Need some startup advice? You may want to chat with our newest ATDC team member, experienced in the world of entrepreneurship and investing. Charlie Paparelli has joined our distinguished team, serving as ATDC’s first ever Angel-in-Residence. In this role, he will help coach member startups in search of funding.
“I am excited to be a part of the ATDC community,” said Paparelli. “The energy level, the idealism and the experience at the ATDC is off the charts. Being at Tech Square, right off the Georgia Tech campus is an added benefit. I feel like I am in the epicenter of entrepreneurism in Atlanta.”
A professional angel investor focused exclusively on the Atlanta technology community, Paparelli brings more than 20 years of coaching experience to the table. He began his career in a successful startup and, at exit, enhanced his experience with 10 years in general management and COO roles, finally focusing on angel investing full time. He currently serves as president and founder of Paparelli Ventures, a pre-formation investment company focused on entrepreneurs in the Atlanta technology market.
“My hobby is entrepreneurs and startups,” said Paparelli. “I love what I do, and I am so fortunate to work with entrepreneurs in helping them achieve their dreams. I bring money, wisdom, contacts and, most importantly, a deep faith to the process.”
The seasoned entrepreneur will host regular office hours to accommodate one-on-one meetings with member companies. With the local technology startup scene growing at a rapid pace, Paparelli was brought on board as part of an ATDC staff and service expansion now under way, all aimed at supporting the diverse portfolio of innovative member companies.
When Paparelli is not working, he can be found spending time with his family and, occasionally, enjoying a round of golf with friends.
Exhibitors at 2012 Showcase
Which annual event brings together hundreds of Georgia entrepreneurs, startups and technology leaders, as well as robots, an innovative “swim browser” and a solar-powered race car? That would be ATDC’s 2013 Startup Showcase, where the local technology community will gather on Monday for one of Atlanta’s premier industry events.
Held at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center, the showcase is open to the public and will include speeches from Bill Nussey, president and CEO of Silverpop, Steve Cross, Georgia Tech’s executive vice president for research, and Hans Gant, Metro Atlanta Chamber’s senior vice president of economic development. Each year, the event honors Georgia’s brightest entrepreneurs and emerging technologies, putting a spotlight on ATDC’s graduating companies – all of whom have met rigorous growth milestones. In addition, dozens of ATDC’s most promising member companies – representing industries as varied as information security, financial technology, health care IT, mobile technology, clean tech/energy, and medical devices – will exhibit their innovative technologies during the event.
“Someone asks me every day what the most innovative ATDC companies are doing. The Showcase is open to everyone, so it’s your chance to see for yourself,” said Blake Patton, ATDC’s interim general manager. “These graduates have achieved what all of our startups are striving for by taking innovative ideas and turning them into great businesses. They serve as examples of the value that entrepreneurs bring to this region.”
The 2013 ATDC graduates include:
- AccelerEyes makes code run 10 to 100 times faster by enabling it to run on graphics processing units. It serves thousands of customers in more than 40 countries across a variety of industries.
- BrightWhistle is a first-in-class digital patient acquisition solution designed for health care providers. Its technology helps providers quickly find high value patients through search and social media.
- KontrolFreek is a leading designer of ergonomic, game-enhancing products to improve comfort and performance when playing video games.
- Patientco helps patients pay, track, understand and manage their healthcare costs. The company helps patients reign in healthcare costs and providers receive payments more quickly.
- Urjanet offers tools for tracking and reporting energy use for large-scale consumers.
Interested in attending? The Showcase runs from 1 to 4 pm, followed by a cash bar after-party until 6 pm. Although regular registration has closed, walk-ins are welcomed and tickets cost $20 at the door. For more information, visit www.atdcstartupshowcase.com.
Are you game for 54 hours of organized chaos? Put your creativity to the test and join forces with fellow web developers, graphic designers, marketers and entrepreneurs at Atlanta Startup Weekend, beginning tomorrow.
