Atlanta Entrepreneurs Step Up To Pitch Products

By Matt Kempner
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Several Atlanta events recently featured pitch contests with local entrepreneurs doing their best presentations to corrall investors and raise money.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

If you know anyone who’s started a business, you know being an entrepreneur trying to market something cool and new can be brutally hard. And mighty expensive.

Which is why the last couple weeks have been big ones for owners of some Georgia startups.

Dozens exhibited and pitched their businesses to investors or potential customers at several area events, from a Techstars Atlanta demo day to a cyber security conference to the big gorilla — Venture Atlanta. The latter considers itself the region’s largest annual conference connecting money and dreamers.

“The truth is, you are going to be in a dogfight that doesn’t end,” Ernie Garcia told entrepreneurs at Venture Atlanta. He’s CEO of Carvana, itself a startup that’s now a publicly traded company selling used cars online.

But the gutsy entrepreneurs I spoke with can’t stop themselves.

Amy Baxter, a former emergency room pediatrician, told me she practiced her six-minute pitch 50 times before walking on Venture Atlanta’s stage. She’s trying to raise $3 million to grow the market for her invention of vibrating cold packs (VibraCool) to treat pain without opioids.

She’s had practice corralling investors. She appeared on the reality TV show Shark Tank a few years back. Three sharks made offers for her MMJ Labs, which also makes a product called Buzzy to reduce people’s phobia of needle shots.

Then there was the guy at Venture Atlanta with a personal chef meal delivery service (“no cooking; no decision making”).

Pat Pow-anpongkul of Saige told me he’s probably hawked his company to investors hundreds of times, though never to as many people as at Venture Atlanta.

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