VA 2020 Dates
We had more companies apply to pitch at VA 2019 than ever before!
Join more than 200 funds at this year’s conference and meet the most innovative companies with remarkable technologies.
See what you missed in 2019
EXPERIENCE VENTURE ATLANTA
October 21-22, 2020 | Located at Southern Exchange @ 200 Peachtree
Venture Atlanta gathers together the most innovative companies, disruptive technologies and top tier investors for the region’s leading venture capital conference.
Join more than 1000 fellow game-changers as we network with key leaders, hear from the most impressive startups and get inspired by what’s happening in the tech industry.
VA 2019’s Keynote Speakers
Aaron Levie | 2019
Aaron Levie is Chief Executive Officer, Cofounder and Chairman at Box, which he launched in 2005 with CFO and cofounder Dylan Smith. He is the visionary behind the Box product and platform strategy, incorporating the best of secure content collaboration with an intuitive user experience suited to the way people work today. Aaron leads the company in its mission to transform the way people and businesses work so they can achieve their greatest ambitions. He has served on the Board of Directors since April 2005. Aaron attended the University of Southern California from 2003 to 2005 before leaving to found Box.
Scott Chacon | 2019
Scott Chacon is the former cofounder of GitHub; now cofounder and CEO of Chatterbug, an online language learning school based in San Francisco and Berlin. He helped grow GitHub from 4 cofounders to 450 employees and a $2B valuation in 8 years. Scott is also the author of Pro Git, published by Apress and found online at git-scm.com. In unrelated news, he holds a WSET Level 3 certification in Wines and Spirits and hosts wine education nights for charity.
Marc Brown | 2019
Marc Brown has been a member of Microsoft’s Corporate Development Group since joining the company in January 2000. Currently he is Corporate Vice President, Corporate Development overseeing Microsoft’s global M&A and strategic investment activities. During his Microsoft tenure he has led over 185 acquisitions with greater than $60 billion in consideration and 80+ strategic equity investments with over $2.5 billion of invested capital. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Rapid7 and SSB Info and was previously a board member of Perform Media Group plc. Prior to joining Microsoft, Marc practiced corporate law at Goodwin, Proctor in Boston; was a high school teacher and coach at both Deerfield Academy and Phillips Academy Andover; and an investment banker at UBS in New York. He holds a JD degree from Georgetown University Law Center, an MBA in finance from New York University and an AB in economics from Colgate University.
Murphy Clark | 2019
Murphy Clark is the Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy and M&A at Red Ventures, a portfolio of growing digital businesses that span multiple industries and help consumers seamlessly connect with the brands or services they need. Murphy joined the Red Ventures management team in November 2018, following 20+ years in investment banking and private equity. Before joining RV, Murphy held several leadership positions at Wells Fargo Securities’ investment bank and most recently helped run the firm’s middle market financial sponsor coverage and M&A / Equity Private Placements efforts. Prior to joining Wells Fargo Securities in 2005, Murphy spent nearly a decade in private equity focused on growth equity and late stage venture capital investments with TL Ventures, Kitty Hawk Capital, and GE Capital. He began his investment banking career in Silicon Valley with Smith Barney's West Coast Technology group. Murphy earned a B.A. degree from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Following graduate school, Murphy was selected as a Kauffman Fellow.
Chris Hecht | 2019
Chris Hecht has served as Head of Corporate Development at Atlassian since June 2018. Prior to joining Atlassian, Chris worked at Salesforce for nearly 5 years, where he led the M&A team. Before moving into corporate development, Chris worked in investment banking, focused on tech M&A. Chris has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Bachelors of Arts in Economics from Colorado College.
Philip Kirk | 2019
Philip Kirk is a Senior Director in the Corporate Development Group at Cisco, responsible for Acquisitions and Venture Investments. Philip leads a team responsible for Collaboration, Cloud & Analytics software and also has responsibility for all of the team’s Corporate Development and venture investment activities in EMEA. Philip has been with the team for over 10 years and has led numerous small and large acquisitions for Cisco, including the $3.7B acquisition of AppDynamics. As a strategic investor, Philip works with portfolio companies including Puppet, Turbonomics, Moogsoft, and Kustomer, among others. Philip earned an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Chicago and an MBA from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania.
Lisa Marchese | 2019
Lisa Marchese is Head of Corporate Development at American Express. In this role, Lisa leads teams whose global responsibilities include the coordination of acquisitions, investments, joint ventures, partnerships and divestitures for the Company, as well as the development of business unit and corporate strategies through consulting engagements across all lines of business and functions. Prior to her current role, Lisa was Senior Vice President, International Business Development where she led teams in partner negotiations and new business opportunities in markets outside the U.S. Lisa holds a MBA from Columbia University and graduated from Barnard College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. When not traveling the globe, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and three children.
