to start-ups since 1999 when he starting his own practice, and since 2009 he has been a partner with FisherBroyles, the country’s largest and oldest cloud-based law firm…now that’s impressive! With his range of experience that includes in-house work and accounting expertise, he is that rare lawyer who is also practical and understands the underlying businesses of his clients. So whether you need help with customer agreements, raising equity funds, or just about any other legal need, Carl is your man. When he’s not gettin’ stuff done at work, Carl loves to watch basketball – as a native of San Antonio, he is a rabid Spurs fan. He’s a proud father of “a smart, funny, good looking son” (okay, he’s a little biased) majoring in CS at Georgia Tech, and he also loves to travel.
MARKETING: Public Relations
About: Hi. I am a communications and marketing specialist with 13+ years’ experience. As a vice president at Trevelino/Keller (T/K), an Atlanta-based digital PR and marketing firm deeply ingrained in Atlanta tech, I work with a wide range of emerging and established companies. Through the agency, I maintain an active presence in the startup ecosystem, working with the Village, Atlanta Tech Angles (ATA), LP2X, Raise Forum, Keiretsu Forum, and the Greater Alpharetta Technology Network (GATN) to name (more than) a few. Be sure to reach out or stop by to see me with questions or for some guidance re: brand messaging, earned media, events marketing, crisis communications, digital or social marketing, brand articulation, web design/content, brand articulation, marketing collateral, email marketing, digital campaigns, sales/market alignment and related services.
About: Charlie has been serving the ATLANTA tech community for the last twenty four years as an Angel investor and advisor. His focus has always been and remains early stage companies. Early stage success is all about the entrepreneur and the market. This is Charlie’s focus as a mentor. When Charlie’s not investing in entrepreneurs, he’s spending time with his wife of 39 years, his 4 children, and 2 grandchildren. Looking for a good read on entrepreneurship and life? Check out his blog for new publishings every week.
SALES: Master Messaging
About: David’s an engineer by education but took a different path and entered into a career in sales. He has 25 years of experience leading sales teams with companies like BellSouth, CareerBuilder and Yodle. David’s current company is based off the premise that in order to sell, you must understand human behavior, so of course, he loves reading anything having to do with human behavior. He’s an introvert while also being an awesome public speaker. He enjoys spending time running outdoors and actually runs completely barefoot on roads and sidewalks. And while he’s not related to Tim Kurkjian, the ESPN baseball sports analyst, he’s the guy you see walking around that looks pretty similar to Bruce Willis.
Software Developer and Project Manager
Don is a Full-stack Software Developer and Entrepreneur. He is a SaaS-enthusiast currently focusing on the intersection between marketing automation and machine learning. He is the current Founder and CEO of Lytham Labs, CEO of Kevy, and a proud graduate of Georgia Tech. His specialties are:
- Technical architecture design including scaling and containerization with Docker on AWS / Digital Ocean
- SaaS – MVPs, marketing automation, and engineering management
Company: 352 Inc.
About: Named one of Inc.’s Top 30 Young Entrepreneurs, Geoff is a builder of all good and modern things (read: websites). His team at 352 Inc. has built the technology for highly successful startups such as YouCaring.com and MakeMyDeal.com (a Cox-owned company). Currently, Geoff’s team is building the technology for Atlanta-based MyLumper – a graduate of Georgia Tech’s Flashpoint program. The entrepreneurial spirit certainly doesn’t stop there in his family; his wife, Kim, started Social News Desk, a startup in the news media space that was acquired by a Fortune 500 company in 2014. Geoff’s team at 352 Inc. built Social News Desk’s technology and helped to scale the product. Although he’s fairly new to the city and hails from the Swamp (Go, Gators!), he’s already a huge fan and avid supporter of Atlanta and the local tech community – so much so that he was a part of the 2016 #ChooseATL campaign at SXSW in Austin. Geoff and Kim are proud parents to their three children: two boys and girl that’s due in August!
Technical Evangelist, Azure Expert
About: Tobias is a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft for Startups in Atlanta and Senior Level software engineer. He specializes in deep dives on microservices, serverless architecture and services for Azure Functions and AWS Lambda. He has access to incredible technical expertise across a wide range of technologies.
