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Meet Atlanta’s Startup Power Couples

by Tricia Whitlock

In the startup world it’s all about who you know (or love).  In honor of Valentine’s Day we’ve connected with three of Atlanta’s closest partnerships.


RICK MYERS & AMY HOOVER- Are They or Aren’t They?  

Current positions: 
Rick–  Founder, Talent Zoo / Cofounder, Strongbox West

Amy– President, Talent Zoo / Cofounder and CEO, Strongbox West
(We have some side projects we intend to launch out of SBW once the dust settles from the expansion, but for now all the focus is on our primary businesses)

When & how did you meet?
We met in Atlanta in 1998, when Talent Zoo was just a 2 year old company that Rick bootstrapped out of ​his apartment​. Unbeknownst to us at the time, we grew up about 45 minutes from each other in NE Ohio and had both moved to Atlanta 3 years prior. We also shared a passion for classic rock, muscle cars, and working our asses off. It was like the universe ​intended for us to meet and start working together. ​As they say, the rest is history.

Are you together, like actually an item?
Contrary to the rumors, no we are not an item. We do share an HBO GO account, and we​ can ​ bicker like an old married couple at times​, but siblings ​would be a more accurate comparison.  We can say anything we want about each other, but damn, no one else better try. I will say though, that if my dog didn’t like Rick, then whatever we have might be over. The Coleman test! :)​

How has your male/female team dynamic helped you to build Strongbox and TalentZoo into what they are today?
Having both a male and female point of view in one decision-making team ​certainly ​makes us ​a stronger  team. We have always believed we have a greater chance for success if we create equal opportunity for both women and men. What better place to commit to that belief than at the ownership level? Also, Rick is smart man, and he knows when he finds a gal who can put up with his bullshit, he’d better make sure he holds on to her.

ADAM & LINDSEY MANGONE – A Marriage of Entrepreneurship & Social Enterprise 


Current Positions:
Adam is a Cofounder of UserIQ, a software company that allows marketing professionals to interact in-app with users of their web and mobile products (think marketing automation inside the web or mobile application). They are also one of the ATDC Select companies.

Lindsey is a Cofounder and the Executive Director of Innovation in Action, a project-based learning program that teaches innovation, design thinking, and entrepreneurship to Metro Atlanta high school students.

When & how did you meet?
We met at Duke in 2009 while we were both getting our MBAs. Adam was a Second Year at Fuqua and Lindsey was a First Year. We met at a General Management Club mixer where Second Year’s impart their internship and job search “wisdom” on First Years. Adam, says it was love at first sight. It took a little more convincing for Lindsey. 🙂

What’s it like to be in a relationship in the startup community?
It’s fantastic. We’ve actually always had the same careers since we met, which we find to be extremely helpful in understand what each other is going through. Adam started his career after Duke at Bain in management consulting and Lindsey returned to Deloitte’s Strategy & Operations Consulting practice. We both quit consulting at the same time to start our companies. Being able to bounce ideas off of one other, support each other when things get hard, and work through issues and problems together is invaluable. At any given time, we know what each other is going through. Since Lindsey’s programs invite local entrepreneurs and innovators to share their experiences with students, Adam and his network of fellow entrepreneurs at ATDC and Atlanta Tech Village are invaluable.

RACHEL ZICK & KP REDDY – A Match Made at Work


Current positions:
Rachel is transitioning from program director at TiE Atlanta to executive director at Atlanta CEO Council & the owner of Picaflor Partners LLC, a marketing and copy-writing company.

KP is the managing partner, Change The World Venture Partners,  cofounder of the Combine &  CEO of SoftWear Automation.

When & how did you meet?
Are you ready for a scandal? We met at ATDC, where KP was a Community Catalyst, and then Interim General Manager. Rachel was the marketing specialist.

What’s it like to be in a relationship in the startup community? 
It’s a blast! The startup community is full of bright, passionate, dynamic people and we get to share it all. It’s great doing what you love with the person you love. And we’re able to support each other in a unique way since we understand each other’s challenges. Boundaries are necessary, though, to make sure startup talk never makes its way into pillow talk.

[Photo Credit]

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