SL #25: CapVenture and Global Crypto Systems

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Welcome to SL #25! This show focuses on what is turning out to be an incredibly successful program launched by the ATDC. CapVenture is a very unique training program that aims to equip entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tactics used to raise venture funding. Many of the CapVenture graduates have gone on to raise capital (including several companies that are part of the StartupLounge community). Lance Weatherby (ATDC) and Todd Merrill (CEO of Global Crypto Systems) join us a for an in-depth look at the program.

While not discussed in the podcast, a little bird told us that the ATDC is offering a small discount for anyone mentioning in the application process. Better hurry though – the application deadline is July 15th, 2008!

And of course, it wouldn’t be a StartupLounge podcast without a joyful bus ride. Scott brings the heat and throws a certain group of entrepreneurs under the bus with full malice aforethought.

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Shownotes and Interview Questions:

As usual, we had lots of related followup questions, but here is a good sampling of the discussion:

Lance Weatherby:

  1. Give us your elevator pitch for the ATDC
  2. What has the ATDC been up to since your last appearance?
  3. Who’s gonna be the new ATDC Director?
  4. What’s changed in the Atlanta early stage market in the last year or so?
  5. What is CapVenture all about?
  6. How do you measure if the CapVenture program is successful?
  7. Are there some success stories that have come out of CapVenture?
  8. Who are good candidates for CapVenture?
  9. It costs between $300 and $500 to participate in CapVenture (with scholarships a possibility for half). Why is it necessary to charge for this program? Couldn’t it (shouldn’t it be free?)
  10. What makes CapVenture different from other entrepreneurial education programs?
  11. What are is CapVenture doing differently this year from years past?

Todd Merrill:

  1. Give us your 30-second elevator pitch for Global Crypto Systems
  2. You’ve been a participant in CapVenture. What did you get out of the program?
  3. Was there a tipping point during your CapVenture participation?
  4. What are some tips you have for entrepreneurs that plan to participate in CapVenture so that they can gain the greatest value?
  5. We understand that you recently raised capital. Can you give us any details?
  6. How did you find investors and at what point did you start getting traction with them?
  7. We heard a vicious rumor that StartupLounge contributed to your capital raising process – can you elaborate?

Guest Bios:

Lance Weatherby is currently a Venture Catalyst with the ATDC. He is the former Chief Marketing Officer for Ciphertrust, and before that served as an EVP for Earthlink, where he focused on mobile products/services. Prior to EarthLink, Lance served as EVP Sales/Marketing for Mindspring. Lance is also a prominent voice for early-stage ventures in the Southeast.

Todd Merrill is CEO of Global Crypto Systems, an Atlanta-based e-transaction security company. Earlier this year, Global Crypto was named by TAG as one of the top 40 Most Innovative Companies in Georgia, and was featured at ATDC’s CapVenture program. Prior to joining Global Crypto, Todd was Director of Acquisitions at Alpha Property Holdings, a real estate company, and held management and engineering positions at companies such as AirDefense, Ciena, PerformanceIT, Scientific Atlanta, BellSouth and AT&T. Todd earned his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Computer Engineering from the University of Florida.


Enjoy! To play it, use the tools at the top of this post – you can play it via the embedded Flash player by pressing the big play button at the top, or download it to play on your computer or MP3 player.

Links referenced within this episode:

Podsafe music used within this episode:

  • Neolith by Kevin MacLeod
  • Talk Nerdy to Me by Possible Oscar
  • All the Money in the World by Hutch

Our format is a little out of the norm as far as podcasts go. We treat our efforts as a true “show” rather than a super-concise (limited) vehicle for delivery of information. Therefore, the podcasts can run a bit long (actually, it is largely driven by the guests and their responses.) While we try to have very substantive discussions, we also try to have a lot of fun along the way (and that tends to elongate the programming a wee bit.) :) Our theory is that if we are having fun during the show, hopefully, you will be having a little fun listening as well.

Here is the breakdown for the show, in case you want to hop around.

Intro 00:00 to 02:00
Smalltalk and introductions: 02:00 to 05:34
Under the Bus 05:34 to 15:25
Mailbag: 15:25 to 26:13
Event Roundup: 26:13 to 28:02
Commercial/Comedy Break: 28:02 to 31:23
Main Discussion Topic 31:23 to 64:20

A special thanks to Lance and Todd for coming in and hanging out with us!

We welcome your continued feedback as well! If you have an interest in appearing on the show, becoming a show sponsor (hint, hint), have some suggestions for topics, have feedback, or would just like to email us and tell us to “shove off”, we invite you to contact us.

And don’t forget – the message forums are a great resource for fast-growth entrepreneurs. If you need help with any aspect of your venture, we welcome you to jump in and get the help you need!



3 Comments so far »

  1. Scott Burkett said

    on July 7 2008 @ 1:50 pm

    UPDATE: The original deadline for CapVenture applications was listed as June 15th – it is actually July 15th – corrected!


  2. Rob Shields said

    on July 22 2008 @ 5:41 pm

    Thanks for answering my question about a where to find a term sheet for seed round financing. I appreciate the advice. BTW: Since I submitted the question, I tracked down the closest thing that I could find to a boilerplate term sheet. It is a bit complicated, but it certainly covers all the bases:

    Also, I didn’t think hat it was possible, but the “Talk nerdy to me” Poison spoof proved that to me there are performers who aspire to be Weird Al.

  3. vista home security said

    on August 16 2011 @ 9:21 pm

    vista home security…

    Did you see this yet? ” SL #25: CapVenture and Global Crypto Systems…

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