The TAG Business Launch Competition is always fun for me. I love to see the great new companies compete pitch-for-pitch to win the big $50,000 prize check. The atmosphere is like a game show for techie entrepreneurs, lots of laughs, keen insights, plus brains and wit all wrapped up in a friendly gathering. I’ve been to at least five of these events and they never disappoint. Last year’s winner, CollectorDASH supplied its leader, Bill Jones, as a panelist to provide advice to fellow entrepreneurs. Atlanta business leader David Cummings played the role of Anderson Cooper and managed to tease out of the panelist some great one-liners, one of which was Bill’s “I hope this doesn’t make it on to Twitter” – only to ensure that his comments were the most tweeted.
The winner was Techturized, a terrific new company formed by three very sharp Georgia Tech graduates, who unlike the stereotype, do care about their own hair and appearance! Their business is to match beauty-concerned women with products that will help them look their best. They’ve even blended in a social media community component so the “hair-concerned” can talk to each other. Hard to imagine a need to talk about hair when I consider a good hair care experience is the chance to sit at my barber shop and not have to say much beyond giving a few simple directions – like, “the usual, please.”
The other two finalists were more like the sort of companies you’d expect from Atlanta, great B2B concepts. Sideqik, has a platform to improve what they call partner marketing. They aim to help brands with cross promotion by creating custom landing pages that can be seeded across marketing networks and then tracked in real time for engagement and lead-counts. This looks like a great idea, I’m definitely going to learn more about this for our own client campaigns. The other finalist was Rigor, a web performance technology company. Craig Hyde, the co-founder, had me convinced of the need for their technology the nanosecond that he said that the average online shopper abandons a retail site if it doesn’t open in 700 milliseconds! Talk about short attention span – makes me feel like a deep thinker even when I’m musing!
What does this mean for Atlanta and the southeast as a hotbed of tech entrepreneurial development? It means we’ve reversed the aging process! Instead of getting older and stodgier, we’re being made to get younger and cooler with every terrific new idea that turns into a company. I don’t know about you, but this it fun to be a part of. More in a bit..…