Atlanta’s entrepreneurial and tech community gathered on Tuesday night for the sixth Atlanta Startup Battle at Midtown’s TechSquare Labs. After a rigorous application process, the quarterly pitch competition invites five finalists to pitch on stage for the chance to win a $100,000 investment from TechSquare Labs’ early-stage venture fund.
This iteration of the competition crowned not one, but two winners in front of a sold-out crowd. TechSquare Labs co-founder Paul Judge presented a check to construction permits platform Permits.com and lawn care robotics startup Greenzie.
In addition to the investment, the two startups will gain access to resources, mentorship and a network within TechSquare Labs, which is also Atlanta’s Google for Entrepreneurs hub.
The Battle was judged by Upfront Ventures’ Kobie Fuller; Loeb.nyc’s Bryan Janeczko; Techstars Atlanta Managing Director Dave Payne; Atlanta Ventures Partner Karen Houghton; and Engage Ventures‘s co-Managing Director Thiago Olson.
“At the end of the day, without the venture judges who come from around the country, this event doesn’t work. When we founded this event and TechSquare Labs, we asked ourselves one question: how we would build an organization and event that we would apply to. This is reflective of how we view entrepreneurship and the world,” said TechSquare Labs co-founder Allen Nance as he welcomed the 500+ attendees.
The inaugural Startup Battle occurred in October 2016 and since then, the startup pitch competition has attracted more than 6,000 applications and crowned eight winners total.
Winner Greenzie is tackling a $90 billion market by providing a solution for lawn care companies to reduce labor costs and increase efficiency through the use of autonomous robotic lawn mowers. CEO Charles Brian Quinn thanked the judges and congratulated the other companies on stage.
“We need your help; let’s build a big company here in Atlanta,” Quinn said.
The first startup incubated in the Atlanta Ventures Studio, Greenzie will use the investment to continue to refine their current prototype.
The second winner, Permits.com (formerly Permitzone) bridges the gap between local government and private contractors by providing all the necessary updated permit information and allowing them to manage multiple projects in one platform.
“Execute,” is the goal that Permits.com CEO Ray Antonino excitedly shared with Hypepotamus after his win.
“We’re going to execute what we know to focus on improving the process of getting permits, streamlining so contractors can get them faster, and capture those contractors that have been on the fence by creating a better permit environment. In the end, we want to help create communities that we all want to live in.”
While pitching, Antonino mentioned that he pursued the domain Permits.com for 22 months until he was able to rebrand the company. The South Carolina-based founder told Hypepotamus in 2017 that he grew his business organically by putting high priority on SEO as a customer acquisition funnel.
The other three finalists were:
- Cambrian (Kansas City, MO) — a home improvement app that helps users utilize augmented reality to visualize paint colors, flooring, and tiling in real-time with one click.
- Tenscores (Montreal, Canada) — a Adwords platform that helps small-to-mid businesses get cheaper clicks by improving their quality scores.
- xCheck (New York, NY) — a platform specifically for airlines to update and manage their digital advertising at a low cost.
Judge called on three past Battle winners to provide updates on their growth since they joined the Techsquare Labs family. First, healthcare-related fraud startup Fraudscope relayed their $2.5 million investment raise — they now boast 15 employees.
Two startups that received investments during the fourth Battle, energy efficiency automation platform Cove.Tool and real-time marketing campaign tool Eletype, both shared news of funding and customer acquisition.
The next iteration of Atlanta Startup Battle will happen in the fall. Stay tuned and see more news about TechSquare Labs here.