Atlanta falls in love with the Finalists at the Fall 2017 Startup Runway Showcase.
Over 100 Atlanta community leaders and visionaries came to the Fall 2017 Showcase. There was a collective ‘wow’ for the practicality of startups like Usit, an app built by former Emory students solving quality babysitting, and for The Cut, a national barber marketplace for hip men of color. The was a general sense of “about time” for informed solutions like Acivilate, which helps people returning from prison staying out of jail, and Impactive, which makes it easier for nonprofits to efficiently track their work in the field. The 9 Finalists found advocates, customers, and introductions in the audience.
“This was really good,” was the word from professional investors.
The judges included top regional venture capital investors like Ashish Mistry, BLH Ventures; Alan Taetle, general partner at Noro Moseley; Jason Caplain, general partner at Bull City Venture Partners of Raliegh; Wei Chun Tai of Moseley Ventures; Kyle Schlotman returning from Connetic Ventures (a sponsor last year); Scott Lopano from Tech Square Ventures, and Robin Bienfait from Valor Ventures, the fund that created Startup Runway. They were pleased with the quality, traction and practicality of the early stage startups. Professional investors awarded the $10,000 prize check to Impactive, a SaaS application that helps large nonprofits report in the field more efficiently.
The Startup Runway Fall 2017 showcase marked the first anniversary of the nonprofit program.
The Startup Runway Foundation mission is to connect top quality women and minority-led startups to professional investors. In the last year, we’ve partnered with over 50 high caliber corporate mentors from leading companies like Coca-Cola, World Vision, UPS, Cox, Turner, Fisher Broyles, Taylor English, The Weather Company, and more. In its first full year, the Foundation held three pitch competitions with professional investors, giving away $25,000 and counting in strings-free grants to scaling minority- and women-led startups, which account for 40% of tech startups pitching yet receive only 10% of the funding available currently. The Foundation has also attracted an audience of over 180 advocates that support the first public pitches of these outstanding Finalist young companies.
“I’m thrilled with the reception these entrepreneurs earn with the audience and with investors,” says Lisa Calhoun, who founded the program and is general partner at Valor Ventures. “It’s wonderful to see the community come together and celebrate its scrappiest problem solvers, its most committed job builders and its most impressive innovators every Startup Runway Showcase.”
Mark your calendar: May 2, 2018
Startup Runway’s Spring 2018 Showcase is now taking applications from top women- and minority-led startups who’d like to compete for a strings-free $10,000 prize check from our grassroots community. If you’d like to get involved, please let us know.
Our mission is supported entirely by tax-deductible donations from our sponsors.
This year, those sponsors included The Gathering Spot, the Atlanta Hawks, Spencer Stuart, Myra McElhaney (public speaker and author), MHR International, Write2Market, OnPay, Valor Ventures, ticket holders and individuals who prefer to remain private. You too can refer a sponsor for a larger gift and engagement, or just help tremendously with your individual support. All donations are fully tax deductible.