Specialties: Windows Azure, Windows Azure Media Services
CUSTOMER SUCCESS: growth, retention, and experience
About: James is a Top 100 Customer Success Strategist and General Partner at SuccessHACKER where he helps companies keep customers for longer and increase the revenue that each customer generates. With over a decade of hands-on operational experience building customer-facing organizations in early stage subscription businesses, James is fanatical about improving customer outcomes and experiences. He will tell you that there’s no more powerful growth engine than one fueled by successful customers who then go on to advocate for your product or service. Originally from the UK, James recently relocated to Atlanta from Silicon Valley, although he still hangs onto an unhealthy love of oil-soaked ‘chips’ in newspaper and beautiful (although not always the most reliable) automobiles. To wind down at the end of a busy week, James loves hitting a trail with his wife, two daughters and dog, practicing a little yoga, or watching his new team, Atlanta United.
Startup Solutions Architect with AWS
Company: Amazon Web Services
About: John Pignata is a Startup Solutions Architect with Amazon Web Services based in New York City. He is a software developer with 20 years of experience building consumer Internet products and operating high scale systems. Prior to joining AWS, John led the engineering team at GroupMe, a top 10 social app on iTunes and Google Play, which was acquired by Skype. John was the CTO of HowAboutWe, a unique dating property acquired by IAC, and a software consultant at Pivotal Labs where he coached teams on agile engineering practices such as test-driven development and continuous delivery. His focus at Amazon Web Services is working with early stage companies and helping them succeed in their product development efforts by guiding them in the architecture and design of flexible, highly available, and scalable solutions.
PRODUCT MANAGEMENT: Product Design/Go To Market Strategy
About: Hello ATV! I’m excited to join your community as a recent ATL transplant after spending the last 20 years in and around Silicon Valley. I’m a Product leader with some notable successes under my belt including launching GPS location in Google search before the iPhone, turning YouTube into a live streaming platform, and now integrating Pardot into Salesforce’s Lightning experience.
I’ve also had my share of fairly spectacular failures which taught me more than the successes – happy to discuss those in person! I live close by in Buckhead with two adorable daughters and my wife who works at the CDC. I look forward to advising on product and go to market strategy or just being a sounding board for the challenges y’all (saying that almost feels natural now) are facing executing your business plans. Please reach out and introduce yourself!
Company: Atlanta Tech Village
About: Karen Houghton is the Director of Atlanta Tech Village. The Village is America’s 4th largest tech hub, housing over 300 technology startups and 1000+ members in 103,000 square feet. From curating memberships resulting in $4.5M+ annual revenue to spearheading marketing initiatives, organizing events, and connecting with investors and sponsors, Karen helped build this community from the ground up. She strives to create a positive and supportive culture while promoting faster connections between ideas, capital, and talent.
Karen is a relationship builder who holds a Masters Degree in Psychology. Previously she worked in a business consulting firm, and was the Founder of a non profit called the Do Good Initiative. She is passionate about well crafted emails, paying it forward, and helping technology startups on their quest to change the world.
More Info: LinkedIn
About: Entrepreneurs, Katherine is the marketing lady boss you want to know. Not only was Katherine one of the first employees to experience the modern entrepreneurial craze (she worked for KnowledgeStorm, now TechTarget, during the first startup revolution 20 years ago), she also started her career on a DOS-based system and worked on the first ever Internet ads for BBDO for Realestate.com. Oh, and did we mention she’s worked on Superbowl commercials for Coca-Cola?! Like we said, this is a woman you definitely want to know. When Katherine isn’t making waves in the business world, she enjoys fishing and is proud to say she can tie a perfect Palomar knot. She’s a proud Atlanta native, and her family has left its mark on the city for generations; Riverdale is named for her great-grandfather Rivers, and her grandfather was the Mayor for 16 years. After all she’s accomplished, two of her greatest are her sons who keep her busy in her “downtime.”
FUNDING: Pitching and Telling Your Story
Company: Atlanta Tech Blogs, LLC
About: Kevin Sandlin is the serial entrepreneur you want in your corner. Having founded 8 companies, 5 of which have failed, he’s learned all about the ups and downs of startups. Kevin runs both Pitch Practice and Atlanta Tech Blogs, AND he’s written over 2,000 blogs in the last two years. Yep, if there were a Ph. D in Startup Language, he’d have it. Kevin is originally from the Congo, and he’s adopted two kids from Kazakhstan. Oh, and his wife? A girl put a tack in his seat in 6th grade…and he married her 15 years later. Like we said, this guy is one you definitely want to know.
