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LANCE: Opportunities arrive for startups searching for funding

  • Kait Lance

Are you an entrepreneur interested in Savannah’s startup scene? If so, read on as there are some really interesting things happening in Savannah this fall.

First, Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center in Savannah presents Savannah Startup Demo Day. The afternoon event will take place on Oct. 13 at Creators’ Foundry and offer select startup founders a chance to pitch and connect with regional investors as well as promote their businesses to the public. The Creators’ Foundry is located at 415 W Boundary Street and there is plenty of free parking.

Starting at 2 p.m., pre-selected tech and product-based startup companies will pitch their endeavors to invited investors and a public audience. Entrepreneurs will give their best business pitches, including the problem their startup solves and why it is viable to make money.

Investors and audience members will then engage in questions and answers with the entrepreneurs. Most of the companies pitching will be vetted from ATDC’s fall Accelerator Boot Camp, a 12-week program during which participants receive intensive coaching and preparation via Entrepreneur-in-Residence Yvonne Jouffrault. The winner of the pitch competition will be awarded $5,000 from the Savannah Economic Development Authority.

At 4 p.m., the pitch session ends and Startup Alley begins. Entrepreneurs that have not attended ATDC’s Boot Camp, but who would still like to participate can showcase their startup during this portion of the event. To participate in Startup Alley, entrepreneurs must first apply online at https://tcci.wufoo.com/forms/zo1cowy1simycl/ then be selected.

But the fun will not stop there. Savannah Startup Demo Day is just “Day 00” of the entrepreneurial weekend.

On Friday, Oct. 14, The Creative Coast and ATDC’s Geekend kicks off at The Guild Hall. Geekend is a two-day conference packed with fun, cutting edge talks on new innovations and hot topics for entrepreneurs, life hackers and forward-thinkers. Some of the startup-centric sessions include “How to Build a MVP,” “What are Investors Looking For?” and “Grow and Sell Your Business.” Savannah Startup Demo Day pitch contestants and Startup Alley entrepreneurs will also showcase their businesses to conference attendees.

A second pitch competition takes place Friday night: Geekend Pitch Circus. This session will feature even more entrepreneurs who have been hand-selected to present in front of investors and the Geekend conference.

Jouffrault says the companies pitching at Geekend Pitch Circus will be those “who have demonstrated traction, have accelerated quickly, and are seeking funding.” The winner will be voted on by the audience. The highly competitive pitch competition is always a highlight of Geekend.

What if you are not an entrepreneur? No worries! There will be plenty of opportunity for you to sink your teeth into these two events. Savannah Startup Demo Day is free and open to the public. Consider this a chance to network with businesses in need. With a purchased ticket to Geekend, you can rub shoulders with industry innovators from all over the Southeast and listen to speakers such as NASA’s G. Michael Lester; 19-year-old high school dropout and successful business founder Chris Kelsey, author of “Persuasive Games”; “Colbert Report” guest Dr. Ian Bogost; president of Nine Line Labs J. Cornelius; and Nerf AirJet Power inventor Shane Matthews.

Interested in showcasing your startup at these two events? Email kait@thecreativecoast.org to learn how to apply. For more info on Geekend, visit www.geek-end.com or email kait@thecreativecoast.org.

 

Kait Lance is an entrepreneurship evangelist and community manager at The Creative Coast, a not-for-profit organization that promotes the creative and entrepreneurial community within the region. Kait can be reached at 912-447-8457 or kait@thecreativecoast.org.

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