Atlanta Startup Village #45

Tonight is Atlanta Startup Village #45 at the Atlanta Tech Village. Come network and get involved with the Atlanta startup community. Here are the six presenting startups:

  • Fanboard: Augmenting the fan experience
  • CommissionTrac: Commercial real estate commission tracking software
  • Alum: The easiest way to stay connected with your campus and your classmates
  • Landing Lion: Landing pages for the modern marketer
  • SparkFire Active: Performance activewear for teen girls
  • PuppyPals: Making dog parents’ lives easier every day

Presentations start at 7:30 p.m. and entry is free. Join us.

Announcing the new Endeavor Atlanta for High-Impact Entrepreneurs

Last month I joined the non-profit board of Endeavor Atlanta to help local high-impact entrepreneurs scale their businesses and grow the entrepreneurial community. Endeavor is a global organization with chapters in almost 30 cities and nearly 1,500 entrepreneurs. Here, in Atlanta, we’re looking for 6-8 entrepreneurs per year that are committed to learning, growing, and giving back as part of a program to help them realize their full potential.

Here’s what we’re looking for in Endeavor entrepreneurs:

  • Motivated, learning-oriented mindset
  • Scalable, high growth business
  • $1 million – $20 million in revenue
  • Aspirations to grow to $100+ million in revenue

Want to learn more? Read the press release about Endeavor Atlanta and reach out to meet. We’d love to talk more.

What else? What are some more questions about the new Endeavor Atlanta chapter?

The 10 Year Anniversary of Pardot

Today marks the 10 year anniversary from when Adam and I started Pardot. I first registered the domain name on January 30th, 2007 (whois lookup) and Adam had to give notice to his current employer, InterContinental Hotels Group. We first started out as a PPC lead generation service for tech companies before pivoting into marketing automation in the first 60 days (more key milestones). After hiring 11 interns and building v1 of the product, we were off and running on the adventure of a lifetime.

Here are a few things about the Pardot journey that I’m especially proud of:

Overall, I’m most proud of Adam and me building an enduring business that’s 15x larger than when we sold it and making a small mark on our community. Here’s to everyone that helped make Pardot a success and a thank you for the last 10 years.

SalesLoft Rainmaker 2017

Next week SalesLoft puts on their excellent Rainmaker conference in Atlanta at the Loews Hotel. After raising $15 million, launching major new product features, and announcing key new leaders, SalesLoft’s Rainmaker conference is set to bring the sales engagement community together for three days of learning, sharing, and connecting.

A few event highlights:

  • 45 speakers
  • 700 attendees
  • 25 breakout sessions
  • 1 awesome community

Interested in sales engagement or SalesLoft? Check out Rainmaker 2017 next week in Atlanta.

4 Steps to Finding an Opportunity at an Atlanta Startup

Several times per month I meet with people looking to join a startup in Atlanta. After talking through what they’re looking for in terms of startup size, stage, industries, and culture, I offer up a four step process to get more methodical with the search:

  1. Make a spreadsheet of potential startups from the Atlanta Tech Village Job BoardVenture Atlanta Presenting Companies, and ATDC Signature based on which ones look interesting (or use every startup listed to be exhaustive).
  2. Cross reference the startups in LinkedIn to get their current number of employees and CrunchBase to get their current amount of funding to understand size, stage, and scale.
  3. Filter the overall list down to 5-10 startups based on the different attributes and further research.
  4. Reach out to the startups directly about opportunities as well as ask for an introduction through a mutual acquaintance.

Entrepreneurs love to talk to people that are proactively interested in finding an opportunity at their startup. Follow this four step process to find an opportunity in Atlanta.

What else? What are some other ideas to find an opportunity at an Atlanta startup?

Atlanta Startup Village #44

Tonight, the Atlanta Tech Village is hosting Atlanta Startup Village #44. The Atlanta Startup Village is a free, monthly gathering of 400+ people to hear startup pitches and ask questions. There’s one simple goal: build the startup community.

Here are the four presenters tonight:

  • TechStars Atlanta – Michael and Tyler will provide an update on last year’s cohort and the upcoming class.
  • Locate Your Care – Your on demand health app.
  • ScrubPay – Pain free patient pay.
  • SalesLoft – The modern sales engagement platform.

Join the Atlanta Startup Village Meetup group and stop by the Tech Village tonight at 7:30pm.

SalesLoft Raises $15M to be the Platform for Sales Engagement

Earlier today Kyle shared the details of raising their $15 million Series B to be the platform for sales engagement. On April 1, 2015 I blogged about SalesLoft raising their $10 million Series A and highlighted the company background. Quick recap: I tried to recruit Kyle at Pardot and instead we started SalesLoft. After two major product pivots Kyle, Rob, and the amazing SalesLoft team found an incredible opportunity with sales engagement and have been growing fast for years.

