We had a terrific time this week at Venture Atlanta. We spent the week connecting with investors and meeting a host of dynamic founders – and we learned a lot. Here are my big takeaways from the event:
Overline VC killed it with their pickleball event on Tuesday
It was an incredibly well attended, all day event with lessons for beginners and pick-up games happening the entire day. It was a fun and different way to network and build relationships. I’ve never played pickleball, nor had most of the participants. However, it’s an incredibly accessible game for people of all ages and abilities and there’s nothing like meeting people doing something that feels athletic. The people I met there were a springboard for building some great relationships throughout the rest of the week.
The pitch contest was really fun
The founders had a strict three minute timer to run their entire pitch. Talking to several of them after, packing their whole story into three minutes was a real challenge, but forced them to get very tight with their story and focus on what matters. Each one brought their own flair and passion to their pitch while providing what I thought was an impressive overview of their business in an incredibly short amount of time.
IRC Seed Stage Standouts:
BLEACH – SMB’s and startups are the primary targets for cyber security attacks and ransomware, but the majority of existing solutions are too pricey and complicated to deploy at an early stage – Bleach solves that problem. The platform can be implemented with a few clicks and CEO & Co-Founder Craig Goodwin did an excellent job of demonstrating the process in an easy to digest, but informative pitch. Definitely one to watch.
CAREYAYA – Probably the most engaging and polished presentation from the Seed Showcase, CareYaya solves for the disconnect between quality and affordability in home healthcare. By leveraging the surplus in medical students looking for income opportunities, CareYaya connects those individuals to families desperate to find care solutions in their time of need. Major kudos out to a founder (Neal Shah) so confident in their trajectory that he secured the ticker symbol (NYSE: YAYA) during a seed round. These guys are decidedly outside of our focus but someone is going to climb on and take this (sure to be) ride up and to the right.
FORESIGHT – We are extremely wary of horizontal B2B software in Sales, Marketing & Customer Success right now, but Foresight (squarely focused on the latter) stood out against our skepticism. While most CS solutions (and there aren’t a ton of them) focus on using ‘in app’ and in-house data to score and predict customer health, Foresight looks outward where insight actually exists. The platform allows CSMs and AMs to proactively engage clients ahead of key events to identify risk and gauge account health. As a bunch of former services and software providers ourselves, we can say they are absolutely barking up the right tree.
We could not be more grateful for our partnership with the team at Tech Square Ventures
They truly are stewards of the venture community in Atlanta and helped us navigate our time this week by connecting us with investors, pre-wiring us with intel on all of the companies presenting and hosting us at dinners and parties. It was awesome to meet more of the team and I even played pickleball with a couple of them.
Overall, the venture community in Atlanta is incredible. It’s a very collaborative community of investors, founders and corporate partners who have formed the best venture ecosystem in the US in my opinion.