A Week To Remember: Venture Atlanta, Engage Reception and more
Like many in the Atlanta startup community, we’ve been preparing for this past week for a while. Each year, the list of startup and VC-related events clustered around one particular week in October grows even longer.
Of course, the headliner of the week is Venture Atlanta, the largest venture investor conference in the Southeast. Engage is proud to be a sponsor and supporter of Venture Atlanta, and Managing Director Thiago Olson was proud to serve on this year’s Board. We also had two Engage companies pitching on stage: FreightWaves and Intrinio.
To align with the conference, we held our Fall Investor & Executive Reception this week as well. This invite-only Reception, which we hold twice a year, celebrates our latest startup cohort and lets us reconnect with our wider network of corporate partners, co-investors, and CEOs.
And, to support the community, we stopped by events like Techstars Atlanta Demo Day and Atlanta Startup Battle as well.
Monday: Techstars Demo Day
Techstars Atlanta hosted their annual Demo Day on Monday evening at The Tabernacle. The event featured the ten Techstars startups from this year’s cohort, along with a few of the accelerator’s graduates.
The introduction to the event came from Alex Taylor, CEO of Techstars Atlanta sponsor Cox Enterprises. Also an Engage partner, Alex and Cox have consistently shown their avid support for the Atlanta startup community.
Tuesday: Engage Investor & Executive Reception
Held at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the guests at our Reception enjoyed a perfect view of Atlanta’s skyline.
A few highlights from the Reception:
— General Partner Blake Patton presenting Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson, former President of Georgia Tech and a founding member of Engage, with a ‘key to Engage.’ True to form for these helluva engineers, this key was designed and 3D-printed by two of our portfolio companies.
— Five companies from our latest cohort presented to the room on stage. 2ULaundry, Resilia, Deep North, Wi-Charge and Instant Financial wowed the crowd with their impressive presentations and growing businesses.
— Two fireside chats featuring members of our community: Managing Director Daley Ervin spoke to Matt Schweickert, Chief Strategy Officer of The Home Depot, for “An Inside Look: Corporate-Startup Partnerships That Work.” Director Holly Beilin spoke to Igor Jablokov, founder and CEO of Pryon, on “Building to Scale: From Amazon Acquisition to Corporate Contracts.” These two conversations provided a direct perspective on the work we do at Engage, both with our corporate partners and our startups.
— Updates from two of our portfolio companies, Fast Radius and STORD, on the progress they’ve made over the last year. These companies are growing, hiring, and signing contracts like crazy, and we’re proud to have them as part of our community.
Wednesday: Venture Atlanta Kickoff
Wednesday began Venture Atlanta, and Engage was well-represented. Beyond our presenting companies, Engage corporate partner Invesco was the headlining sponsor of the conference.
“We’re very proud to be a founding partner of Engage, a venture fund here with a very different model,” said Donie Lochan, CTO of Invesco, in his opening statement.
The rest of the day was spent in pitches, panels, and networking.
Thursday: Venture Atlanta Day 2 and Atlanta Startup Battle
The day also included panels about corporate development, M&A, and an all-star “winning teams” panel with world-class athletes.
Venture Atlanta closed out on Thursday afternoon, but we weren’t done. The team headed over to Atlanta Startup Battle, the quarterly pitch competition hosted by our co-investor TechSquare Labs.
With the week’s events behind us, we’re exhausted but exhilarated about the future of the Atlanta startup community. We can’t wait to do it all again next year!
Special thanks to our partners: Metro Atlanta Chamber and Venture Atlanta for hosting and partnering on these killer events.