Welcome to SL #41! Mike Schinkel was kind enough to ask us down to speak at the monthly gathering of the Atlanta Web Entrepreneurs (AWE) group. Initially, we were going to host a panel on raising capital (or something similar), but after a few conversations, the three of us decided to change it up a bit. We presented our view of the current state of the Atlanta startup scene, how far we’ve come in just a few short years, and where we think it is going. We also issues a call to action to members of the Atlanta startup community to help us build what we call the “Atlanta Startup Cloud” – a virtual incubator.
Apologies to everyone for us going over our time limit. We quite literally threw the presentation together a day or two before the event. In retrospect, we probably could have done a better job in marrying our content to Schinkel’s schedule. We will most likely have an initial meeting with all the volunteers, then have another community meeting which will be a *very brief* presentation of where the group is, and to solicit additional ideas and direction. As Schink points out in his opening remarks, this particular meeting was just the first meeting of many, and will eventually involve a lot of other groups within the community (not just AWE).
This edition of the StartupLounge.com podcast is actually a screencast/video. You can use the links below to view.
In short, our Startup Cloud concept is an effort to address provide several key services to the community:
- Provide a “jumpoff” point – where new entrepreneurs and investors can “get plugged into” what is happening within the Atlanta early-stage scene.
- Provide better event coordination between the bazillion startup groups in Atlanta – i.e. shared calendar .. yay!
- Provide a “virtual incubator” whereby the community incubates itself
- Provide a vehicle to bridge into the corporate world, to bring Atlanta’s corporate players to the table to look at the innovations that are happening here (side note: Since this meeting, we’ve made some progress on this front – looks like we have quite a number of Fortune 1000 companies already interested in hosting events and playing an active role in this).
This was a platform that we started building about a year ago, but as we mention in the presentation, it will take us 20 years to finish the thing given our current schedules. So, we decided that opening up the initiative to the community is an even better way to go – more hands involved, and more importantly, additional voices and input.
Oh, and for the person who emailed me about the “Boss Hogg” slide – the three personas illustrated are not a reference to anyone specifically, but rather stereotypes that we’ve all come to know and love.
Unfortunately, our A/V guy had to leave the event after the break, so we were unable to record the audio Q&A session at the end. Which is probably a good thing, because some of it went a bit tangential. But we did take copious notes, so we’ll be putting something up online soon.
At the end of the day, we pitched a very abstract concept, and managed to get an absolute boatload of people to sign up to volunteer to pitch in and help with the project. Since the night of the AWE meeting, we’ve since reached out to some of our VC and startup contacts in North Carolina, and they are interested in simultaneously launching the Startup Cloud concept in North Carolina as well.
We have been woefully behind in our reaching out to those who have volunteered to help. Thanks for your patience!
More soon …