As I look back on 2013, I am amazed at all that ATA achieved and how much we evolved. Starting off 2013 under new leadership was a smooth and successful transition and positioned our organization for a thriving year. At the same time, we are looking forward to another exciting year as we move into 2014 with a refreshed state-of-mind and an eager outlook for what the year has in store for the Southeast’s bustling start-up ecosystem.
I want to share a snapshot of last year’s highlights as I reflect on 2013:
• Our members participated in the raise of more than $11 million in capital for nine start-up companies, including: GetOne Rewards, Wisegate IT, Variable Technologies, Vehcon, VoAPPs, Pretty in my Pocket, Verdeeco, Lightshed Healthcare Technologies, and StarMobile.
• We grew membership by 19 people, added 4 institutional members and 4 new sponsors.
• We moved offices to Atlanta Technology Village in the heart of Buckhead, which has led to increased visibility within the start-up community and provides a convenient meeting place for all.
• We promoted Kate King to Chief Operating Officer, expanding her role to oversee and improve all operational processes.
• We graduated 16 CEOs through the LaunchPad2X program in October, including: Roz Lemieux (Attentive.ly), Kashi Sehgal (Gigabark), Lucie Ide (Rimidi), Gaia Vasiliver-Shamis (Scizzle), Crystal Blackwell (Secure Financial Advantage), Jessica Ramirez (Third Year), Sara Buchanan (Your Talent Bridge), Candace Mitchell (Techturized), Henian Zhange (Oasis), Anna Ruth Williams (ARPR), Jennifer Langley (ArtsCard), Melissa Davis (Elev8 Hire Solutions), Holly Pezzano (Happy Hour Confections), Katherine Stone (Postpartum Progress), Janola Massaquoi (Red Door Beauty) and Janelle Jolley (Sidewalk District).
• We rolled out ATA Gateway, an exciting new entrepreneur video education program that will keep entrepreneurs better informed about the ATA process and the requirements for being investor ready.
• We partnered with Georgia Tech’s TI:GER program again this year (Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results). Through this program, ATA has engaged three students that are working with us as analysts, supporting our due diligence efforts as well as helping to make the organization run smoothly.
All of this and more helped to make 2013 a success for ATA.
Looking forward to 2014, we are thrilled to announce more updates, including a new website that offers a refreshed branding, including a new logo. We believe this updated look will allow us to increase our engagement and visibility within both regional and national start-up communities.
We also launch into the New Year with a new team member. Mark Dewey joined the ATA team at the beginning of the year as a Senior Associate. Mark supports ATA’s due diligence efforts and leads the analyst program within the organization. He will also stand in for Kate King as Interim COO beginning in February, when Kate departs on maternity leave. Mark comes to ATA from a Venture Fund on the west coast. He was also a Senior Fellow for Tech Coast Angels, the largest angel investment network in the United States. Mark’s enthusiasm and passion for helping entrepreneurs and Venture Capital accomplishments will bring a huge value to our team and the start-ups in our network.
In the always-evolving start-up landscape, we bring a valuable offering to Atlanta and the southeast region by providing start-ups and our members the opportunity to participate in an organized and professionally managed angel network.
Without the support of our members, we would not be able to dedicate so much time and energy to the start-ups in our network. Thank you for all you’ve done to help make ATA prosper. Here is to a new year, filled with new opportunities and even greater success.
Written by Bernie Dixon, President & Chairman of Atlanta Technology Angels