Engage Ventures launches Expert Council to help corporate partners address challenges; find solutions

Daley Ervin, Engage’s entrepreneur-in-residence

Daley Ervin is Engage Ventures’ entrepreneur-in-residence. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

The Georgia Institute of Technology’s Engage Ventures has launched a roundtable series designed to get a deeper understanding and more insight into its corporate partners’ business challenges and connect them with potential solutions in its portfolio, as well as the Tech’s resources and capabilities.

 

The Engage Expert Council — comprised of corporate thought leaders and C suite-level information, cybersecurity, and information technology executives — aims to remove barriers by getting critical decision makers together to share best practices, identify emerging trends, and dissect business challenges.

 

Engage, launched in 2017, is a mentorship-driven accelerator and early-stage venture fund that targets high-tech startups from across the United States. Its core focus is on mentoring and creating go-to-market frameworks for its portfolio companies.

 

The $18 million Engage Ventures Fund I is supported by Engage’s corporate partners, which contributed $1.5 million each. The Expert Council is comprised of and open to executives of Engage’s 12 partners.

 

“Our corporate partners are in divergent industries ranging from retail, food, and logistics to finance, media, and energy. Even though they’re in different sectors, they’re facing some of the same challenges, in many cases,” said Daley Ervin, Engage’s entrepreneur-in-residence who conceived of the initiative. “This experts council effort will facilitate discussions where they can learn from each other’s experiences, allow us to better understand their needs, identify how our companies can solve their challenges, and be a conduit into Georgia Tech’s offerings.”

 

The first Engage Expert Council meeting was held Dec. 3 with a focus on cybersecurity. It featured Michael Farrell, co-executive director of Georgia Tech’s Institute for Information Security & Privacy (IISP) as discussion moderator.

 

Michael Farrell, co-executive director of Georgia Tech’s Institute for Information Security & Privacy (IISP).

Michael Farrell, co-executive director of Georgia Tech’s Institute for Information Security & Privacy (IISP). (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

“Cybersecurity is a top priority for companies regardless of industry, and Georgia Tech is a premier organization in this space,” Ervin said. “The IISP is at the forefront of cutting-edge research and innovation. I was excited to collaborate with Gloria Griessman, IISP’s director of commercialization and industry collaboration, to develop this initiative.”

 

Georgia Tech is home to 11 Interdisciplinary Research Institutes (IRIs) which are charged with bringing together a mix of researchers — spanning units all across campus – around one core research area. These IRIs also connect a large portfolio of basic and applied research programs, support world-class research facilities and laboratories, engage Georgia Tech students, and collaborate with government and industry research partners.

 

“The Institute for Information Security & Privacy is one of the largest and most unique research collectives in the nation for cybersecurity,” Farrell said. “Georgia Tech is world class in its depth and breadth in cybersecurity, and we apply these talents to society’s toughest challenges.

 

“Georgia Tech, including GTRI, has a long history of successful technology transfer to industry and government partners and the IISP is excited to offer this expertise I security and privacy to the Engage platform.”

 

IISP’s programs involve both hardware and software, span raw silicon to user interfaces, go from internationally published papers to classified programs, range in size from $300,000 to $30 million, and address aspects from information theory to user privacy to acquisition to international policy implications.

 

Farrell led a discussion on innovation and new technologies in the industry and how those changes could affect the business community.

 

Joining him in that discussion were:

 

  • Peter Swire, IISP’s associate director for policy and the Elizabeth & Tommy Holder Chair of Law and Ethics at Tech’s Scheller College of Business;
  • Sudheer Chavadirector of the Quantitative & Computational Finance Program and IISP’s associate director for risk management, and
  • Brendan Saltaformaggio, an assistant professor in Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the Cyber Forensics Innovation (CyFI) Laboratory.

 

The Engage Expert Council is comprised of corporate thought leaders and C suite-level information, cybersecurity, and information technology executives. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

The Engage Expert Council is comprised of corporate thought leaders and C suite-level information, cybersecurity, and information technology executives. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Swire addressed how the European Union’s General Date Protection Regulation has created major challenges for global organizations, with new enforcement actions. Chava discussed cyberattacks, firm responses, and stock market reaction to these attacks.

 

Saltaformaggio explored emerging research in computer systems security and cyber forensics.

