After three months of intense mentoring, Techstars Atlanta graduates took the stage on Tuesday, November 1 to win over investors, users, and the Atlanta startup community with their newly polished pitches. Hosted at the Tabernacle, the inaugural Techstars Demo Day highlighted the first cohort — 10 companies from Atlanta and around the world that worked hard to finesse their businesses during the accelerator.
“I am overwhelmed by the amount of community support we received in our inaugural year, ” says Michael Cohn, Managing Director at Techstars Atlanta, a partnership with Cox Enterprises. “It was really rewarding to see so many people in the crowd cheering on our participants, especially all of the investors who are also attending the Venture Atlanta Conference.”
Techstars Demo Day kicks off a joint venture this week with Venture Atlanta for three days of non-stop networking between entrepreneurs and leading investors.
After welcoming remarks from directors Cohn and Tyler Scriven, each startup stepped up to the plate with a strong 5-minute presentation to win over investors and start their post-graduation fundraising to grow their company even further. Each one of these teams stood out in a sea of hundreds of applications from 69 countries and that passion came through each presentation.
Jonathan Cohn, CEO of Fitspot, felt prepared for his moment in the spotlight, thanks to strong mentorship during the accelerator. “We learned the importance of establishing a company mission and implementing a set of strong internal values,” says the CEO. “This coupled with an emphasis on listening to feedback from customers, employees, and investors, [the accelerator] has helped us establish a strong internal foundation.”
Andrew Eddy, CEO of Sequr, agrees that “Techstars does a great job of helping accelerate your business” after he and his team spent the last three months growing their SaaS platform for residential and enterprise physical access control. They are looking to flip the keycard market on its head by moving the access to your phone.
The other presenters included:
- Bark (Savannah, GA) — a machine learning software to keep your children safe online
- Drizzle (Los Angeles, CA) — a free, full-stack platform for premium publishers to increase their user engagement and grow traffic
- Joonko (Tel Aviv, Israel) — a real-time, AI diversity and inclusion coach for your company
- Laaser (Atlanta, GA) — making 911 work the way you think it already does by providing your exact location vs. a nearby cellphone tower
- Preesale (Brussels, Belgium) — helping event organizers drive attendance and revenue to their events
- Real Meal Delivery (Atlanta, GA) — the most capital efficient restaurant delivering fresh, made-from-scratch meals every day
- Splitty (Tel Aviv, Israel) — offers hotel deals only available by combining 2 rate plans to a single reservation through their site
- uCiC (Waterloo, Canada): Ask a question and see a live photo/video from anywhere in the world — right now.
Cox Enterprises COO Alex Taylor and Techstars co-CEO David Brown also took the stage to remark on the current startup ecosystem as well as dish out advice for the new graduates. “Surround yourself with idea people,” said Taylor during his short talk.
“Each of our 10 companies showed tremendous growth over the last 90 days, and they’ll always be a Techstars company,” says Cohn. “They have access to our global network of contacts and experts to help them continue growing. It’s been an amazing first year, and I can’t wait to see what year two brings our way.”
We’re excited as well for the four out of the 10 companies that will be keeping their headquarters here in Atlanta. We’re looking forward to the next cohort!
Photos by Jenni Girtman, courtesy of Cox Enterprises
Learn more about Techstars Atlanta through the exclusive articles by Hypepotamus. The hashtag #tslatlanta will tell its story across social media, including the @techstars and @coxenterprises Twitter accounts.