Jul 172013
 July 17, 2013  Posted by at 11:04 pm No Responses »

Tonight I had the opportunity to participate on a panel at the GigaOM Mobility Meetup here in Atlanta. Despite the torrential downpour and thunderstorms that snarled Atlanta traffic, it was standing room only.  The event highlighted Atlanta as mobility hub and featured panelists from Atlanta’s global brands like AT&T, Coke, and WeatherChannel.

The panel I participated on was about the startup community in Atlanta.  We are often asked about areas Atlanta already leads in – like Fintech, Health IT, information security, marketing automation, and logistics.  But our moderator, Phil Hendrix of GigaOM, asked a tougher question – he asked us to look forward.  His question was “what big opportunities do you see for Atlanta startups around mobile?”

My answer was connected devices, medical devices, and the ‘internet of things’.  The sectors we already lead in provide an ecosystem and talent base in cloud technologies, big data, and mobility.  Add Georgia Tech’s emerging strength in sensing technologies and you have a recipe for success.

I mentioned a few ATDC companies as examples.  Soneter has an innovative water meter that enables Nest-like monitoring of water usage – without having to cut pipe and install a meter.  NextInput has developed a sensor that essentially enables a third dimension in touch screens which opens all kinds of possibilities in controls on the things we use everyday like appliances, automobiles, and mobile devices.

One of the reasons Atlanta’s startup prowess is what Glenn Lurie of AT&T called “the best kept secret” is we are strong in enterprise and infrastructure sectors which doesn’t get the hype that consumer technology hubs get.  I believe success in connected devices can change that.

What other opportunities do you see for Atlanta’s startups around mobility?

Jul 152013
 July 15, 2013  Posted by at 9:58 pm 1 Response »

Peter Cohan posted a great article in Forbes titled With $201 Million Of Capital And $1 Billion In Sales, Wayfair’s IPO Can Wait. The article is about Wayfair and the CEOs decision to delay taking the company public (read it here). Wayfair is an ecommerce home goods retailer founded by Niraj Shah and Steve Conine. The company was founded in 2002 and is on track to hit $1 billion in sales soon. For those that know Niraj and Steve, their success comes as no surprise.

Niraj and Steve started the company in 2002 with $27,000. They didn’t take any outside capital until 2011 when they raised $165 million to rebrand the company with the goal of becoming a household name. That gives them the luxury of not having investors anxious to cash out (yet) and the ability to think big.

In the article, Niraj talks about Boston entrepreneurs exiting earlier than those in Silicon Valley. He says he wants to see Boston have more “10 billion plus” technology companies.

Wayfair has the opportunity to build what the author calls a ‘pillar company’ – which he defines as a publicly-traded, local company that provides start-ups with talent, capital, and a willingness to try out their products.

We’ve had our share of pillar companies here in Atlanta. Many of our leading entrepreneurs trace their roots to companies like MSA, Peachtree Accounting, Scientific Atlanta, ISS, Mindspring, Radiant, McKesson, iXL, and WebMD.

Like Boston, Atlanta entrepreneurs tend to cash out before they scale. As we think about what it takes to make Atlanta one of the top startup hubs and the leading tech hub in the South – who will our next ‘pillar companies’ be?

Jun 202013
 June 20, 2013  Posted by at 3:11 pm No Responses »

You’ve gone through Customer Discovery and validation.  You have a handful of early paying customers.  Those early customers were probably sold by you (the founder) or your first sales person.  You have validated your minimum viable product.  It’s time to grow.  What sales model is right for your company?

In my time at ATDC, scaling sales is probably the topic I spent the most time on with our ATDC Select companies.  Figuring this out (along with your sales process and lead generation which I’ll cover in another blog) is one of the key criteria that determines whether a company is ready for graduation from ATDC.  A scalable sales model is the key that drives your growth.

A startup’s sales model is primarily determined by two factors:  pricing model and product complexity.

Your pricing model is how your products are priced – how much it costs, the basis for the cost, and how the customer is billed.   For example, enterprise software might cost $x upfront, with an annual maintenance fee.  A SaaS product might cost $y per month.  How much you charge is determined by a range of factors including your costs, uniqueness, and the pain your product solves for the customer.

