I spent the last two days at Venture Atlanta in the most popular aquarium in the United States. Venture Atlanta continues to be one of the top venture events in the Southeast and this year was excellent. Here are four thoughts on Venture Atlanta 2015:
- Quality of Early Stage Companies – This year’s early stage companies were much more investable this year in that most had six figures of revenue and operating businesses. A few fell into the “science experiment” bucket (they didn’t have any paying customers) but it was rare.
- References to the Marketing Software Cluster – Quite a few presenting companies referenced local success stories like Silverpop, Vitrue, and Pardot. It’s clear that our local marketing software exits have spurred new investments in marketing startups and that we have a cluster’s critical mass.
- Number of Attendees – The first day was standing room only for the presenting companies and attendance is at or near an all-time high. Investors, entrepreneurs, and service providers all turned out en masse for the event.
- Presenting Companies that aren’t Raising Money – Several companies that presented clearly weren’t raising money. Now, this is a tough one. We want to showcase great multi-million dollar revenue tech companies in Atlanta, yet potential investors are here to find a new deals, not to see what’s interesting and not raising money. It makes sense to have them present if we don’t have another qualified company to present in that slot.
The presenting companies were well coached and did a great job on stage. I’m looking forward to Venture Atlanta next year.
What else? What are some more thoughts on Venture Atlanta 2015?