MARKETING: Digital Marketing
About: Lindsay is co-founder and Director of Strategy at Wiled, a human-centered marketing agency. Wiled works with B2B and B2C clients, but their human-to-human approach creates marketing solutions that produce meaningful results. Lindsay believes that empathy is a marketer’s most important weapon and loves helping startups discover powerful ways to reach new people. Prior to starting Wiled, Lindsay consulted with a mix of tech and retail clients and way back in the day, she was one of the original team members at Atlanta Tech Village. Like, pre-Octane Atlanta Tech Village.
About: Michael is an entrepreneur and early-stage technology angel investor. As the previous co-founder and CMO of Cloud Sherpas, which exited to Accenture in the fall of 2015, he now spends his time as the Managing Director of Techstars Atlanta, opening in August of 2016. When he’s not off saving the world during the day (seriously, he does big things), he loves to come home to his 2 awesome kids and his wonderful wife. He enjoys staying active no matter the season, spending his summers hiking and his winters skiing. And while he is originally from New York, he’s been won over by our southern charm and is now proud to call Atlanta “home.”
LEGAL: Financing, Term Sheets, Angel Investing
Company: Atlanta Technology Angels, Horten CC
About: Michael Horten is both an US and European educated lawyer with over 40 years’ experience as a practicing attorney, including 25 years with King & Spalding. In 2000, Michael launched Horten CC, a law firm specializing in the representation of entrepreneurial growth companies. The firm employs a non-traditional practice model. First, the firm provides blue chip legal services without the unnecessary overhead typically associated with traditional law firms and second, the firm delivers its services for a fixed fee while maintaining price lists for most of the services that are needed by early-stage companies. Michael is also an active angel investor and is involved in several angel groups.
About: Mike is a serial entrepreneur in healthcare technology and patient experience. He founded Dialog Medical (1997), the leading provider of Informed Consent systems to hospitals and physicians and sold it to Standard Register (NYSE: SR) in July 2011. Then he founded Clockwise.MD (check them out on the Village graduation wall) in September of 2012 and successfully sold to DocuTAP/Warburg Pincus in April 2017. Mike is also a founding member of Tapestry Public Charter School for middle and high school students on the autism spectrum, and their typical peers.
SALES: Enterprise/Growth Strategies
Company: Allegro Consulting
About: Mike is a growth strategies and complex sales expert whose firm has been providing growth strategy advice to established businesses and startups in Georgia for over 14 years. In fact, his firm was presented with the Metro Atlanta Global Impact Award by Mayor Kasim Reed. Speaking of being a sales expert, Mike sold BILLIONS in military jet fighters to our foreign allies for Boeing and Lockheed. His favorite two hobbies mirror his approach to consulting: he cooks (follow the rules) and he buys old houses and remodels them (discover and unleash the potential). One of his projects was even a featured half-hour show on HGTV! In his free time, Mike’s enjoys seeking adventures – aircraft and helicopter piloting, sky diving, scuba diving, wake surfing, mountain biking, running marathons… you get the picture – one of those guys!
Company: Square 1 Bank
About: Technologist, entrepreneur, and venture capitalist are all words to describe Ned. He was an early employee of Broadband Technologies, a startup that had a successful IPO in 1993. He has spent 15 years as a seed/early-stage VC with investments ranging from Navini Networks (acquired by Cisco) to RLX Technologies (acquired by HP) to Boingo Wireless (IPO).With a BS in Electrical Engineering from NC State and an MBA from Dartmouth, Ned clearly has a wide depth of knowledge across many subjects. Ned’s appetite for knowledge started from a young age; he co-founded the Computer Club in high school, but he still hasn’t fully embraced his inner geek! In fact, he aspired to be a stand-up comic until he says he came to the painful realization that he just wasn’t that funny. On top of all of those smarts, Ned has an adventurous side, too. He once traveled by RV from Nicaragua to Texas with his wife and three kids.