Product complexity includes the depth of features, ease of use, ongoing service, and difficulty of implementation.  For example, enterprise software is often more complex than a mobile app.

The sales process must be tailored for each company, but sales models fall into the 3 broad categories:

Self Procured

Products that the customer is able to find, determine if it meets their needs, and purchase on their own are self procured.  When you want to add a song to your iTunes library, you are able to search for the song, purchase it online, and download it from the iTunes store.  When you purchase a product at the store you pick it up off the shelf and pay for it at the counter.

Inside Sales

Inside sales is when the sale is completed with the sales person and customer interacting remotely.  Driven by technology, inside sales models are being used more frequently in B2B and some higher end B2C transactions.  For example, when selecting a hosting provider for your web application you might contact several hosting providers to determine which one best meets your needs at the best price point and be given access to the servers remotely.

Field Sales

Field sales, or outside sales, are ‘face to face’ customer sales.  For higher priced, more complex products, cases where there are numerous stakeholders involved in the purchasing decision, consultative sales, or products that need in person demonstrations – visits with the customer are necessary to seal the deal.  Enterprise software that will be used by multiple departments is one example that might require field sales.  Some complex field sales models also require sales engineers, which are product experts capable of performing detailed analysis to determine fit, configuration, and pricing.

Some companies employ multiple sales models.  For example, Salesforce.com uses all of these.  A small company with simple CRM needs can self signup for the cloud service online.  An inside sales rep may also interact with the company remotely, qualify the customer, address their questions and concerns, and sign up the customer.  Larger, more customized enterprise implementations are sold using field sales professionals and sales engineers.

So which sales model is right for your product?  Lower priced products require less expensive sales processes – and more complex products require more customer interaction.  Complex products sold at low prices are usually a recipe for unprofitability.  The chart below illustrates how your pricing model and product complexity determine which model fits your company.





Jun 112013
 June 11, 2013  Posted by at 8:32 pm No Responses »

The best entrepreneurs know that when starting a company there is no substitute for help from experienced mentors that have ‘been there, done that’. At ATDC, we are fortunate to have a pool of over 50 volunteer mentors ready to bring their years of functional and industry experience and deep networks to help our companies succeed.

I couldn’t be more grateful for the tireless effort of our mentors. In addition to working one-on-one with our companies, we often ask them to help with our educational series workshops. They are extremely accessible – all of our companies can schedule time with mentors online.

The mentor program is one of the cornerstones of ATDCs programs so I meet with potential mentors on a weekly basis. Finding them is not the hard part – Atlanta has a great ‘pay it forward’ spirit and there is no shortage of volunteers.

Matchmaking is another story. You can’t assign mentors. It’s a relationship. Sometimes born out of specific problems our entrepreneurs are trying to solve, and other times built around lasting trusted mentoring relationships. Some volunteer mentors understandably get frustrated that they aren’t utilized by the startups. After all, they are volunteering to help for free – why wouldn’t startups want to take advantage of that?

The key to successful matchmaking is understanding the mentors’ interests and expertise.

Most mentors volunteer for all the right reasons – giving back to the community, staying involved in innovative emerging technologies, and expanding their own networks. While we love it when a mentor joins or funds one of our companies, we work hard to screen out mentors who are looking to find consulting gigs with our startups. Identifying the issues and saying “pay me to fix it” is not mentoring.

ATDC mentors that are in the most demand are the ones that do the best job highlighting their skills, functional and industry areas of expertise, and networks. When meeting with potential mentors they will often provide a long list of ways they can help startups. But what I’m really looking to understand is what areas are they in the top 2%. One question I like to ask is “how can you help that an entrepreneur would be hard pressed to find someone better in Atlanta to help him or her with?”

By nature entrepreneurs are extremely resourceful. They are also busy as heck. Our education series covers the basics. They are looking for mentors that can really change the trajectory of their success. Matching them with experts willing to dig in is one of the best ways we can help them succeed.