James Loftus | 2019
James Loftus leads Global Corporate Development efforts at Square. Prior to Square, he oversaw strategy, business development, and operations for all new media initiatives at STX Digital. Earlier, James was a Partner at Andreessen Horowitz where he advised companies on strategic planning, capital raising, business development, partnerships, and M&A; and a senior member of the M&A teams at Yahoo and Google. He began his career practicing corporate law in the Mergers and Acquisitions department of Shearman & Sterling in NYC.
Matt Schweickert | 2019
Matt Schweickert is an Officer of The Home Depot and a member of the Finance Executive Leadership Team. He is responsible for several enterprise-level roles (reporting to the Chairman & CEO) and currently serves as Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Strategic Business Development, the Head of Technology Finance & Strategy. and in an interim capacity as Chief Product & Experience Officer. Prior to joining The Home Depot in 2015, Matt spent twelve years at Experian PLC, a global information services company providing data & analytic tools to clients in more than 65 countries, where he served as Senior Vice President & Head of Corporate Development & Strategy for North America, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. Before that, he also worked in investment banking for Banc of America Securities and JP Morgan Chase’s M&A groups and was involved in numerous successful M&A and fund-raising transactions including the purchase of the Atlanta Falcons NFL team by Arthur Blank and the relocation of the Charlotte Hornets NBA team to New Orleans, LA. Matt earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Finance and International Economics from Babson College and Cambridge University, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and currently resides in Atlanta, GA with his wife, Nichole, and three children.
Seksom Suriyapa | 2019
Seksom Suriyapa is the VP, Corporate Development and Strategy at Twitter. He leads a team responsible for driving global corporate strategy, M&A, strategic investment and integration. His experience ranges across Consumer Internet and Cloud-focused enterprise companies, from early stage startup to mature segment leaders, and he has served at the C-level in strategic, financial and operational roles. Seksom thrives within Founder-led companies, serving iconic segment leaders such as Twitter, SuccessFactors, and Akamai, where he has driven strategic execution at critical inflection points. At SuccessFactors, he was a key leadership team member during the company’s journey from ~$100m-$1 billion in revenues, and sale to SAP. At Akamai, he was a key driver of the CDN leader’s move into cybersecurity. Seksom began his career as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and later, Morgan Stanley. He has collaborated with leading venture funds, including as an EIR at Mayfield Fund, and is actively sought as a board member, advisor, and investor in privare companies. Mr. Suriyapa holds a JD from Stanford Law School, an MBA from INSEAD Business School, and a BA from Williams College.
Stephanie Cohen | 2019
Stephanie Cohen is Goldman Sachs’ Chief Strategy Officer, an Ex Officio member of the Management Committee, and a member of the Partnership Committee. In addition to running strategy and M&A for the firm, Ms. Cohen leads Firmwide initiatives like Launch With GS, a $500m commitment to narrow the investing gap for women, and GS Accelerate, Sachs’ in-house innovation engine. Ms. Cohen has been recognized as one of Crain’s 2019 Most Powerful Women, Fortune’s 40 Under 40, and American Banker’s Most Powerful Women in Finance. Outside of work, Ms. Cohen is an advocate for education and literacy; she serves on the National Board of Directors of CollegeSpring and as a member of the Board of Quill.org.
Rachel Spasser | 2019
Rachel Spasser is a Managing Director and Chief Marketing Officer for the Accel-KKR Consulting Group. In this role, Rachel provides leadership across commercial functions including strategy, sales, marketing and business development for Accel-KKR’s portfolio companies. Prior to joining Accel-KKR's Consulting Group, Rachel was the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for SAP Ariba. At Ariba she led the design and execution of the company’s marketing strategy and programs. With over 25 years of experience in marketing, business development and general management, Ms. Spasser has spent the past 25 years focused on the business-to-business technology space. Prior to joining Ariba, she worked in executive roles with numerous cloud software and Internet-related companies including IBM and KnowledgeStorm Inc (acquired by TechTarget.) Ms. Spasser sits on the board of directors at Cendyn, Click Dimensions, Energy Services Group, Smart Communications, SugarCRM and TravelTripper. Rachel holds an MBA with honors from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Jyoti Bansal | 2019
Jayoti Bansal is the Co-Founder and Entrepreneur Partner at Unusual Ventures. A serial entrepreneur and Silicon Valley visionary, Jyoti founded AppDynamics in 2008, an application intelligence company that provides enterprises with real-time insights into application performance, which went on to be acquired by Cisco for 3.7B in January 2017. Since then, Jyoti launched BIG Labs, a startup studio, as a vehicle for "parallel entrepreneurship," where he can co-create companies that can help define the future. Jyoti is currently the CEO and Co-founder of Harness, a fast growing enterprise technology startup aiming to revolutionize software delivery processes, and is the first company launched from BIG Labs.
