Venture Atlanta 10/20-21/2015

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Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, GA

Great first day at this year’s premier Atlanta Tech event held at the Georgia Aquarium. Dana Barrett, host of Channel 11’s Atlanta Tech Edge program, welcomed attendees and introduced a panel of “FinTech” experts. Tony Catalfano (Worldpay), Eric Byunn, (Centana Growth), Scott Thompson (Shoprunner), Rick Diamond (JP Mogan Chase), and moderator Rob Frohwein (Kabbage) painted a picture of the “the Silicon Valley of payments”, Atlanta, GA. There are more online payment processors in metro Atlanta than any other city.

The key to the digital payments future is adding value to a vendor’ service. Averaging 2.5 % per transaction, future winners will provide innovative features in addition to processing payments. Present day services have global reach, but few overseas viewers actually are closed into a sale. The number of IPOs in the field are down from last year, 2014. The panel were most excited about newcomers Ground Floor, Ally Pay, and future offerings from Google (and/or acquisitions).

The afternoon pitches by early stage companies presented a wide array. One had innovated a wireless inventory of vending machines products, Roots Rated targets the outdoor industry and connects brands with consumers, GPA Learn helps young students learn new math by using games to train, Convey Services blends wholesalers and end users by adding technology to the distribution channel, and Photo & Mobile harnesses the power of photo documentation by embedding content wit metadata. Other presentations covered hospital cleanliness, the exchange of carbon credits inside the fuel industry, and online B2B account based marketing.

Photos in order = (1) Panel on FinTech, (2) SwatchPop online interior decoration entrepreneur, Kristine Yonson, (3) Founder of Menguin, online rental formal wear for students, (4) One of many opportunities to network tech funders and founders, and in the foreground April Eckardt, VP Finance, Azalea Health (turnkey software for physicians’ offices).