This is a guest post from BIP Capital.
This year’s Venture Atlanta Live Online is now in the books, and I can say that it reflected the strength of our region’s venture ecosystem in terms of the excitement and activity from both entrepreneurs and investors alike, even in the midst of our current pandemic. While the face-to-face interaction was missed, Venture Atlanta still had much to offer, including high-quality production and engaging digital experiences that were conducive to learning about the Southeast’s hottest innovations.
What is perhaps most noteworthy, however, is the event’s growing inclusiveness even as COVID-19 restrictions kept us physically apart. There was a much stronger presence this year of female and minority entrepreneurs and presenters, as well as greater diversity in the types of businesses being showcased and the number of companies from areas outside of Atlanta. I’m very proud of the diversity our board has worked hard to achieve and the actively more inclusive direction Venture Atlanta is taking. I believe it is the start of greater things.
Beyond this new inclusiveness, the rising momentum and return to raising capital that took place at Venture Atlanta this past week reflects our ecosystem’s continuing maturation and resiliency. As part of my role as chair of the event’s selection committee, I began the process of talking to incubators and innovation labs across our region last spring, when the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on businesses were just being realized. It’s inspiring to see the innovating companies that successfully redesigned themselves to flourish within our new normal—many of whom shared the stage at this year’s Venture Atlanta.
Overall, Venture Atlanta 2020 reflected several of the key findings from BIP Capital’s recent The State of StartupsSM in the Southeast report, which delivers a comprehensive overview of the venture capital and startup ecosystem in this region of the country, including Georgia. Unsurprisingly, much of this year’s report focuses on how the global COVID-19 pandemic affected investment activity in the Southeast.
Based on the report’s findings, we believe our region’s market maturation is persistent and has positioned it well to emerge from the pandemic crisis. The success of this year’s Venture Atlanta was certainly indicative of that.
Here’s to continued steady momentum as we work through our current situation together and as a more diverse group of businesspeople, investors, and entrepreneurs.
We invite you to read The State of StartupsSM in the Southeast report in its entirety here. We hope this report will further educate investors on the emerging trends to watch as well as highlight the region’s growth and future opportunities.
About the Author: Paul Iaffaldano is chief investment officer at BIP Capital, one of the most active and successful venture investors in the Southeast, serving entrepreneurs, investors and operators to grow the emerging company ecosystem.