Day Two, Venture Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium

Niraj Shah,

Niraj Shah,

More terrific exposure to successfull entrepreneurs and active venture capitalist on day two at the Venture Atlanta event held at the beautiful Georgia Aquarium Wed., Oct. 21st.  Keynotes were by Niraj Shah,  cofounder and CEO of, world’s largest online destination for the home, and Lori Greiner, the “warm blooded shark” from TV’s Shark Tank.  

Both had encouraging words for the entrepreneurial mindset.  Niraj and his partner Steve Coine first began as internet consultants out of Cornell, and started Spinners in 1999.  Wanting to start their own products, they started a furniture online retail site 13 years ago.  Based in Boston, they bought a lot of small e-commerce companies, focused on underserved areas, and finally settled on furniture which is largely unbranded and visually oriented.  Last years sales exceeded $347 million. 

Lori Greiner was born in Chicago, IL, and is best known as the “Queen of QVC” where she has a show called Clever and Unique Creations Show.  She is also the founder For Your Ease Only, Inc., in Chicago, IL 1996, which does product development and marketing.  Lori has helped launch 400 products and holds 120 U. S. and international patents.  

In addition to these two dynamic keynoters attendees heard from the primary sponsor J. P. Morgan Chase and the “Godfather of Atlanta Tech” Sid Mosely who paid tribute to John Imlay, Jr., giant of the emergiing tech community during the 1970s adn 1980s.  John passed away in March at the age of 78.  He left behind a huge legacy as an investor in the Atlanta Falcons, an inductee into the Technology Hall of Fame, author the book Jungle Rules (How to be a Tiger in Business), builder of MSA which he sold to Dun & Bradstreet, 1997 recipient of Entrepreneur of the Year Lifetime Achievement award,  and organizer of the High Museum’s (Bobby) “Jones Dinner” as a fervent golfer much of his life. 

Gino Mandella, President of TAG, the technology Association of Georgia, also addressed the conference.  TAG educates, promotes, influences, and unites Georgia’s technology community to foster an innovative and connected marketpace.  TAG has been a primary sponsor of the Venture Atlanta since its inception.  

Some of the final day presenters were HMW, H. M. Wallace e-commerce company who pivoted from a online toilet retailer to recoccuring customers like Lowe’s and other wholesalers.  They will soon change their name to  Also, H2O Overgroup who are an enterprise customer portal for one-stop billing and other services to e-commerce.  Darshara Petel explaiined her company’s “locatization industry”.  Know as g11n, they serve English businesses in the other 72% of the world other native languages.  From social media, training, sales and marketing, and SEO (search engine optimization), g11n uses a localization platform to be disruptive.   All in all, the two day conference was a big success connecting hundreds in the Southeastern techology industry.