By: Lexie Newhouse
On March 3, 2018, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute (ENI) hosted TiE Atlanta at Georgia State University’s Buckhead campus for its 5th annual TYE University Entrepreneurship Competition. The program has brought together over 55 teams, 150 students across 18 Georgia Universities, and 50 coaches and mentors over the past five years.
The day started with opening remarks from Paul Lopez, the TYE University Co-Chair and TiE Atlanta President Elect, and Geoffrey Graybeal, a Clinical Assistant Professor on behalf of ENI. After a brief introduction and breakfast, the teams broke off into practice sessions to rehearse their pitch until lunch. Sixteen total teams were divided into three different tracks for the qualifying session.
Track A was judged by Sue Boehlke, Susan Knox, Benn Konsynski, and Suresh Sharma. Track B was judged by Karen Cashion, Steve Cook, Karen Rands, and Vik Vijayvergiya. Track C was judged by Regan Durkin, Eric Ensor, Sucheta Kamath, and Bruce Keenan. Lopez proudly recognized that of the judges, half were women. He also noted that the programming is looking to expand the number of female mentors, ultimately proving their commitment to the support and success of all entrepreneurs.
Following the qualifying pitches, the teams, mentors, and judges gathered for a keynote address from JP James, Chairman of Libreum International, on “What Investors Look for.” Being part of an active angel investing group, James revealed that 50 percent of Libreum’s deals receive funding. He emphasized the importance of communication with investors in order to build lasting relationships, as investors are investing not only in “ideas” but in people.
James also spoke on the various types of funding options, for example, seed stage investing, “Reg A” offerings, and Series A/B funding for scaling. Here he highlighted the difference between startups that are “lean,” can quickly be brought to market, and can quickly prove demand versus ones that require a large upfront capital expenditure and longer periods of development, like healthcare or manufacturing companies.
The competition results followed James’ keynote address. Three teams from Georgia State advanced to the final round of the TYE Entrepreneurship Competition:
- Enrich, Nathan Foster, B.B.A. Economics ‘18
- SoundCollide, Robert Hatcher B.A. Psychology, Minor Entrepreneurship, and M.B.A. ‘20
- BluMourn, Jennifer Preyss, B.A. Sociology and Journalism ‘06, and M.I.B. ‘18
These three teams plus four others from neighboring universities like the University of Georgia, Emory University, and Georgia Tech will be competing at the new Atlanta Braves stadium in Marietta on April 21, 2018 for cash prizes of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000 for first, second, and third place.
Interested in learning more about how TiE Atlanta is fostering entrepreneurship through mentoring, educating, networking, and investing? Visit their website: http://atlanta.tie.org/