To participate in the event, startup enthusiasts are divided into different teams and given the opportunity to build applications and develop a credible business case around them. The activities begin with Friday night pitches. Although anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea, teams form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then spend the next 54 hours focused on business model creation, coding, designing and market validation. The weekend culminates with Sunday night presentations in front of seasoned entrepreneurs with opportunity for critical feedback.
“If you want to get involved in the early-stage Atlanta startup scene, don’t miss this event,” said Jen Bonnett, a Community Catalyst with ATDC, Chief Chick at StartupChicks and event proponent. “Startup Weekend is the ideal place to test your idea, firm up a business concept and network with local industry leaders.”
Judges include Merrick Furst, a Georgia Tech professor and the founder and director of Flashpoint; Paul Judge, Chairman of Pindrop Security and Chief Research Officer for Barracuda Networks; Blake Patton, Interim Director of ATDC; and Ed Rieker, a serial entrepreneur and Mayor of Avondale Estates. Attendees will also hear from featured speaker Dr. Joseph Nadan, a professor at New York University Polytechnic Institute and self-styled “Innovation Sherpa.”
The event will be held at ATDC headquarters. Tickets are almost sold out, so register ASAP to attend! The price is $99 for designers and developers and $149 for non-technical staff.
For more information, visit atlanta.startupweekend.org.
With 14 years of development experience working for both small startups and large corporations like Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, Allan Davis is well-versed at transforming a concept into a fully saleable product. He will share that insight at ATDC’s upcoming Development Bootcamp, a two-week course featuring two different specialty tracks.
“So many great ideas come from local entrepreneurs, but many fail due to missteps in execution,” said Davis. “In this class, we’ll discuss and walk through the execution process. Starting with the basic idea, we grow it in inception, nurture it in development, and finally deliver it to production.”
From prototyping and Model-View-Controller to API and UI design, interested attendees will benefit from using test-driven development and agile development practices to accomplish “idea-2-cash” – the process of going from a basic idea on paper to a viable product. Participants can choose from two different tracks, one focused on web and the other on mobile development. Both sessions begin Saturday and wrap up on April 6.
“The big difference between the tracks is the focus on technology,” said Davis. “It’s all about the stack in delivering the product, whether it be developing an initial prototype or getting that final product out there. Each track will bring out points based on platform to deliver the exceptional product that is wanted.”
Davis has a passion for mobile development, and he specializes in native development for iOS and Android. He is certified in Java as a developer, was instrumental in Python development with NetBeans and honed his talents with Objective C and Ruby on Rails.
For more information or to register, click here.
December 21, 2012 by chris
From the development of a robust new workshop series to some fierce foosball competitions, 2012 has been quite a year for ATDC. And the New Year is likely to bring even more excitement, as we continue to find new and effective ways to help make Georgia a leader in technology entrepreneurship.
Here are just a few of the 2012 highlights.
- ATDC members continued to make us proud, dominating awards categories at numerous events and competitions. For example, members took three of the top five spots at Startup Riot 2012 and made up nearly half of the exclusive participant list. Member startups and mentors also nearly swept the awards categories at TiECON Southeast 2012, winning four out of the five awards including Entrepreneur of 2012, Top Up-and-Coming Entrepreneur, College Student Entrepreneur and Deal of the Year. And at Venture Atlanta, more than one dozen members and graduates took the stage to pitch their concepts, wowing an audience of venture capitalists, bankers, angel investors and others.
- We graduated 8 member companies at our annual Startup Showcase with more than 400 people gathering to celebrate the tech startup community and honor the new graduates: 3DM Systems, Asankya, Axion Biosystems, BioAutomaton Systems Inc. (BSI), Celtaxsys, Digital Assent, Preparis, and SimpleC.
- We launched the Industry Connect program and had more than 15+ visits with Fortune 1000 companies interested in doing business with ATDC member companies.
- We unveiled the Entrepreneurs Education Series, a rotation of in-depth workshops geared to early-stage members that focused on the business aspects of a startup. In addition, “Tech Talks” was launched, a monthly seminar dedicated to topics important to chief technology officers, vice presidents of engineering, directors of development and developers.