Mentors volunteering to give feedback on pitches and general business strategy are common and Atlanta has an abundance of programs for that kind of help. Mentors willing and able to roll up their sleeves and help the entrepreneur with specialized needs – helping with customer discovery, figuring out their target customer, building scalable distribution and sales, building financial models, developing supply chain strategies, providing industry expertise, and providing introductions to customers, partners, and investors – are in shorter supply and higher demand.

If you have deep startup, functional, or industry expertise and want to help an entrepreneur change the world, we’d love to have you as part of our mentor program at ATDC! Or volunteer with VentureLabs, FlashPoint, GRA, ATV, Startup Chicks, Hypepotamus, or any of the organizations that have mentor programs. And when you do, focus on getting matched with startups that can leverage what you are truly, uniquely an expert in. If you are already a mentor and want to have more opportunities to be matched with startups, don’t use your standard bio, create a profile that lets entrepreneurs know what areas you are a top 2%er.

Jan 042013
 January 4, 2013  Posted by at 5:49 pm No Responses »

If you spend any time around the Atlanta startup community you’ll no doubt wind up hearing comparisons between Atlanta and other startup hubs like Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, Austin, etc.   In fact, we have a bit of a “little brother” complex to those regions.

Without a doubt, other hubs have some real advantages – particularly access to capital and deep networks.  But we have a lot going for us here in Georgia as well.  We arguably have a greater abundance of many of the key ingredients for a successful ecosystem than the regions we compare ourselves to.  We have a track record of successful tech startups and a growing talent pool of entrepreneurs.  Three leading research universities – Georgia Tech, UGA, and Emory – are within easy driving distance of each other.  We have EII, GRA, and VentureLabs to help commercialize technology from those universities.  Technology Square is emerging as Atlanta’s Sand Hill Road or Kendall Square and is home to ATDC (an incubator Forbes named one of the top 10 in the world), Flashpoint, and Hypepotamus.  There is a base of local angel investors.  TAG, StartUp Lounge, ATA, StartUp Chicks, and numerous other organizations support Georgia’s entrepreneurs.  ATV is an exciting recent addition to the startup community sure to attract a hub of activity in Buckhead.  And we’ve already established leadership positions in transaction processing, information security, mobility, and healthcare IT.

In the past few years we’ve seen several organizations and economic development efforts focusing on improving connections and taking to the bullhorn to tell our story.  But there’s one area we should be a lot more focused on – one thing that can truly differentiate Georgia and Atlanta as the entrepreneurial capital of the Southeast.  It’s a strength we’ve touted for years – our strong base of Fortune 1000 companies.  We can make this the best place to start your business by bringing our startups and established companies together.

There are few more meaningful ways to help a startup than providing introductions to early (paying) customers and commercialization partners.  Now is the perfect time to focus on this.  Large companies are increasingly focused on innovation, and awareness of local leaders of the importance of startups in job creation is rising.  We give tours at ATDC weekly to executives, community leaders, and government officials looking for ideas on how to expand entrepreneurial activity in Georgia.

Startups go to Silicon Valley and Boston for access to capital, established startup ecosystems, and experienced entrepreneurs.  Our competitive advantage should this is the best place to get your first customer and access the networks of our regions business leaders.

We started doing this at ATDC with great success.  Last year we launched a program at ATDC called Industry Connect.  The program invites CEOs, CTOs, CIOs, and Senior Executives from Fortune 1000 companies to engage with ATDC companies by becoming paying customers, making an investment, or becoming a strategic partner.   We are very direct in asking them to make a commitment to engaging with our startups.  In the first year of the program we hosted more than 15 companies and connected them with more than 50 startups.  So far this has resulted in at least a half dozen deals ranging from $20k to $200k, and our companies tell us they expect more deals to come from these initial engagements.  We already have 6 companies scheduled in 2013.