About: Nick is an investor and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in building and growing companies. He built a bootstrapped business and sold it to a strategic. When it comes down to it, he’s a Metrics and Numbers geek at heart! With dreams of traveling and addicted to football (i.e., soccer), he has a longer-term goal to port/run a business to Europe. In fact, he’s getting married in Austria this summer and is currently working to Deutsch lernen (that’s “learn German” for you English-speaking folks). When he’s not off adventuring, you can find Nick relaxing and fly fishing on the lake.
More Info: LinkedIn
About: Rachel has deep experience launching and marketing new products for some of the world’s most recognizable technology brands, including Microsoft, Sony, EMC and IBM. She loves re-writing the rules and coming up with new business models that will uncover significant growth opportunities. She recently drove customer success and SaaS growth across IBM’s global SaaS portfolio (including Watson), having successfully led customer adoption and client services at Silverpop (IBM acquired Silverpop in 2014). She is now taking all of her lessons-learned to UserIQ, where she serve as CEO.
Rachel is passionate about mentoring and growing strong leaders, as she enjoys sharing her start-up lessons learned and mentoring other aspiring entrepreneurs in the areas of customer development, product-market fit and fundraising. She serves as an advisor to TiE Youth Entrepreneurs as well as Points of Light Civic Incubator.
Kelly Anne O’Neill
Kelly Anne was born and raised in Milton, GA and yes- she does have two first names. A proud graduate of the University of Alabama, she is the only roll tide in a sea of red and black in her household. As the Community Development Manager, Kelly Anne is the the genius behind the Village snapchat, an epic tour giver, and the ultimate recruiter of talent for the Village. She works with Universities, sponsors, and runs our Mentor and Advisor program. Kelly Anne is sharp as a tack, a natural relationship builder, and passionate about connecting students to startups. Oh, and on a perfect night, she is sitting on a porch eating appetizers with good company.
Senior Level Software Engineer
About: Ricky is a software engineer with over 17 years of experience in helping organizations, from Fortune 500 companies to three-person startups, dream big, improve efficiency, solve problems and save money. Now with Rigor, he’s part of a fast moving team bringing passion and problem solving to IT teams all over the world. Ricky is committed to helping make the Village the best resource for engineers in the Atlanta area and is excited to watch its tech community grow.
FUNDING: Corporate Finance, Business Strategy, Venture Capital
Company: Tech Square Ventures and Engage Ventures
About: Hi, I’m Scott Lopano, a seed and early stage tech investor with Tech Square Ventures and Engage Ventures. I am a Texas native, a UPenn grad, and a foodie with a Big, Fat, Italian Family. I studied Finance at Wharton and then cut my teeth in Investment Banking at UBS in NYC, before moving down to Atlanta and joining TSV.
I would love to help however I can, leveraging my experiences in Corporate Finance, Business Strategy, and Venture Capital to your benefit (i.e. getting that model in good shape, thinking through term sheets, approaching and pitching VCs, and how to think about funding in general).
More Info: LinkedIn
SALES: Value Prop/Growth Strategy
Company: Hi Tech Partners
About: Steve is a serial entrepreneur, sales professional, CEO, and angel investor with 35+ years of experience selling and running tech product and services start-ups. Villagers looking to start or expand their sales efforts, accelerate corporate growth, increase shareholder value, or solve a hard problem should leverage Steve’s experience. Villagers looking to close their first sales should join Steve’s workshops on “Closing you first 10 sales” and “Hiring your first sales person”.
Company: Specialdocs Consultants & Bauer Health
About: Terry always knew he wanted to lead a company. He started his venture into entrepreneurship at the ripe age of 13 to a business that’s still operating today. After graduating from the University of Arizona, Terry’s goal was to become a CEO by the age of 35. As a big-picture kind of guy with the ability to get things done along the way, he met his goal by becoming CEO of the #8 company on INC 500 when he was 35 and 3 months. Now, Terry is the CEO to two companies with over three decades of experience introducing strategies to drive growth within intensely competitive US healthcare markets and has a proven record of productivity, profit, integrity and excellence. He’s adroit in articulating long-term vision, identifying unique opportunities, and positioning startups and existing enterprises for sustainable and profitable growth. Outside of his incredible professional history, Terry’s been happily married for over 34 years, has two very successful daughters and one son-in-law. As someone who’s been fortunate to have many terrific mentors in his life, he likes nothing better than helping people reach beyond their potential.
