Funding activity — highest amount in six years — is 140 percent higher than 2016.
Startups at the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), the state of Georgia’s technology incubator, raised more than $129.8 million in investment capital in 2017.
The activity, which includes seed and Series A funding, is a jump of more than 140 percent from 2016, where ATDC companies reported investment activity of $53.5 million. It’s also 159 percent more than the 2015 results.
“We are extremely proud of our portfolio companies’ achieving this milestone,” said Michael A. Maziar, ATDC’s investor relations manager. “This is the highest amount our companies have raised in the last six years and this speaks to the strength and quality of our ATDC portfolio companies and the caliber of technology startups coming out of Georgia.”
In addition to the $129.8 million in capital funding, ATDC startups received more than $3 million in non-dilutive capital from federal grant awards in 2017.
“We’re making a tangible difference for our companies at all stages, including those that are still refining and verifying their research and technologies,” said Connie Casteel, ATDC’s program manager for grant awards and funding. “The companies that received federal grant awards are still in the early stages of their life cycles, but are taking advantage of our advice and expertise to help startups identify and make successful applications to federal agencies that have funds to further their research.”
The results also show how the ATDC’s Investor Connect program, which curates meaningful interactions between the startups and investors, along with company investor readiness preparation, is making a difference.
In 2017 the program strategically curated more than 200 connections with introductions to more than 100 different firms.
“Our focus remains being the facilitator for these critical introductions between the investor community and our companies,” Maziar said. “Through our events and meetings such as our ATDC Venture Showcases to the East Coast and West Coast investor communities, we served 70 of our portfolio companies and hosted 50 unique investment firm visits to ATDC resulting in 48 completed deals. Investors see us as their trusted partner for deal flow and conduit into successful, high-growth startups for their firms.”
Among those investors is Chicago-based Hyde Park Venture Partners which participated in the $2.5 million capital raise in Haste. An ATDC Signature company, Atlanta-based Haste’s technology helps to improve network performance and the user experience in the eSports and competitive online gaming sector.
“When looking for companies to invest in, from a sourcing perspective, ATDC has a much higher ratio of quality in its overall portfolio,” said Jackie DiMonte, a senior associate at Hyde Park Venture Partners, which has more than $90 million in capital in investment funds and started actively looking at Atlanta companies in 2017.
“You know when you’re going to ATDC, there are high-quality companies with mature teams, strong products, and outlooks. It’s like the first stamp of approval or first pass in due diligence.”
While a significant portion of the 2017 total came from the financial technology (FinTech) sector with nearly $30 million and cybersecurity with $17.6 million, ATDC portfolio companies in other industries, including health care, advanced manufacturing, and Internet of Things (IoT), also saw deals.
Cognosos, a wireless technology startup in the IoT space, develops low-power technology and hardware to transmit data in the automotive and other industries.
The Atlanta-based company, founded in 2014 with patented technology developed at Georgia Tech’s Smart Antenna Lab, raised $7.1 million in its Series A financing round led by Cox Enterprises. The round also included Covalent Partners and CheckFree Founder Pete Kight.
Being at ATDC helped ready the company for its round, said Jim Stratigos, Cognosos’ co-founder and chief technology officer. A serial entrepreneur, Cognosos is Stratigos’ third company at ATDC. The company built its product and received grant funding through the Georgia Research Alliance as it ramped up its growth.
“There’s an expectation that companies in the ATDC Signature program are worth taking a look at,” Stratigos said. “That’s because of ATDC’s history and the results that Signature companies have achieved both in recognition from the investment community and their ability scale and grow while at ATDC.
“There’s a positive aspect to being an ATDC company, by any measure you use.”
The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), a program of the Georgia Institute of Technology, is the state of Georgia’s technology startup incubator. Founded in 1980 by the Georgia General Assembly which funds it each year, ATDC’s mission is to work with entrepreneurs in Georgia to help them learn, launch, scale, and succeed in the creation of viable, disruptive technology companies. Since its founding, ATDC has grown to become one of the longest running and most successful university-affiliated incubators in the United States, with its graduate startup companies raising $3 billion in investment financing and generating more than $12 billion in revenue in the state of Georgia. To learn more, visit atdc.org.
About ATDC Investor Connect:
ATDC strategically matches its portfolio companies to capital through curated investor interactions. The investor relations manager is available for consultations to help companies develop a focused funding strategy. In addition, the manager works with the incubator’s coaching staff for funding preparation. The outcome creates exceptionally engineered investor readiness, resulting in high value deal flow for investors. For more information, visit atdc.org/how-we-help/capital.