It has been such a pleasure participating in the tenth annual Venture Atlanta this year. Celebrating this milestone has made me a bit nostalgic as I recall the Atlanta tech community a decade ago and how much it has changed since then.
When Venture Atlanta started, Noro-Moseley was the only venture capital firm doing major deals in this city, and Sig Mosley was maybe the only guy writing angel checks. There were few alternatives for attracting outside capital and that’s what Venture Atlanta was designed to do—showcase the amazing innovators we have here and attract capital for those companies.
Nowadays, the Atlanta ecosystem is so robust that Venture Atlanta has become about more than attracting west coast VCs; it’s now also about uniting Atlanta’s technology community and educating ourselves about the rich opportunities growing here. Not only were there more tickets than ever for this year’s conference, but it sold out more quickly than it ever has. Nothing is better proof of the growth and strength of our technology ecosystem in the Southeast.
One of my favorite things about being part of BIP Capital is that we’re well suited to invest in early stage as well as later stage companies. So when I go to Venture Atlanta, I get to see thirty pitches that are all potential investments. Let’s be clear: It is very hard to build a technology company from scratch. But this year, I’ve noticed we’re seeing higher quality companies and higher quality pitches—and I think that’s because entrepreneurs have more support than they used to, thanks to organizations like the ATDC, Flashpoint, Techstars, Tech Square Labs and others.
I was looking forward to Mark Cuban’s closing keynote on the final day of Venture Atlanta. He’s an old friend of mine, back when we were building broadcast.com and weather.com, respectively. And, as this 10-year anniversary conference comes to a close I predict that in the game of investing in high-growth technology companies like the ones I’ve seen this week, 2018 is going to be a winning year for Atlanta.