How I saw it. The ATDC Showcase.

Some of my favorite people were all gathered in the same room today. It was the Start-up Showcase & annual celebration for the ATDC, This event celebrates successful companies who have been a part of the group that is the epicenter of Atlanta Tech. I’ve been around ATDC since I was 22. I just turned 29 and this show was my favorite to date. Here are the reasons:

  • Funding. There are a lot of funding stories taking place right now. The investors are active and many of the entrepreneurs have a great story to tell. One of my favorite bits of info is the news that ATA is starting strong and leading their first investment round since new leadership.
  • Hiring. I talked to five+ companys that are adding people. For example, Bart Foster at SoloHealth mentioned that he was growing to a total of 35 people before the year end. I’d assume they are around 12 right now.
  • Getting to revenue before investment. This may be my favorite. And this is a great trend.  A handful of companies I spoke with already have customer contracts and revenue, before taking on or even asking for capital. Kudos to these people, you know who you are!
  • Lastly, the Exciting start-ups. My three favorites where Verdeeco, LiquidTextSecureHealthPay. You should check them out.

Did you attend the event? if so, what were your thoughts? I’d love to hear if I was the only one who took such positives from the climate.

* Neat addendum, this post basically represents the one year anniversary of my blog. Last year I ran Wiffiti on the projection screen for the show & wrote about it here. I did it again this year and had a blast.


  1. Thanks for the recap of the ATDC event, I was sorry to have to miss it.

    Of the investor community in attendance and the buzz around investment, did you hear much about early early stage investing? I agree that there seems to be quite an uptick in the investment community in town but I’m not sure its yet reached the back-of-the-napkin stage investments. Curious if you heard otherwise.

    1. Thanks for taking a look Jeff. I’m a big fan of Begin the Begin. Wish you could have made the show!

      The biggest buzz I heard on super early stage investment was the announcement about flashpoint at Georgia tech. This will be a Y combinator mimic led by Imlay Investments & Merrick Ferst. You might have seen the news here, & Lance blogged briefly about it this morning.

      Really though, should most software entrepreneurs need capital at the napkin stage? There are exceptions but I’ve been toying around with the idea that the alpha app is the new napkin & an interested customer is the new business plan. What they need is friends, role models, & mentors. Like you.

      Capital should mainly be used to accelerate a good idea as opposed to filtering out bad ideas. And the best entrepreneurs will be able to get past early seed with their own capital/relationships.

    2. Thanks for taking a look Jeff. I’m a big fan of Begin the Begin. Wish you could have made the show!

      The biggest buzz I heard on super early stage investment was the announcement about flashpoint at Georgia tech. This will be a Y combinator mimic led by Imlay Investments & Merrick Ferst. You might have seen the news here, & Lance blogged briefly about it this morning.

      Really though, should most software entrepreneurs need capital at the napkin stage? There are exceptions but I’ve been toying around with the idea that the alpha app is the new napkin & an interested customer is the new business plan. What they need is friends, role models, & mentors. Like you.

      Capital should mainly be used to accelerate a good idea as opposed to filtering out bad ideas. And the best entrepreneurs will be able to get past early seed with their own capital/relationships.

      1. Hey Kyle, meant to respond to this a while back.  You bring up a good point about capital in the early stage of a startup.  I’d say it’s a lot easier to go without capital if you have a service model vs. product.  

        For me, I didn’t get funding but I did in a way as I personally had a dozen credit cards with upwards of $90k in total.  Fortunately I was able to do that but many aren’t.

        It’s a great topic for discussion.  Oh, and I’m hoping to get involved with Flashpoint.  I agree that its one of the more exciting things going.

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