About: Titania Jordan is the CPO of Bark.us, an internet safety solution that helps parents, corporations, and schools keep children safer across social media, text messaging, and email. As the current host of CONNECT with Titania Jordan, and former host of NBC Atlanta affiliate WXIA’s weekly television show Atlanta Tech Edge, Titania has the honor of covering the latest in tech news and talent across both the city and the globe. In her early career, Titania started her own full-service marketing consulting firm after gaining experience as an account executive with Lincoln Financial Media, working with clients like Whole Foods, Nikon, Samsung, and Zerorez to create copy, radio ad campaigns, and digital promotions targeting women in the Atlanta market. Past roles also include serving as the CMO of KidsLink, co-founder and CMO of PRIVET, Executive Director of Band of Coders Girls Academy, and Director of Programming for SuperNova South.
Titania enjoys helping startups launch in the Atlanta market, serves as a Techstars mentor, and frequently appears as a tech contributor across the nation. She travels the country appearing on programs such as TODAY Show, Steve Harvey, The Doctors, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, and Jenny McCarthy, speaking at esteemed conferences such as DigSouth, VentureBeat MobileBeat, Mom 2.0, Dad 2.0, and emceeing events like the Atlanta Hawks Agency Shootout. Titania was named a tech innovator and a mother of invention by The Atlantan in 2015 and one of the “Women Who Lead & Light Up Atlanta’s Tech Ecosystem” by Hypepotamus in 2016. Titania enjoys painting, co-hosting Atlanta Eats, and building some pretty sweet LEGO cities with her family in her downtime.
FINANCE: Taxes and Accounting
Company: Smith & Howard
About: Tyler is a Senior in the Tax Group at Smith & Howard, a public accounting and advisory firm located in midtown Atlanta. Tyler provides consulting, tax planning, and accounting services to businesses and individuals in a wide variety of industries with a focus on the technology, real estate, hospitality, and transportation markets. Prior to joining Smith & Howard Tyler spent almost two years working in a business development/consulting role with a medical device start-up based out of the ATDC. Tyler obtained an undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech in Business Management with a dual concentration in Operations & Supply Chain and Accounting. While at Georgia Tech Tyler served as the Public and Corporate Relations chair on the executive board of H.E.R.O. (Hearts Everywhere Reaching Out), a non-profit based out of Atlanta, GA. He is currently enrolled at Georgia State University in pursuit of a Masters of Accounting degree and is a member of TAG and GSCPA.
Company: Techstars Atlanta
About: Tyler is an entrepreneur and investor based in Atlanta, GA. Previously he lived in Palo Alto, CA and was Co-Founder and COO of ThinAir Labs, a Y Combinator-backed data security startup. Prior to founding ThinAir, Tyler served as Chief of Staff & Head of Corporate Development at Palantir Technologies, a leading Silicon Valley technology company. At Palantir, Tyler was broadly responsible for scaling the operations of the business. During his 6 year tenure, he built and led human resources, recruiting, corporate development, internal technology, and a variety of smaller business units. Prior to joining Palantir in 2009, Tyler lived in New York City and worked in the fields of private equity and investment banking, having begun his career at J.P Morgan. He serves on the board of The Level Playing Field Institute and is a graduate of the University of Virginia.
LEGAL: Patents, Trademarks, Software Licensing
Company: Founders Legal
About: All little kids have heroes; Yuri’s was Albert Einstein. He started modeling his life after Einstein back when he was in middle school, and his passion for science led him follow Einstein’s path to work as a patent clerk for an international patent firm while studying Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech. During his study, he became intrigued with hardware and software and served as a Assistant Lab instructor at Georgia Tech, teaching students how to program robots. Yuri continued his involvement in the hi-tech scene while earning a law degree with a focus on patents. After a decade of experience with Patents and Technology, Yuri founded his own IP Firm and Technology company here at the Village! He counsels technology companies in all matters related to IP. When he’s not building robots or counseling other startups, Yuri enjoys travel, mountain biking, and the composition of music in all of its forms.