SingleOps Announces $1M Seed Round

Earlier today I closed on a $1M seed round in SingleOps (see the Atlanta Business Chronicle article on the SingleOps funding). SingleOps is a SaaS platform for mobile field workforces like tree care services, landscaping, pest control, healthcare — anyone who regularly coordinates employees in the field. The platform combines estimates, scheduling, time tracking, CRM, invoicing, and QuickBooks syncing with a mobile-first interface for teams on the go. Think of it as a cloud-ERP solution like NetSuite, but much easier to use and geared towards field service companies.

Sean McCormick and his team have built the foundation of a great business over the last three years achieving product/market fit last year and a repeatable customer acquisition process this year (see the four stages of a B2B startup). Now, it’s time to accelerate the growth and build a category-winning company.

I’m thankful to Sean for letting me be part of the journey and I’m looking forward to helping SingleOps realize its potential.

Interested in learning more? Check out SingleOps.

Terminus Raises a $10M Series B

Earlier today Terminus announced that they had closed their $10.3M Series B financing from Atlanta Ventures and Edison Partners. Terminus is the pioneer of account-based marketing (ABM), one of the fastest growing areas of marketing technology. Here’s how Terminus describes the value of ABM:

ABM enables B2B marketers to target key accounts, engage decision-makers, and accelerate marketing and sales pipeline velocity at scale

As marketers look beyond inbound lead generation and become more focused on the account, they need corresponding tools and systems to orchestrate engagement across multiple systems, trigger the right ads to the right people, track behaviors across the account, and understand account-level analytics.

Terminus created the FlipMyFunnel movement and is building a large, category-defining ABM company. Now, they have the resources to grow even faster and help more companies achieve ABM at scale. Congratulations to Eric and the entire Terminus team on their next milestone in the journey.

Want to learn more? Check out Terminus.

Common Investor Questions at The Atlanta Tech Village

Several times a month I meet with investors from out of town that are interested in the Atlanta market and startups at the Atlanta Tech Village. With so much capital that needs to be put to work, investors are eager to find startups that have the beginning of a big business and the potential for strong unit economics.

Here are some of the common questions investors ask:

  • What startups should we be paying attention to in the building?
  • Any entrepreneurs we should meet with the next time we’re in town?
  • Do you have any startups doing X, Y, or Z (e.g. specific areas of interest like machine learning, health IT, marketing SaaS, etc.)?
  • Any startups growing fast with X to Y range of revenue (e.g. $1 – $2 million in recurring revenue)?
  • What events or programs should we consider for future visits (e.g. Atlanta Startup Village)?
  • Anything we can help with?

As expected, the questions from investors are fairly consistent as they’re looking for startups that meet their criteria and the opportunity to invest. Surprisingly, investors don’t have enough strong startups to invest in.

What else? What are some more questions investors should be asking?

4 Quick Ideas on Building a Tech Startup Center

Several times a month I’m asked for advice about building a tech startup center based on experience at the Atlanta Tech Village. Entrepreneurs from cities in both the metro region and the Southeast are interested in creating stronger entrepreneurial communities with a higher density of startups.

After four years at the Tech Village, here are four quick ideas on building a tech startup center:

  1. Community First – Everything starts and ends with the community. From the entrepreneurs to the mentors to the people in different roles, it’s all about community. Ensure there’s a critical mass of community and the rest will follow.
  2. Location, Location, Location – The old adage still rings true that location is key. People want to be in a great location that makes it easy to recruit from the surrounding region.
  3. Lots of Spaces – Create lots of little spaces. Four-person offices are the most popular offering at the Tech Village. Incorporate phone booths, meeting rooms, and a variety of breakout spaces. Then, combine those with a large, central community area.
  4. Success Stories – Build a culture of success. Celebrate success. Get successful, serial entrepreneurs to start their next venture in the building. The faster success stories emerge from the community, the greater the halo effect and others will want to join.

Building a tech startup center is just like building any other type of community. Find people that are passionate about it, create a cool physical space, and work to nurture and grow the community.

What else? What are some more ideas on build a tech startup center?

Atlanta Startup Village #47

Tonight is Atlanta Startup Village #47 at the Atlanta Tech Village.

Follow the conversation on Twitter (https://twitter.com/atlsv) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/atlstartupvillage/).

Here are the startups presenting:

  • SkilRoute: Online learning reinvented.
  • Reech.io: The Instagram analytics you’ve been waiting for!
  • Netify: Prototype development and business strategy consulting
  • inSITE: Fundamentally changing the way organizations share information
  • Shotzy: Pro Photographers On-Demand

Admission is free and all are welcome. Come join us.

Characteristics of Successful Atlanta Entrepreneurs

As a continuation to yesterday’s post Why Entrepreneurs Choose Atlanta, the next logical question is “what are some common characteristics of successful Atlanta entrepreneurs?” Of course, the characteristics are all over the place, but within the software startup sector, several attributes stand out. Here are several characteristics of successful Atlanta entrepreneurs:

  • Resilient – Most successful entrepreneurs I know failed at their first idea. Pivoting is more common than expected and Atlanta is no different. Much of the entrepreneurial journey is learning and iterating as fast as possible.
  • Resourceful – The dynamics of the community — including limited risk capital — require more resourcefulness on the part of the entrepreneur. True, money does go further here but that’s more than outweighed by the lack of capital. Yet, a lack of capital is normal and standard for a startup community. Successful entrepreneurs figure out how to succeed regardless of capital.
  • Opinionated – Entrepreneurs need to have strong opinions weakly held. With so many different ideas and opportunities, entrepreneurs without strong opinion suffer and fade away quickly.
  • Confident – Believing when others don’t is something all entrepreneurs have to work through. It’s tough facing constant adversity without being confident in the mission.

Successful Atlanta entrepreneurs have a high locus of control and figure out how to win. When the right team, idea, and market timing come together, amazing things happen.

What else? What are some more characteristics of successful Atlanta entrepreneurs?

Why Entrepreneurs Choose Atlanta

Continuing with yesterday’s post on Why Not More Startup Success Stories, I was asked the question earlier today “Why do entrepreneurs choose Atlanta to build their startup?” The unwritten part of the question is why do they choose Atlanta as opposed to the main place people think of when they think tech startups. Good question.

Thinking about the most successful entrepreneurs I know, I’d bucket them into these four categories:

  • Selected Atlanta Based on Business Potential – A combination of quality talent, excellent lifestyle, low cost of living, and “can do” attitude make Atlanta a great place to build a company. I fall into this bucket and proactively chose Atlanta as I believed (correctly) it to be a strong spot to grow a software company.
  • Biggest Customer in Atlanta – With so many large companies headquartered in Atlanta, there’s tremendous buying power. A number of startups have relocated to Atlanta to be near their largest customer.
  • Raised in Atlanta – Family always has been, and always will be, a major force in choosing a location. Many successful entrepreneurs were raised in the Metro Atlanta region of six million people.
  • Relocated to Atlanta Via Previous Company – A number of talented people moved to Atlanta for a job and started their entrepreneurial journey after they called the city home. This is a very common route.

Whether it’s happenstance or a concerted decision to choose Atlanta for business reasons, there’s a mid-sized entrepreneurial community here that’s growing fast. Now, we need to spread the story and let others know to ChooseATL.

What else? What are some other reasons entrepreneurs start their company in Atlanta?