What’s sales engagement? Think of a system that empowers sales people to be significantly more productive by making more targeted phone calls and sending more personalized emails based on an automated process (a cadence). The ultimate goal is a more sincere, modern selling process.

Here are a few reasons I’m so excited about SalesLoft:

  • Mission Driven Business – The Lofters are on a mission. Truly. This isn’t idle talk. Everyone is focused on building the best, most transformative sales engagement platform on the planet.
  • Sincere Culture – Values are placed front and center as a core foundation of the company. And, with values Put Customers First, Glass Half Full, Team Over Self, Focus on Results, Bias Towards Action, you know I’m a fan.
  • Amazing Team – Kyle, Rob, and the rest of the team are amazing. Everything starts with the people and these are the people you want.
  • Big Market – Sales people. Productivity. Making more money. Sales engagement is a massive market with tremendous growth.
  • Atlanta Impact – To make an impact, Atlanta needs major success stories that create jobs, wealth, and inspiration for more entrepreneurs. Everything about SalesLoft is on the trajectory to achieve this.

SalesLoft will be the sales engagement platform of record. Every element is in place and now it’s time for Kyle and team to make their mark on modern sales. Here’s to SalesLoft achieving another milestone on their journey!

The TechRise Addition to Atlanta’s Startup Community

Urvaksh broke the news earlier today with his article 100,000-square-foot startup hub ‘TechRise’ planned for Buckhead. Atlanta entrepreneur Greg Benoit sold part of his SaaS physician scheduling company QGenda earlier this year and founded TechRise Ventures to invest in startups. Now, he’s purchased the building next door to the Atlanta Tech Village, 3405 Piedmont Rd., and added another 100,000 feet of space to Atlanta’s startup community: TechRise.

TechRise is geared towards startups that have raised a Series A or have at least a million in recurring revenue (often 15+ employees) and want a shorter term lease (typically one year) in turn-key space. This is perfect for companies that graduate from the Atlanta Tech Village as well as other co-working spaces in town.

More startup space in town is great for all the right reasons:

  • Density – Clusters of like-minded people that help each other and share ideas increases everyone’s chance of success. Now, this one section of Buckhead in Atlanta has more startup space in a city block than almost anywhere else in the United States.
  • Community – Educational events, networking, and programs are all important elements of building community. Now, there’s even more scale to the community.
  • Giving Back – Greg’s continuing to set the tone as a community that gives back and helps pay it forward for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Congratulations to Greg on the purchase of TechRise and here’s to the continued success and growth of the Atlanta startup community.

4 Year Anniversary of the Atlanta Tech Village

Today marks the four year anniversary of purchasing the Atlanta Tech Village and I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve accomplished. David, Karen, and the entire team have consistently pushed the limits creating the best environment for entrepreneurs to increase their chance of success. Naturally, it’s time to reflect.

Here are a few takeaways from the first four years of the Atlanta Tech Village:

  • Community – Building community is both more rewarding, and difficult, than it looks. Everything starts and ends with people. Get great people in the right spots and let them do their thing.
  • Initial Startups – Week one of the Village we had several entrepreneurs move in to support the movement. Guys like Craig at Rigor, Kyle at SalesLoft, and Devon at InsightPool set the tone from the beginning as hustlers that get things done. Today, every one of them has millions in recurring revenue.
  • Civic Pride – The Village continues to be a source of civic pride for the Atlanta startup community. As one of the five largest tech entrepreneurship centers in the country, the Village is helping put Atlanta on the map for current and future tech entrepreneurs.
  • Success Stories – This is the hardest part. For the Village to be a success on a larger scale, we need to have more successful graduates that build meaningful tech companies. We’re four years in and only have a handful that are on their way. We need more.

We’ve laid the foundation for success at the Atlanta Tech Village but still have more work to do. We’re on a mission to make Atlanta one of the top 10 places for tech entrepreneurs in the United States and won’t let up until we get there.

What else? What are some more thoughts on the first four years of the Atlanta Tech Village?

Local, Fast-Growing Million Dollar Revenue SaaS Startups

Earlier today I was talking with an entrepreneur and the topic of the $1 Million Annual Recurring Revenue Milestone came up. After thinking about it more, I realized I could name 10 Atlanta B2B SaaS startups that had hit this milestone in the last 18 months, and every one is still growing fast. As a community, this bodes well for several reasons:

  • Some small percentage of these startups are going to scale and turn into large companies (hopefully, even an anchor technology company)
  • Look for some really nice exits from this group over the next 3 – 5 years creating more success stories and local wealth
  • More successful startups will train more of the next generation of entrepreneurs contributing to the virtuous cycle
  • More institutional capital will come to the region since traction is one of the key elements for this type of investor

There’s a great class of local, fast-growing million dollar revenue SaaS startups that are going to make a real impact on the Atlanta startup community — I’m excited for the future.

What else? What are some more thoughts on the benefits of fast-growing million dollar revenue SaaS startups on a local community?