Our EIRs and Startup Catalysts work with the companies to understand their strategic needs, coach the companies for their presentations, and facilitate engagement and follow-up.  We’ve learned that not only do our startups need help in learning how to engage with large customers, but also the industry partners look to the EIRs and Catalysts for help in structuring engagements that don’t fit their normal procurement processes.  Even the “no’s” provide valuable customer discovery opportunities for the startups that participate.  We are leveraging Georgia Tech to provide introductions to big companies and several of the companies participating have been the result of introductions from CEOs of ATDC startups – sharing their networks to help other ATDC companies.

While we should continue to work to improve access to capital, connecting the startup ecosystem, and get the word out – we have a unique opportunity to leverage our strength in big business and as home to 15+ Fortune 1000 companies.  We can do this better than Austin or RTP to be the clear leader in the Southeast.  More than anything else we could do – it will create more successful startups and exits, attract more capital and venture firms to Atlanta, solidify our identity as a tech startup hub, and provide a clear reason for startups to locate and stay here.  In honor of the Falcons – “Rise Up Atlanta” – let’s make this happen.

Dec 292012
 December 29, 2012  Posted by at 4:52 am No Responses »

Pricing new products is one of the most strategic decisions startup CEOs face.  This is true whether you are pioneering a new category, launching a SaaS or subscription model, or even entering an existing market space.  Getting pricing right isn’t just a matter of gaining sales.  It is critical to build a successful business.

A recent post on VentureBeat, How to price your startup’s product right — the first time (read it here), outlines why startups should avoid the temptation of pricing their offering too low to gain market share.  It makes future growth unsustainable, devalues your product offering, and its hard to raise your prices later.

The article outlines three factors to consider when pricing your product:

  1. Materials costs: the amount of money you spend on the raw materials needed to create your products.
  2. Labor costs: the number of hours required to make your product and the hourly rate associated with those hours.
  3. Overhead costs: any further expenses required for the operation of your business.

Understanding your cost of goods sold (1 & 2) and overhead costs (3) is a good first step.  Calculating your gross margin at your proposed price point enables you to benchmark against similar businesses, industry comparisons, and business model comparisons.  This is important not only in building a profitable business, but in determining how your business will be valued.  You have to make enough margin to cover your other expenses (3) and leave room for profit at scale.

However, the article fails to highlight one of the most important factors – especially for SaaS and subscription models.  Failing to understand customer acquisition cost (CAC) and lifetime value (LTV) are the biggest errors I see startups make in setting pricing.  While sales and marketing costs might be considered in overhead costs (3), they are the biggest drivers of determining the right price point along with the cost of delivering the product and should be considered as an additional component.  They determine the viability of the business and are key drivers of cash flow and how much funding the business will need.

In order to understand your expected CAC you have to build your plan bottoms up.  This means not only forecasting how many customers you’ll get, and when you’ll get them – but also how you will get them.  What methods for generating leads will you use and how much will that cost?  What is your sales model?  Are you using reasonable conversion rates?  Once you outline this, you can divide those costs by the number of new customers to get your CAC.  Just like your cost of goods, this is an expense you must cover in your pricing.  The lifetime value of the customer is the average sales to that customer over the lifetime of the customer.  For example, if you have a monthly subscription model and an average customer will use your service for 2 years, the LTV is 24 times the monthly price.

Building these costs into your pricing and researching whether your assumptions are reasonable is a key component of getting your pricing right.  As you build your business, you will be able to monitor your actual results against your assumptions and know whether you are on track or you need to make adjustments.

Getting pricing right will enable you to build a successful business.  Don’t just base it on competitive offerings or ‘gut’ feel of what customers will pay.  Follow these steps to determine what you need to charge.  If your model requires a price the market won’t pay or fails to deliver an ROI to your customers– you don’t have a viable business and you need to rethink your business model.

Oct 042012
 October 4, 2012  Posted by at 9:13 pm No Responses »

In a recent article on The Atlantic titled Think We’re the Most Entrepreneurial Country In the World? Not So Fast the author makes the point that while the US is epicenter of Venture Capital, we produce more ‘large’ startups, and our startups have a better chance of surviving at least 2 years – we’re not the leading entrepreneurial country.

