By Larry Williams, president and CEO, Technology Association of Georgia
The unicorns are coming to Atlanta, and their timing couldn’t be better.
Venture Atlanta takes place October 20 and 21 in a year when venture capital deal flow is booming. TAG is a proud partner, along with the Atlanta CEO Council and Metro Atlanta Chamber. Congratulations to Jim Douglass, Partner of Fulcrum Equity Partners, and chairman of the 14th annual conference.
This year’s program will feature a deep and diverse cast of tech talent. More than 400 startups applied to Venture Atlanta—the most ever. Ninety-one firms will have the opportunity to pitch to top tier investors from around the country as deal flow and venture capital fundraising is surging to unprecedented levels. The conference theme of momentum is apt indeed.
In Q3 this year, according to CB Insights, the global unicorn herd increased to 848, up from 547 in the past 12 months. Total global venture funding was $158 billion–more than double its level a year ago. While about half of that funding was in the United States, the phenomenal surge in tech investments is global.
The boom in venture capital is truly extraordinary when you consider the economy was locked down at the beginning of the year. While we’re still coping with the pandemic and related problems like the shortage of semiconductors, the technology ecosystem is leading the way to broader economic growth and recovery.
TAG is here to help members navigate the fog of complexity and uncertainty on the road ahead, and we play a key role in fueling growth of the startup ecosystem. We create value for members by making connections, facilitating deal flow, and casting a spotlight on the best and brightest ideas in our community.
In March, TAG recognized the Top 40 most innovative and impactful technology companies in Georgia. We proudly showcased these up-and-coming businesses at the Georgia Technology Summit in April. I was thrilled to see 20 of TAG Top 40 winners from prior years on the 2021 Inc 5000 list of America’s most innovative companies.
In June, we hosted a virtual conference dedicated to one of the world’s hottest industries: Fintech. According to CB Insights, fintech has more unicorns than any other industry, and fintech funding increased more than 160 percent over the past year.
TAG’s Fintech South generated plenty of excitement and investor interest. With the Fintech South Innovation Challenge Education and Mentoring program, we brought together startups and industry veterans. The new companies competed to win $25,000 and one-year admission to the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC).
I love seeing entrepreneurs turn their dreams into reality and can’t wait to learn about their business models at Venture Atlanta. There’s good reason why today’s startups are generating so much investor interest and funding.