Last week I was honored to be inducted in the Technology Hall of Fame of Georgia. It was an incredible experience and I’m grateful.
Below are my remarks.
How I Got Here
18 years ago I was making what proved to be one of the most important decisions of my life.
I had recently graduated and was deciding where to live.
In college, I had started a software company called Hannon Hill and our biggest customer was in Atlanta.
I reached out to get their thoughts on moving to Georgia.
He offered up a sublease and invited me to come join them.
It was my first experience of Georgia’s Can-Do Attitude.
Hannon Hill led to Pardot which was acquired by ExactTarget and then Salesforce.com. This was the catalyst for the Atlanta Tech Village which helped nurture SalesLoft, Calendly, Terminus, Rigor, and a number of other startups.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but getting that help, community, and office space from our customer nearly 20 years ago was a precursor to the exact Atlanta Tech Village service.
Georgia’s Can-Do Attitude continues to thrive.
Only, I couldn’t do it alone.
There are a number of friends and family I want to thank.
I want to thank my dad and Pam, who are here today, for their encouragement.
I want to thank my wife Erica and kids for all their support.
I want to thank David and Karen and the team at the Atlanta Tech Village for creating a vibrant community.
I want to thank everyone at Hannon Hill, Pardot, Atlanta Ventures, and all the entrepreneurs and team members I’ve had the chance to work with.
I want to thank Tripp Rackley for being my champion here today, and being a mentor over the years.
Georgia’s been incredibly generous to me and I’m going to do everything in my power to continue pushing our great state forward.
As an Atlanta region, we have a real opportunity to be one of the 10 most successful in the country for startup success.
We need more bootstrapped entrepreneurs with scalable product market fit.
We need more capital invested in the region.
We need more of Georgia’s Can-Do Attitude focused on entrepreneurs.
For this, I’m asking your help.
The next time an entrepreneur reaches out for advice, say yes.
The next time an entrepreneur wants to give a sales pitch, say yes.
The more yeses we provide, the greater the chance for success.
We have incredible momentum and now’s the time to realize our potential.
Finally, I’m truly humbled and honored for this recognition.
I’m eternally grateful for the communities’ belief in me.
And, nearly 20 years later, I’m a proud representative of Georgia’s Can-Do Attitude.
Thank you so much.