John Vrionis | 2019
John Vrionis is a Co-Founder and Partner at Unusual Ventures, leading investments in enterprise startups, and is the creator of Unusual Academy. Prior to founding Unusual Ventures, John was a General Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners and an investor in a number of successful companies, including AppDynamics, Cloudbees, DataStax, Heptio, Mulesoft, Nicira, and Nimble Storage.
Champ Bailey | 2019
Roland "Champ" Bailey, Jr. is the Founder of Bailey Companies & Investments, Inc. Ventures in his portfolio include commercial real estate, early stage venture investing, financial planning and marketing & production. During his playing days at the University of Georgia, Washington Redskins, and Denver Broncos, Champ built a stellar reputation as a diligent and detailed leader who models high-performance. He has 203 career pass deflections and was selected to 12 Pro Bowls as a Cornerback, both of which still stand as NFL records. Amongst those and his many other professional accomplishments, Bailey was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019. Champ is passionate about using creativity to create value for investors and entrepreneurs through his Athlete Relations business model. After 15 years of leading by example on the field and in the locker room, he continues to "influence the influencers" by educating and advising several men and women in the sports community. Through his investment arm, CB24 Ventures, Champ has 5 active investments in early stage companies within the last 14 months. Champ lives just north of Atlanta with his wife, Jessica, and their two youngest children.
Nicki Collen | 2019
Nicki Collen was named head coach of the Atlanta Dream on October 30, 2017. Earning her first head coaching position, Collen came to the Dream after pair of successful seasons as an assistant coach for the Connecticut Sun. Working for 2017 WNBA Coach of the Year Curt Miller, Collen helped the Sun compile an impressive 21-13 record and finished with the fourth-best regular season record in the WNBA, earning the franchise’s first postseason appearance since 2012. Connecticut, who lost former No. 1 pick Chiney Ogwumike to injury prior to the 2017 season, improve on a 14-20 record in 2016. In her first season at the helm, Collen led the Dream to franchise-best 23-11 record and the No. 2 overall seed entering the 2018 WNBA Playoffs. For her work, the first-year head coach was named WNBA Coach of the Year. Her 2018 team tied a franchise-best 13 home wins and won 10 games on the road, the most ever by a Dream squad. Her 2019 squad continued to break franchise records including a new high for blocked shots in a season (184) and the most three-pointers made (217). The team also grabbed a franchise-best 892 defensive rebounds over the season. Prior to moving to Connecticut, Collen served under head coach Karl Smesko at Florida Gulf Coast. Joining the staff in July of 2014, Collen helped guide the Eagles to consecutive 30-win seasons. The 2015-16 team recently completed a 33-6 campaign with a trip to the WNIT Championship game, where it was edged by South Dakota on April 2nd. The 2014-15 Eagles were 31-3 with a 26-game winning streak and an undefeated record in the Atlantic Sun Conference. That team also made history with its first Division I national ranking and its first NCAA Tournament victory, a 75-67 win over 10th-seeded Oklahoma State. Collen and her husband Tom have three children, Connor, Reese and Logan.
Levon Kirkland | 2019
Coach Levon Kirkland is both a student and master of the game of football - from a coach’s and player’s perspective. His football career is one of undisputable quality, depth, and sophistication. Even a cursory review of Coach Kirkland’s credentials evidence that he has deep experience in, and understanding of, how to coach and play the game. Additional he has experience in the administration of a football program and team management, as well as depth of knowledge in the
business of the game. He has a demonstrated versatility and effectiveness as a coach, having coached at the professional, collegiate, and prep levels. His command of the fundamentals and sophisticated nuances of the game make him effective at coaching and teaching seasoned professionals, and novices alike. This is
evidenced by his coaching across all genres, including regular season play, clinics, and camps. His superior discipline and focus puts him in an exclusive and distinguished group of professional players – those who never missed a game. Indeed, in the course of his 11 year professional career, Coach Kirkland played in every single game. This remarkable ‘perfect attendance’ achievement also demonstrates his mental toughness and ability to stay healthy, key attributes for any truly successful player. A skilled communicator, Coach Kirkland received the Chief Award while with the Pittsburgh Steelers for excellence in communication with the media. Equally as impressive, after Coach Kirkland’s professional career, he returned to his alma mater to complete his degree – testament to his understanding of the importance of the educational opportunity his collegiate career afforded him. As a coach on the prep level, Coach Kirkland’s efforts were rewarded by having 5 of his athletes receive scholarships to play on the collegiate level. As further testament to his skill as a coach, his people skills, and his knowledge of the game from a business perspective, he was asked (and accepted the challenge) to start a Varsity football program from scratch – from the ground up – at a school that had never previously had a football program. Coach Kirkland had the wherewithal to create a football culture, cultivate football talent for the team, work with administrators and boosters,
and hire a coaching staff.