As for 2013, there will be plenty of opportunities to network with other entrepreneurs and learn from seasoned veterans. Want to meet with ATDC staff to discuss your startup? Team members will have office hours available by appointment starting the first week of January. New and prospective members are invited to attend an information session on Jan. 8 to learn more about membership benefits and qualifications.
We salute the hard work of all of our ATDC entrepreneurs and look forward to seeing more member company accomplishments in 2013. ATDC offices will be closed from Dec. 24 through Jan. 2. Happy holidays and see you next year!
November 15, 2012 by kate
It’s Global Entrepreneurship Week – the world’s largest celebration of job creation and innovation – and Georgia’s startup community certainly has much to commemorate.
Running Nov. 12 through 18, Global Entrepreneurship Week encourages people to engage in activities designed to help them explore their business potential. These activities, which range from large-scale competitions and events to intimate networking gatherings, connect participants to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors.
With Georgia leading the nation in new business startups, the week-long observation provides an opportunity to celebrate and promote the state’s growing reputation as a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity and innovation.
“Our best engine for job growth is startups and there are lots of great things happening in Georgia and the greater Atlanta startup community,” said Blake Patton, interim general manager of ATDC.
In keeping with the theme, ATDC has been involved in a series of events all week aimed at fostering and honoring entrepreneurship. Beginning at 6 pm this evening, ATDC members are invited to attend the monthly Entrepreneur’s Night networking event. Featuring a presentation by Bridgette Sexton, Global Entrepreneurship Manager at Google, attendees can expect to hear an overview of the tools and resources the search engine giant has available for startups. And that’s not all. Atlanta entrepreneurs can also attend the Social Launch Conference at the GTRI Conference Center this weekend, designed to help startups learn to leverage new technologies and social media. On Saturday, #BlackGirlsHack is hosting #blackhack at the Hype, the first non-profit hackathon for the African-American tech community in metro Atlanta and beyond.
Before attending Entrepreneur’s Night today, pop around the corner to Hypepotamus. From 5 to 6 pm, Steven Roth – Dell’s Director of Cloud Computing – will be in town to discuss how enterprises and startups are leveraging “the cloud.”
September 20, 2012 by kate
In an epic ATDC member company showdown last week, several entrepreneurs proved their expertise isn’t just limited to technology, business pitches and fundraising.
Nearly 50 people attended the 2012 ATDC Ping Pong & Foosball Tournament, which pitted various startup representatives against each other for a shot at a gold trophy – and some major bragging rights. Despite fierce competition, Phil Mariscano and Tim Collins of Digital Assent reigned as foosball champs, while Kris Kemper of BLiNQ Media proved victorious in ping pong. Bruno Francois from Egos Ventures claimed second place in both events.
Congratulations to all of the winners and competitors in the tournament last week!
Need some startup advice? You may want to chat with our two newest ATDC team members, both experienced in the world of technology startups. Dan Ciprari and Bret Bergman have joined our distinguished Entrepreneur in Residence team and will help coach member startups on business model searches, fundraising, team development and more. Along with existing EIRs Tim Dorr, Blake Patton and Brooks Robinson, Dan and Bret will also help connect young entrepreneurs with prospective business advisors, investors and customers in the market.
Here’s a little more background reading on the newest additions to the ATDC team.
- Serial entrepreneur Dan Ciprari has founded and/or exited companies in the information technology, nanotechnology, medical device and clean technology industries. Most recently, he was CEO of Illumitron International, Inc., an Atlanta-based LED lighting manufacturer and energy management software provider. Earlier in his career, Dan cofounded a drug development company, as well as a consulting firm focusing on large internet applications architecture. He currently serves as a partner in a venture capital fund specializing in early-stage technology investing and is an angel investor and advisor in several technology and biomedical companies in the Atlanta region. He holds a BA in Economics with a focus in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MS in Materials Science from Georgia Tech. He is actively involved in the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF) and has facilitated the organization’s Middle Eastern Leadership Academies (MELA) in Egypt and in Abu Dhabi. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children and international travels, particularly to China and the Middle East. After his first company exit in 2000, he spent seven months exploring 22 countries with his wife.
