Tech Square Labs was the host of the Atlanta Start Up Battle tonight in Midtown.  Over 500 companies applied, 18 were selected for mentoring, and that number was whittled down to the top 5 to pitch their company tonight!  The competitors had 5 minutes to pitch their company to a room cram packed with people. Each was welcomed to the stage with a blaring rap song of their choosing.  The whole thing wrapped up with a roof top party!

In general, the competition was SUPER impressive.  I was blown away by the caliber of the presentations, the core team member resumes, and that most were collecting revenue.  It was also cool to see that a few of the companies were front outside of Atlanta, which means the footprint of this competition is getting bigger and bigger.  Without any further adieu, I present the five finalists…

Rayka (Charlotte, NC) Social Recommendations for Travel

  • An updated approach for getting travel recommendations
  • 40% of reviews on yelp, tripadvisor, other sites are fake or paid for
  • Most reviewers on these platforms are not experts and the average age of users is 53
  • This app allows you to set your parameters as to who you want recs from- other parents, people your age, well seasoned travelers, etc
  • App is currently in beta testing at Vanderbilt and plans to go live in January
  • They plan to monetize through sponsor experts, affiliate fees (user/booking) and display ads.
  • Size of the travel review market is estimated at $8.59B

 TheoraCore (Austin, TX) Platform for Alzheimer’s Patient Support

  • About 5.5 million people have dementia/Alzheimer’s disease in the US
  • This app serves as a way to connect healthcare professionals and family members to coordinate health information
  • Patients wear a watch that is constantly collecting data- GPS, heartrate, and allows for 2 way voice connect in case of incident
  • They’ve been in beta testing for about 18 months and will have about $100K in revenue this year
  • Currently partner with Texas A&M, Emory, AT&T and hospitals

Usit (Atlanta, GA) The On Demand Babysitting App

  • About $100B is spent on childcare each year in the US and $10B of that is spent on last minute child care
  • The app connects parents with local college sitters.  Parents set the rate, responsibilities and location then are connected with pre-verified sitters.
  • Their competitor, Care.com. requires parents to fill out long information and is best used for long term caregivers but Usit is perfect for short term jobs.
  • Usit provided 370 sitters last month and has an 80% customer reuse rate
  • It takes about 1 minute to post a job and you are able to see the ratings and reviews of sitters who apply for your job posting.
  • Usit charges 17% commission plus a $2.99 service fee.
  • They are projected to be at $1M in revenue by the end of 2019

Top Pick- Automation Platform for Recruiters

  • Recruiters spend 60% of their day doing administrative work.
  • This program automates the admin work to free up recruiter’s day.
  • The goal is to expand recruiting automation like sales automation has (SalesForce).
  • Recently signed deals with Manhattan Associates, Coca-Cola, and Pandora
  • Cost is $300/mon per user (minimum of 5).

Socionado- Marketplace of Social Media Managers

  • Connects small or medium sized businesses with vetted social media managers.  This set up is more cost effective than the business owner hiring their own full or part time social media coordinator.  
  • They have over 2,000 vetted media managers that are matched to a company after completing a questionaire, being matched with 3-5 socionados and then choosing from their proposals.
  • Currently at $324,000  in Annual Profit Revenue with plans to hit $1M in March of 2019
  • Customers are being acquired through email marketing and channel partnerships.
  • They charge a 10% monthly business fee plus 15% in commissions.
  • Most contracts are renewed every 3-6 months and businesses are seeing results in the first 1-2 months.

After the pitches and a few questions from the judges, everyone headed to the roof top for a party.  There were two food trucks, a DJ, lots of wine, and a drummer to keep the party going while the judges deliberated.  Then came my favorite part, Paul Judge taking the stage to announce the winners. Paul is one of my favorite speakers. He has so much confidence, swagger, and humor while being in front of a crowd.  The man eats Toastmasters for breakfast.

img_2873The winners were… Socionado and Rayka.  Both companies took home a (giant) check for $100,000!  Can’t wait to see how much they grow with that kind of capital under them!  Congrats!

learn, brooke

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