Yesterday I was privileged to attend Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest tour stop held in Atlanta at the Opera House on Crescent Street in midtown Atlanta. I have to say it was an awesome event!
Whenever I attend an event at the Opera House I try to get a spot in one of the 2nd floor box seats…where often I’m all alone in a big comfy cushioned seat with a table (to set my laptop) and a great view of the main stage. Today I got a perfect spot from which to watch the show!
The first hour was a fireside chat by Steve where he discussed how Atlanta could increase entrepreneurship through more celebrating of entrepreneurship, mentoring of new entrepreneurs, and connecting; while focusing on Atlanta’s advantages of diversity and large company partnering opportunities.
According to Steve, 75% of all venture capital in the US goes to white men located in three states (New York, Massachusetts, and California). His #riseofrest message is that we need to level this playing field and provide opportunities to all the other communities of capable entrepreneurs by leveraging the unique strengths found in each community.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was a surprise speaker at the event who gave a short welcome speech.
For the next two hours we were treated to 5 minute pitches from eight local Atlanta startup companies all competing to win $100,000 from Steve that afternoon! Judging was done by a distinguished panel of judges seen below.
The pitch competitors this afternoon were:
2. Ground Floor
3. local roots
All of the pitches were well done. If I had the money I would invest in all of them. But only one won the day with the panel of judges.
And the $100,000 winner was, partpic!
The after-party was held on the outside patio of the Opera House Nightclub. ..very nice indeed!
Some of the tweets from the day…..