- Bret Bergman joins ATDC with 25 years of experience with early-stage technology companies. Most recently, he cofounded ATDC/Venture Lab graduate Qcept Technologies and served as the company’s CEO for 10 years. During that time, he helped raise more than $35 million in capital and led the company’s push into semiconductor equipment market and the creation of a brand new market. Prior to Qcept, Bret was managing partner of Bergman & Associates, a venture capital and consulting firm for early-stage technology companies, and invested in several local startups. He also served as COO for an early-stage e-commerce service provider, and VP of Marketing and Strategy for Internet Security Systems Inc. Bret received a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Vermont and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. When he’s not working, he spends time with Amy, his wife of 21 years, and their two kids, 13-year-old Claire and Cole, 11. An avid ice hockey player, he helps coach Cole’s travel hockey team and can also be found at the tennis courts cheering on Claire, a budding tournament level player. His other interests include an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the Bloom County comic strip, a vast collection of eccentric socks – which he will gladly show you upon request – and music, especially the more obscure genres such as Neo Hippy Folk.
Both EIRs will host regular office hours to accommodate one-on-one meetings with member companies, so stay tuned for specific times and information. In addition, they will regularly participate in ATDC events and the monthly new member orientations.
Looking for insight on all things related to technology startups? Check out ATDC’s newly launched discussion forum, a free resource available to both ATDC members and the public. Although the site is in its infancy, staff intend to turn it into an in-depth, knowledge-based online channel catering to young entrepreneurs in search of ideas, answers, jobs and technical assistance.
“The point was to create a place where people can meet to discuss common problems and questions without having to be at a particular place at a particular time,” said Entrepreneur in Residence Tim Dorr, who developed the resource. “We hear a lot of the same questions from different people – and answering them each time can be inefficient. This provides an easier way to aggregate communications so we can be more effective and connect with everyone simultaneously.”
Visitors to the page will find a number of different topical forums, ranging from community news and ATDC announcements to a job board, idea exchange and tips on getting started in the industry. While anyone can participate in the online chatter, ATDC members and Select members will see extra benefits, with private discussion sections specific to their wants and questions. With a recent explosion in membership growth impacting the amount of time ATDC staff and mentors can spend with each startup, Dorr said the forum provides an ideal outlet for team outreach.
“We can’t expect every single entrepreneur to attend every single event, so this allows them the opportunity to still access those resources,” he said. “Eventually, we hope to get mentors involved and to create a knowledge-based forum for startups. The board is here to help entrepreneurs, so if there is something we can do to improve it or topics that should be added, let us know.”
Earlier this year, we unveiled the Entrepreneurs Education Series, a rotation of in-depth workshops focused on the business aspects of a startup. While those offerings have proven extremely successful – drawing rave reviews from participants – we saw the need to expand our educational content to spotlight some of the essential technology practices that startups need to get right. As a result, we have created a new program strictly focused on issues related to technology.
Starting next Thursday at 4 pm in the Community Room, ATDC members will be able to attend “Tech Talks,” a monthly seminar dedicated to topics important to chief technology officers, vice presidents of engineering, directors of development and developers. Some of the topics will be more technical in nature, focused on specific platforms and application programming interfaces. Other sessions will highlight the business side of technology, such as best practices for hiring developers and managing tech talent.
Much like our Lunch-N-Learn and Entrepreneurs Education Series, Tech Talks will provide young entrepreneurs with more opportunities to learn from seasoned veterans. Our first session on Thursday features Glen Gordon of Microsoft, who will share details about the Azure Platform, Windows 8 and the new Windows Phone 8.
“Tech Talks” will run on the fourth Thursday of each month. Check the ATDC Events Calendar for upcoming dates.
Jennifer Bonnett is an ATDC Community Catalyst and the Chief Chick at StartupChicks and Tim Dorr is an ATDC Entrepreneur in Residence.