The article is correct in highlighting we aren’t alone in focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship.  I talked about this in an earlier blog about immigration (click here to read).  Other countries like the ones pointed out in the article have made it a priority – and made it easier to attract the best talent.

Where the article is way off base is in the assertion that startups don’t play a large role in job creation in the US.  The author cites Kauffman Foundation statistics that new businesses are responsible for only 3 percent of all US jobs.  That’s a silly measure.  Of course brand new businesses are a small portion of overall jobs – when they are first formed they have very few employees.  Deep science companies may take years to get to commercialization and scale.

I see the data from the Kauffman Foundation differently.  A 2010 Kauffman study shows startups create around 3 million new jobs a year in the US.  While many of those businesses fail, 5 years later when you net the failures and the growth in the ones that succeed, about 75% of those jobs will exist.  When you look at companies 25 years old, you find that about 68% of those jobs exist.  Meanwhile, companies other than new businesses in all but 7 of the last 35 or so years are net job destroyers.  In fact, the 2010 Kauffman Foundation report states:

Startups aren’t everything when it comes to job growth.  They’re the only thing.”

As for startups and early stage growth companies overall impact on our economy, the NVCA Venture Impact report cites that 11% of private sector employment is in venture backed companies (11.9 million jobs in 2010).  In terms of ROI, the report highlights that venture investment each year is equivalent to less than 0.2% of our GDP – yet 21% of our GDP in 2010 comes from revenue of venture backed companies.

Growing our startup ecosystem is the best long term growth strategy.  In 2010 at the height of the recession, San Jose and Austin led the nation in job creation.  Why?  Developed startup ecosystems.  There’s no doubt job creation at scale happens in more mature successful businesses.  But you can’t have more butterflies without first having more caterpillars.

Sep 142012
 September 14, 2012  Posted by at 5:00 pm 1 Response »

Patientco, one of the companies I work with at ATDC, recently raised a $3.75 million Series A investment from BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners and Sandbox Industries (read more here).

It’s an easy company to get excited about.  Co-founders Bird Blitch and Josh Silver are great entrepreneurs and terrific people.  I love working with them.  They are solving a huge problem that almost all of us can identify with – how to make sense of your healthcare bills and understand what you are paying for, what your insurance pays, and what you owe and who you owe it to.  They bootstrapped the company and built the business with a product that right out the gate provided value to the healthcare providers by getting them to sign up faster, and to the patients by making it easier to pay.  Josh built much of the product himself and I watched Bird pound the pavement to build their initial customer base.  Now it’s time to scale and further invest in making it easier to understand your healthcare bill – and that’s why now was the right time for them to raise this money.

At today’s ATDC CEO Roundtable, Patientco CEO Bird Blitch shared why he chose SandBox / BCBS from multiple offers, including local options, even though it didn’t meet one of his goals of raising the round from a local investor.  He talked about the obvious advantage that a strategic investment from BCBS through SandBox gives them access to help they need growing the company.

In explaining how much he enjoyed working with them, he talked about how he thinks they not only have more access to customers and partners that can help Patientco, but they also had more time to focus on his business.  His reasoning was other funds have to divide their time between two masters – LPs and the startups they invest in.  For SandBox, time spent with LPs (BCBS) is more efficient because they are actually spending time with his customers and partners.

I think that’s great insight.  In my two previous ventures, we had Total Technology Ventures (TTV) as an investor from their first two funds.  I saw a similar advantage.  Their funds were largely comprised of strategic LPs like Synovus and TSYS.  Prior to Bird’s comment, I thought it was working with smart people from the fintech space that made them great partners.  But looking back, I think the fact that they not only had the connections I needed, but the hands on time they spent with us is what made the difference.

