Atlanta Startup List: Organizations and Events for Entrepreneurs


Atlanta’s startup ecosystem is bursting with events, organizations, and free services focused on helping entrepreneurs.  I regularly attend events associated with the following organizations:

VentureAtlanta.  The premier venture conference in Atlanta, typically drawing over 600 attendees and dozens of venture capitalists from around the country.  VA is currently accepting applications to present at the conference to be held on October 25-26, 2011 at the Georgia Aquarium.

The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE). The world’s largest non-profit for entrepreneurs.  The Atlanta chapter hosts monthly events typically with friendly crowds between 130-200 people.  Their annual awards Gala is among the city’s premiere events, typically with over 500 attendees, in such locations as the GA Aquarium, the Ritz Carleton, and the Cobb Galleria and speakers such as Sanjay Gupta, JD Power, Bernie Marcus, and John Imlay, Jr.  TiE also has an impressive list of mentors available to help its members.

MIT Enterprise Forum. Produces a series of educational programs about entrepreneurship through a network of 28 worldwide chapters.  In Atlanta, they regularly host events such as “Run It By the Pros” Workshops and "Entrepreneurs Uncensored" panels.

ATDCThe Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) is a start-up accelerator that helps Georgia technology entrepreneurs launch and build successful companies. Founded in 1980, ATDC has helped create millions of dollars in tax revenue by graduating more than 120 companies, which together have raised more than a billion dollars in outside financing. The ATDC is the hub of a large portion of the startup activity in town hosting a plethora of events, providing mentorship and other valuable services, and housing some of the city’s top Company’s at its Seed Space at Tech Square.  The ATDC currently has hundreds of member Companies and its annual Startup Showcase is a must-attend event.

Technology Association of Georgia (TAG). TAG educates, promotes, and unites Georgia's technology community to foster an innovative and connected marketplace that stimulates and enhances a tech-based economy.  TAG has a robust offering of programming and services including mentorship services, an annual Gala, industry special interest groups, awards programs, and the Business Launch Competition described below.   

Georgia Research Alliance (GRA).  GRA is a state sponsored organization devoted to helping commercialize technology developed by Georgia’s universities.  Through its VentureLab program, GRA has facilitated the formation of more than 120 early-stage companies that employ nearly 600 people and have attracted $460 million in private equity investment. GRA also administers the GRA Venture Fund, a partially state funded investment fund for VentureLab companies.

GRA/TAG Business Launch Competition.  The premiere business launch competition in the city with contest finalists receiving over $400,000 in cash and prizes in cash and services plus a boatload of street-cred.

DLA Piper Venture Pipeline Presentation.  Our quarterly breakfast networking event often featuring prominent national figures and venture capitalists.  Previous speakers have included Tom Daschle and David Skok of Matrix Partners.

CapVenture. ATDC/TAG CapVenture is an annual six-week program designed to educate and equip early stage company CEOs and executives for smarter and more productive capitalization of their business.  It utilizes a combination of keynote speakers, presentations, and coaching.

Flashpoint. Flashpoint is a startup accelerator program launching in August 2011 at Georgia Tech. Flashpoint provides entrepreneurial education (in the form of experienced mentors and presentations by veterans), shared learning, and a competitive, accelerated environment for business model and technology development.  Applications are currently being accepted for the initial cohort.

StartupRiot.  Startup Riot is an all-day event which highlights 25 startups through three minute, four slide presentations given by the startups.  You are guaranteed not to get bored in this intense rapid fire series of pitches. This Atlanta-based organization looks to be expanding into startup job fairs and to Seattle and San Francisco.

Some of the other events and organizations around town are listed below:

CEO Council. Invitation-only events where C-level executives connect with their peers.

Entrepreneurs Organization (EO). Networking for entrepreneurs with Company revenue exceeding $1M.  David Cummings discussed the value of EO on his blog here.

Startup Lounge.  Hosts regular networking events for investors and entrepreneurs.

Startup Weekend.  Startup Weekend is an intense 54 hour event which focuses on building a web or mobile application which could form the basis of a credible business over the course of a weekend.

StartupChicks.  Organization devoted to (i) connecting entrepreneurial women and (ii) growing, inspiring and educating women on entrepreneurship as a career/life choice.

Startup Drinks.  Hosts informal, social, and free events for people interested in entrepreneurship and technology.

Startup Gauntlet. “It's like Toastmasters for Entrepreneurs.”

What did I miss? What are your favorite Atlanta events and organizations for entrepreneurs?  Please add to the comments and I will update this list regularly.

See previous Atlanta Startup List posts here, including "Atlanta Startup List: Atlanta Home to Over 100 Venture Backed Startups."

Comments (1)

Jakita Thomas - March 22, 2012 9:01 PM

My favorite entrepreneurship event is the PP365 Entrepreneurship Workshop. It brings together successful young entrepreneurs to provide information and share their entrepreneurial experiences. It's extremely motivating and informative, and it's a great networking event as well. This year's event will be held at The Conference Center at Georgia Piedmont Technical College during Memorial Day weekend.

Post a comment

I'd like to leave a comment. is