Dikembe Mutombo | 2019
Dikembe Mutombo hails from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 1987, Mutombo was the recipient of a USAID scholarship to attend Georgetown University, and he soon excelled both academically and in basketball. His 18 seasons as an NBA superstar culminated in Mutombo’s induction into the league’s coveted Hall of Fame and the responsibility of promoting the game as the first NBA Global Ambassador. Thanks to his heart, his vision, his insight and his tireless dedication to making a positive difference in the lives of others, Mutombo has leveraged his celebrity as an NBA superstar to become a well-known and much loved spokesman for the underserved especially those living in the Congo and throughout Africa. Since leaving the NBA, Mutombo has become a full-time advocate and ambassador for making sure that everyone in need has access to the health services and educational and economic opportunities necessary to live better lives and for their children to grow strong and become healthy productive members of their communities. Fluent in nine languages, including five African languages, Mutombo founded the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation in 1997 whose mission is to improve the health, education and quality of life for the people in his homeland. One major project of his Foundation was the construction of the Biamba Marie Mutombo hospital in the capital city of Kinshasa. The 170 bed hospital named in memory of his beloved mother opened in December 2007 and to date over 500,000 men, women and children have been treated there. No one is turned away for an inability to pay. In September 2021, the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation will open the Samuel Mutombo Institute of Science outside the city Mbuji-Mayi which is the ancestral home of Mutombo’s parents. Mutombo is the Chairman and President of the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation and he also serves on the boards of the National Constitution Center, Special Olympics International, the CDC Foundation and the National Board for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. He resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife Rose and their three children, Carrie, J.J. and Ryan.
Sheryl Swoopes | 2019
Sheryl Swoopes is regarded as one of the greatest female athletes of all time. She is often referred to as the “Female Michael Jordan”, and was inducted in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. Swoopes was the first player signed to the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), and with the introduction of the Nike Air Swoopes in 1995, Sheryl became the first female athlete to have a Nike Signature Shoe named after her. Sheryl is a 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist, 4-time WNBA Champion, and a NCAA National Champion.
As a professional athlete in the WNBA, Sheryl Swoopes spent ten seasons with the Houston Comets where she won four consecutive champions. She was named the league’s Most Valuable Player three times, Defensive Player of the Year three times, and Scoring Champion two times. Sheryl was named a WNBA All-Star six times. She was also named to the All-WNBA First Team five times and the All-WNBA Second Team two times. IN 2011, Swoopes was named one of the WNBA’s Top 15 Players and in 2016, she was named to the WNBA Top 20 @ 20 list. Sheryl also spent time with the Seattle Storm (May 2008-September 2008) and the Tulsa Shock (May 2011 – September 2011)
Joe Schmidt | 2019
Joe Schmidt runs strategy and partnerships at Ethos, a San Francisco based life insurance startup that's raised over $100m from investors like Accel, Sequoia, and Goldman Sachs. Before joining Ethos, Joe was an investor at Accel, the venture firm behind Facebook, Slack, Atlassian, and Spotify, and led the firm’s investment in Ethos. Prior to joining Accel, Joe attended Notre Dame where he went from walk-on to captain and MVP of the football team. Joe lives in San Francisco and spends his free time with family, investing in early stage startups, and traveling.
WHO SHOULD APPLY?
We are seeking companies in all stages of growth (ranging from very early to growth stage) to present on the VA stage or in our Showcase. We will have over 300 investors in attendance, and they are looking to hear from the most innovative companies across the Southeast.
These companies will have five minutes to pitch on the Venture Atlanta main stage. This is an opportunity for early to growth stage companies to raise money or scale. Here are the benefits of being a Venture Atlanta Presenting Company:
The Venture Atlanta Showcase was added in 2017 to give early-stage or pre–revenue companies the opportunity to get on the radar of investors. Here are the benefits of being a Venture Atlanta Showcase Company:
We have not yet opened company applications for VA 2020. Stay tuned for this announcement — coming soon! In the meantime, check out the list of VA 2019 companies.
Venture Atlanta Alumni Hall of Fame