At iKobo, all three of our venture investors (TTV, Council Ventures, and Greenhill) had a fintech focus that benefited us.  But ‘smart money’ doesn’t just mean industry strategic investors.  Council Ventures (now focused on healthcare IT) brought a unique value through their model of Operating Partners.  They engaged their experienced LPs to serve in their board seats and provide mentoring to their portfolio companies.  One of those Operating Partners, Jim Balkcom, was our Chairman.  His experience and leadership was invaluable.  I’m blessed to have him as a close friend and mentor to this day.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of defining smart money as VCs with large funds, great track records, and impressive rolodexes.  By that definition, we might think of ‘smart money’ as coming from outside the Southeast.  In my time as an EIR at ATDC, I’ve gotten to know local VC’s through a unique lens – seeing first hand how they work with the companies they invest in.  We may have a shortage of venture funding  – and as entrepreneurs we may wish the economics of deals here looked more like Silicon Valley – but we do have some awesome local investors that bring a lot more to the table than just money.

When raising money try to find smart money.  It might mean a strategic investor like Sandbox / BCBS or TTV – or it might mean a firm that works with it’s portfolio companies in building their companies by providing much more than money.  Like Bird and Josh at Patientco, you’ll be glad you did.

Aug 082012
 August 8, 2012  Posted by at 4:44 am 1 Response »

USCIS LogoOver the past 3 months I’ve worked on a task force with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS/DHS).  The Entrepreneur in Residence program brought a group of private sector entrepreneurs and investors together with USCIS experts to help streamline the immigration pathway for foreign entrepreneurs to start high growth technology companies in the US or join startups (you can read more in this White House blog post).  Last Monday we had the opportunity to host an update on the progress of the task force at Georgia Tech

I’m not an immigrant – I grew up in a small town in North Carolina.  So why am I volunteering my time for this effort?

In part, because I believe access to technical talent is the biggest threat to our global competitiveness and ability to innovate.  Clearly the US needs to focus on nurturing more STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) talent here at home.  But we also need to continue what has worked for the country in the past – attracting the best minds from all over the world.  It’s a cliché we often hear, but it’s true – we are a nation of immigrants.

But the real reason this resonated with me is because during my time as an EIR at ATDC I’ve come to believe keeping talent here in Atlanta is one of the biggest keys to strengthening our startup community.

Startups will tell you the students they recruit out of Tech want to go work for Google or Facebook and talk about how we need to do more to highlight the startup community here in Atlanta to retain them.  They are right.  Fortunately folks like Keith McGreggor are working to become on-campus evangelists for the startup community and the execs at the companies at ATDC are becoming more active in the Georgia Tech community.

But there’s another issue – we’re losing much of that talent not just to other tech hubs and companies here in the US – we’re losing them to other countries.

One of the coolest parts about being an EIR at ATDC is seeing all of the incredible technology innovations coming out of Georgia Tech and other research universities in the area.  Commercializing these innovations represents enormous economic development and job creation opportunities.

Behind each of those innovations are teams of professors and students. At Georgia Tech, about half of those inventors and would be entrepreneurs are foreign born.  They came to the US to study because we have the best universities and advanced degree programs in the world.

For graduates that want to go work for large established companies, the immigration pathway is clear.  But for those that want to commercialize their innovations, immigration obstacles often prevent them from starting a company or joining a technology startup.

Many would say “So what… let them get a job with a big company or go home.  Leave those startup jobs to Americans.”  While unemployment in Georgia is over 8%, unemployment in the technology sector is less than half at 3.2%.  Money and talent are the two biggest challenges for the early stage companies.  I run the CEO Roundtable at ATDC and one of the most frequent topics of discussion is how the struggle to find great technical talent is their biggest barrier to growth.  Think about that – coming from startup CEOs located on the campus of one of the top engineering schools in the country during a time of record unemployment – and their biggest challenge is hiring the employees they need to grow!

When foreign students get their masters or PhD and take that knowledge with them and start their companies in another country, we lose out on the jobs created and taxes collected from the wealth generated.  If they join startups in another country, our local startups can’t hire the talent they need to grow.  We lose out on the technical, sales, marketing, and other jobs that come along with the success.  In addition, their research is funded by not only by commercial sponsors, but federal and state grants as well.  I want the benefit of those taxpayer investments to stay here in the US.

