Pitch Atlanta Recap

Investors from across the country descended on Atlanta this past April 15th for our inaugural Pitch Atlanta event. This sold out, invite-only gathering at Atlanta Tech Village connected 20 of the best local startups with 82 accredited investors from across the nation.

“At the Village, we’ve created an ecosystem of support and inspiration that promotes faster connections between talent, ideas, and capital,” said Karen Houghton, Vice President of Atlanta Tech Village, the fourth largest tech hub in the United States.

“Pitch Atlanta is our way of showcasing to investors from across the country what the Atlanta startup community has to offer while amplifying opportunities for top-tier Atlanta startups seeking seed or Series A funding.”

The idea for Pitch Atlanta was to facilitate dialogue between twenty early-stage startups and vetted investors in an intimate, fun, and authentic setting. In fact, the daylong experience stayed true to Atlanta’s southern hospitality roots, with a warm, accessible, and welcoming vibe. Houghton and David Lightburn, President and Co-founder of Atlanta Tech Village, served as lively and entertaining hosts and some of the best tech names in Atlanta came to speak and share their stories and insights.

Atlanta Tech Startup Ecosystem Is Thriving

John Willmoth, founder and managing partner at Poplar Ventures, flew in from Louisville, Kentucky, to attend. “I’ve just raised a $25 million investment fund and I’ve done investment in Atlanta previously so I wanted to come here to network with investors and founders. Just get to know the market. If you get outside Silicon Valley, New York, and some of the other traditional markets Atlanta definitely has a lot going on.”

“One of the biggest issues here is access to capital,” said seasoned angel investor Mike Ross, who has invested in a slew of Atlanta-based startups such as Luma, PartPic, Axis Replay, Techturized, and The Gathering Spot. “Any event that puts startup companies and venture capitalists in the same room is a credit to the Atlanta community, a much-needed resource, and something that needs to happen more often. We have a vibrant tech ecosystem here and it’s starting to get recognition all over the country,” adds Ross.

One of the Southeast’s most prolific investors Sig Mosley echoed this sentiment. “It shows us the wide variety of companies that are here,” said Mosley, managing partner of Mosley Ventures. “It brings investors together to see what else is going on in the community.”

The day comprised founders pitching in groups of five, punctuated by tasty grub, engaging on stage discussions, and colorful entertainment. The teams came from all walks of life, with solid representation from women- and minority-led startups. This diversity was extended to the broad spectrum of startups presenting. In addition, proceeds from the ticket sales were donated to Women Who Code.

Investors From All Over The Country

Barbara Jones is the founder and CEO of Freeing Returns, a B2B platform that helps retailers stop fraud. She was one of the entrepreneurs that pitched. Her startup has already receiving non-dilutive capital from EnrichHer and this year alone they have already generated more than $350K in sales going into Q2. Projected revenue for 2019 is $1.5 million.

“This is huge because they have brought in investors from all over the country,” said Jones. “We didn’t have to fly to the West Coast; I’ve met people from New York, North Carolina, and San Francisco. I appreciate Atlanta Tech Village for curating this event.”

Any event that puts startup companies and venture capitalists in the same room provides incredible value to Atlanta startup community. We have a vibrant tech ecosystem here and it’s starting to get recognition from all over the country.

A version of this post first appeared on UrbanGeeks and was written byKunbi Tinuoye.