There are a lot of new faces around the Techstars Atlanta office these days.
Tim Dorr, managing director at Techstars Atlanta Powered by Cox Enterprises, joined in February and got right to work recruiting new startups for the accelerator. Anastasia Simon joined this May as an investment principal after spending 15 years crisscrossing the startup ecosystem with roles in retail, digital media, edtech, music tech, and early-stage venture capital.
Now, 10 new founders will be joining the accelerator program based out of Ponce City Market.
Techstars Atlanta Powered by Cox Enterprises will be fully in-person this year after several years of remote or hybrid programming.
While applications were open to startups from across the country, seven out of the ten startups in this year’s cohort are actually already from Atlanta. Kim Mackenzie, Atlanta venture lead for Cox Enterprises, said that “didn’t happen by accident; when we put out the call for applications, Atlanta showed up and brought its best.”
The 2022 class also represents a big milestone for the local Techstars community as they have now reached 100 startups participating in either Techstars Atlanta or Techstars Impact.
Meet The 2022 Startups
COOKONNECT – An Atlanta-based startup focused on increasing access to in-home meal preparation services.
“While most people prefer homemade meals, few people have the time or desire to prepare meals every week. Cookonnect helps users eat well and conveniently at home by making personal cooking more accessible for both customers and the cooks who provide meal services,” the team told Hypepotamus.
ILLOOMINUS – An Atlanta-based data analytics company in the DE&I space. When asked about why it was the right time to join such an accelerator, the team said: “We firmly believe that no startup is built on their own. It takes a community around you. To launch a startup, build a team, develop a product, and bring on customers, you’re moving incredibly fast. Techstars is that opportunity to “slow down (but really quickly)” to question your assumptions with world-class mentors and experts and get the infrastructure right so that you can speed back up.”
MEDSEMBLY – An Atlanta-based software company connecting students in healthcare to professionals and mentors.
“College students lack guidance on their career path, specifically in healthcare where there is so much at stake. We solve this problem by connecting pre-health students directly with experienced professionals to provide guidance, clarity, and support as they transition into their professions,” the team told Hypepotamus.
METRIC MATE – An Atlanta-based startup helping people better track stats around their workouts.
When asked about why it was the right time to join Techstars, they said: “The market started to shift. When we first started promoting Metric Mate to the public, the need for data tracking and remote guidance for strength training was not clear. People were interacting and meeting face-to-face regularly. As the world began to change with the pandemic, the advantages of Metric Mate started to show and users were more receptive to our technology and willing to pay for it. TechStars is an obvious partner and the connection to Cox will provide insight that will be integral to our growth.”
MY PANDA – An Atlanta-based startup connecting people to on-demand personal assistants.
The team participated in the Atlanta Founder Catalyst Program with JP Morgan this past fall and said joining this new cohort is about getting the team ready to scale.
“We have been operating and growing on a shoestring budget with a tiny team. Our customer retention rate is excellent, our revenue has been growing, and we are ready to start to scale and grow our team. As a non-technical, first-time startup founder, the structure and support of a Techstars accelerator is exactly what we need at this point.”
PALMLY – An Atlanta-based double-sided marketplace to connect people looking for new faith communities.
The team is looking to solve a unique problem. “In this post-pandemic era, churches are looking for innovative ways to grow their congregations, and approximately 115M adults in the US alone are looking for hope, faith, and a community to explore these things. Our solution has a double-sided marketplace approach where we curate a community for people exploring faith and match them with a church that fits their unique needs.”
PAYVMNT- A last-mile delivery data platform that relocated to Atlanta.
“There is a huge gap between routing/delivery software and the demand in the market. We are building a solution to alleviate the pain points delivery drivers face on a daily basis from real-time optimization to the way they are paid. We are building the future of what last-mile logistics has been missing,” the team told Hypepotamus.
REVELER – A New York-based software startup focused on the fan experience.
Techstars Atlanta is a bit of a homecoming or the team, made up of Savannah-natives and graduates of Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern. “To connect business and local communities together, we vision Reveler as the framework that drives technology as an enhancement to human connection within the sports space. We know to achieve this, it would require support, capital, and a network outside of our current means,” the team added.
THEIA DATING – A matchmaking service designed to create “meaningful connections within communities.”
The concept started as Dating Deacons at Wake Forest University. “In a dating industry plagued by superficial profiles, endless swiping, and a lack of real connection, Theia offers a popular, unique approach,” the team told Hypepotamus.
VARKN – A mobile app for independent valet drivers that launched in late 2021.
The team described the app as a way to eliminate challenges surrounding offsite airport parking.
“I am new to the tech business environment and the decisions made at the early stage of a startup can pretty much set the tone for how fast it will grow in years to come. When I applied, the startup was at a stage where the right mentorship and funding were required in order for it to get to the next stage. Applying to Techstars Atlanta is the best option I have made to ensure the proper launch of the startup,” the team said.
What To Expect from Techstars Atlanta 2022
Rounding out the Techstars team is Hannah Turner, the Investment Associate who is returning for her 5th program cohort.
The team startups will work with Dorr, Simon, Turner, and a group of local mentors over the next several months. The program will culminate on October 17th with their Demo Day.
Simon told Hypepotamus that she is ready to bring her unique startup and investing background to the local Techstars ecosystem.
“The one constant [in my career] has been being an early employee who was able to work side by side with company founders,” she said. “I’ve also been a perpetual side hustle queen supporting small business owners ever since graduating from LSU in 2007. The thing I’ve learned is it’s not about being the smartest or most innovative founder, it’s about being persistent, passionate, humble, and intellectually curious about the world around you. Entrepreneurship is not easy, whether you’re running a boutique or developing a SaaS platform to make buildings more energy efficient. If you aren’t able to weather the ups and downs, ask for and accept help, and pivot when you need to, it doesn’t matter how great you are at writing code.”
While the majority of the startups are already based in Atlanta, she also sees Cox Enterprise’s support as key to helping these founders gain national traction.
“With our program being partnered with Cox Enterprises, an industry leader who is deeply committed to continuing to grow Atlanta’s startup ecosystem, how could I not see this as the perfect opportunity to create tangible change at a local and global level, because we all know Atlanta influences everything,” Simon added.