Current immigration laws hurt our economy by losing out on the next Google or PayPal (both co-founded by foreigners) and denying technical employee starved companies like those at ATDC of the talent they need to grow.  I attended a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS – part of the Department of Homeland Security) summit in Silicon Valley earlier this year on this topic where leading West Coast VCs and academics outlined the problem and talked about the Startup Visa initiative currently stalled in Congress.  They took it farther by outlining the danger of this reverse ‘brain drain’ on US competitiveness and innovation.  Other countries like India, China, the UK and Singapore are benefiting not only by recruiting these entrepreneurs and startups, but they are attracting venture investment dollars that would otherwise be invested here in the US.  Chile has gotten a lot of attention for a program created to attract the brightest entrepreneurs by not only eliminating immigration barriers, but by giving them $40,000 in seed money to locate there.

USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas deserves a lot of credit for putting this task force together.  He gave us incredible access to USCIS officials and allowed us to travel to the regional operations centers to educate the USCIS employees that adjudicate these cases on startups and the realities of business today.   Those of us from the private sector gained an appreciation of what a difficult task they face and the complexity of driving change in the immigration process, policies, and laws.

I think we made some important progress in addressing immigration barriers for entrepreneurs and hope to see some of the recommendations implemented soon.  It’s a big opportunity to increase the talent pool not just in Atlanta, but nationwide.   I’ll share more about our progress, what we learned, and my thoughts on streamlining the pathway for foreign born entrepreneurs in a future post.

Mar 282012
 March 28, 2012  Posted by at 8:15 pm 1 Response »

In a previous post I shared tips on being selected as one of Georgia’s Top 40 Innovative companies.

This morning, TAG honored the recipients at the Georgia Technology Summit where the top 10 gave brief presentations on their companies.  5 of the top 10 are ATDC companies or recent graduates along with at least 7 of the other top 40 winners.  And the winners are…

Top 10

  • AirWatch, a leader in enterprise-grade mobile device management, mobile application management and mobile content management solutions designed to simplify mobility.
  • Brightwhistle, a first-in-class digital patient acquisition solution provider to hospitals and large physician practices.
  • FirstData, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing.
  • Innovolt, a leader in comprehensive electronics power protection and management, is the first to bridge the gap between the power protection and asset service markets. The company’s technology allows equipment to last longer by keeping it safe from common power grid disturbances that negatively impact electronics performance and lifespan.
  • NexTraq, the value leader of GPS fleet tracking and vehicle management solutions.
  • Podponics, a company that converts used shipping containers into modular controlled-environment growth pods to enable the growth of fresh produce in urban centers.
  • Proximus Mobility is a location based proximity marketing software company, delivers relevant content to consumers’ mobile devices at the point of purchase, regardless of phone type and without an app.
  • Red Bag Solutions, Inc., a company that offers patented technology and equipment for the on-site processing of regulated medical waste.
  • SalesLoft is a sales technology company that helps B2B organizations speed up their revenue cycles and close more deals by automating sales research, ranking prospects on likeliness to buy, and generating new leads through data analytics.
  • Velocity Medical Solutions, LLC, a company that represents the next generation of intelligent radiation treatment tools through a vendor-neutral platform gives clinicians a fully integrated record of all diagnostic, planning and delivery data, regardless of origin.
The rest of the top 40 winners in alphabetical order:
  •      Aptidata Corporatiom
  •      CodeGuard
  •      CompliancePoint, Inc.
  •      Concurrent Computer Corporation
  •      Contact At Once! LLC
  •      CorFire
  •      CubeVibe
  •      DataOceans, LLC
  •      Digital Assent
  •      eFortresses, Inc.
  •      EyeLevel Interactive
  •      FreebeePay, Inc.
  •      Implantable Provider Group (IPG)
  •      Kabbage, Inc.
  •      Lancope
  •      Mowgli
  •      NCR
  •      Neurotic  Media
  •      NextInput
  •      Numerex
  •      Patientco
  •      Paymetric
  •      Pindrop Security
  •      PlayOn! Sports
  •      rappidApp
  •      ShopVisible
  •      TerraGo Technologies
  •      TripLingo
  •      Vertical Acuity
  •      Whiter Image