Venture Atlanta 2023: The Epicenter of Innovation and Investment in the Southeast

Startup Showdown
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In 2007, the Atlanta CEO Council, Metro Atlanta Chamber, and Technology Association of Georgia came together to change the startup and investment community for the better. The organizations had a goal to build the "premier venture capital event in the state of Georgia" and a mission to "connect companies to capital." A couple hundred companies attended, including 20 investment funds. And they began to change the Innovation Economy for our city and our nation.

Last week, the 16th annual Venture Atlanta proved just how true that is. To date, the conference network and events have generated more than $7.5B in funding and $17B in successful exits - including some of Atlanta's most notable Unicorns. The two-day, high-caliber conference has become the must-attend event for founders and funders in the region. And as of 2023, it has evolved into a vibrant community where innovative companies, disruptive technologies, and top-tier investors come together to create progress.

Venture Atlanta 2023 by the Numbers

  • 1500+ attendees - making Venture Atlanta 2023 the biggest ever, exceeding 2022 numbers by more than 200 people
  • 450+ investors from across the Southeast
  • 500+ founders, representing multiple tech sectors and maturity stages
  • 83 presenting companies
  • 25+ states, plus Canada, St. Maarten, Ireland, and the UK
  • 95 sponsors, including 43 funds (including BIP Ventures) - which is the largest percentage of funds as a contingent of the sponsor pool  
  • $500,000 Startup Showcase Live investment award  
  • 3 inductees into the inaugural Venture Atlanta Hall of Fame - congratulations to Salesloft, Kabbage, and Cloud Sherpas

Venture Atlanta 2023 Beyond the Numbers

A scan of the Venture Atlanta schedule showed how much value took place outside the vibrant networking events. Across the Woodruff Arts Center campus, groups gathered to advance the community. The Women in Investment breakfast and a Female Founders dinner brought 150 women together to celebrate the incredible hard work and progress happening within this community. Within Venture Atlanta, the Goodie Nation Intentionally Good Summit (Volume II) convened Goodie Nation founders, coaches, investors, partners, and team members to advance that magnetic community. And outside the walls of the Woodruff, founders and investors joined for fun events like a Connection Hike, a pickleball tournament, and a Venture Crawl that took people on a tour of Atlanta's vibrant innovation hubs.

Venture Atlanta is becoming an experience, a place for connection. It’s so much more than a two-day conference. It’s different, it’s unique. And it’s so much fun. (Allyson Eman, CEO of Venture Atlanta)

Startup Showcase Live

One of the most exciting events of the conference is Startup Showcase Live. For 2023, it was – like everything at Venture Atlanta – bigger and better than ever. A syndicate of investors made up of BIP Ventures, Catalyst by Wellstar, Knoll Ventures, and Florida Funders provided a $500,000 investment award. The event set was one of the largest pitch competitions in the nation, and the largest in Venture Atlanta history.  

A record 550 startups applied to pitch for the prize. Through a selective application process, 40 extraordinary founders made it to the next step – mentoring days and pitch preparation guidance from experienced volunteer mentors. Ten of those were added to the agenda at Venture Atlanta, taking the stage to pitch their business. Four made it to the final competition.  

After that long path, Enrichly took home the prize. The youth development platform leverages technology, gamification, and data to help elementary, middle, and high school students realize their full potential and increase self-esteem and confidence. We couldn't be more excited or proud of Margo Jordan and her team.

What Comes Next

For the past year, our COO and General Partner Mark Flickinger has served as the Chairman of the Board of Venture Atlanta. Throughout that tenure, he helped to envision, build, and advance many of the new programs that made the event so special. Before the event, Mark recognized why the conference is so vital to our community, city, region, and nation.

So much of Venture Atlanta is building networking connections. You can connect with other entrepreneurs to figure out how to solve problems and celebrate wins together. You can also meet an investment community that is looking for the next great startup to invest in. By having this ecosystem together, so much good happens that you can’t even grasp it all in the first two days. Over time, the relationships started here get built, and we have these great startups that get funded based on the connections made at Venture Atlanta. (Mark Flickinger, COO and General Partner, Venture Atlanta outgoing Board Chair)

For 2024, Joey Womack will take the helm. The 'super connector' and community builder who created Goodie Nation, Joey is the perfect person to continue the momentum that we experienced this year. With such a powerful experience behind us, there's no doubt that an even bigger congregation of investors, innovators, and startup builders will gather at Venture Atlanta in 2024 to make the Innovation Economy even more exceptional.

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