 

“The caliber of what Tech can provide to the corporate sector, in addition to our portfolio companies’ offerings, is what is driving this effort,” Daley said.

 

Engage plans nine more such council meetings in the coming year to focus on various topics including sustainability, robotics, and supply chain management.

 

Its fund partners include AT&T, Chick-fil-A, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power Foundation, Goldman Sachs Group, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Invesco Ltd., Tech Square Ventures, The Home Depot, and UPS.

 

Engage is part of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), Georgia Tech’s economic development arm.

Engage’s Pryon announces formal launch and $4.5 million successful seed round raise

Igor Jablokov, Pryon's founder and CEO

Igor Jablokov, Pryon’s founder and CEO.

Pryon Inc., an enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) startup, today announced it is coming out of stealth mode. Driven by the team that designed and built the core technologies behind Amazon Alexa, IBM Watson, and other industry-leading AI platforms, Pryon is creating an Augmented Intelligence solution for the enterprise that combines the strengths of people and machines.

 

“Given the accelerating pace of technological change, speed of innovation, and increasing number of agile competitors, businesses are struggling to work at the necessary scale and speed,” said Igor Jablokov, Pryon’s founder and CEO. “Today’s employees are hampered by cumbersome and slow interfaces, siloed information, and old methods of working. In this environment, companies need new ways to combine the individual strengths of humans and machines to remain competitive.”

 

Pryon is a portfolio company in Engage, an independent, early-stage venture fund and growth program that gives entrepreneurs what they need most — customers and market access. Engage Ventures’ founding partners contributing capital, expertise, time and resources include AT&T, Chick-fil-A, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power Foundation, Inc., The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Invesco Ltd., Tech Square Ventures, The Home Depot, and UPS.

 

“At Engage, we partner and invest in companies that we can help gain a unique strategic advantage through our partners,” said Thiago Olson, Engage Ventures’ managing director. “Igor and the Pryon team represent a unique mix of disruptive visionaries with experience solving complex, large-scale enterprise challenges.”

 

Pryon logoPryon is leveraging its experience in machine learning (ML) to create an enterprise solution that goes far beyond today’s helpful, but limited bots, robotic process automation (RPA) tools, and voice assistants. The company’s augmented intelligence platform enables and supports a secure, natural language, and voice-based interactive agent for employees. This agent works across numerous devices, improves worker productivity, optimizes performance, increases engagement, and becomes more intelligent.

 

In the most recent Fortune survey of 500 CEOs, 81percent cited “artificial intelligence and machine learning” as either “very important” or “extremely important” to the future of their companies, up from just 54 percent in 2016. Pryon is already engaged with several Fortune 500 companies and has proofs of concepts delivering value at the world’s top communications, financial services, and logistics companies. The company’s near-term goal is to lead the Augmented Intelligence market, which is currently valued at $3.5 billion.

 

Taking the AI market to the next phase of Augmented Intelligence is possible because of Pryon’s seed round funding of $4.5M. Key investors include Greycroft Partners, Two Sigma Ventures, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, BootstrapLabs, and Engage Ventures.

 

“The vast majority of AI startups are focused on the consumer market,” noted Ian Sigalow, Co-Founder Partner at Greycroft. “With Pryon, we saw the opportunity to build something even greater for the enterprise. While this will require overcoming security, reliability, and availability challenges, we believe Pryon has a significant head start with its Augmented Intelligence platform.”

 

Added Colin Beirne, partner at Two Sigma Ventures: “Pryon exemplifies the type of vision and people we look for in early-stage, applied AI companies. Augmented Intelligence in the enterprise represents a significant opportunity, and we believe Igor and this team are uniquely equipped with the experience to build this technology. We’re proud to be investors in Pryon, and we are excited to contribute our industry perspective and technical expertise to support their growth.”

 

About Pryon Inc.
Pryon is a privately-held enterprise AI and machine learning company. Driven by the team that designed and built the core human language technologies behind Amazon Alexa and IBM Watson, Pryon is creating an Augmented Intelligence platform that combines the strengths of people and machines. Using Pryon’s secure, natural language, and voice-based interactive agent, businesses will improve the intelligence, performance, and productivity of their workers. To learn more about Pryon, please visit: https://www.pryon.ai

Engage, ATDC programs honored with ‘Groundbreaker Awards’

The team at Engage from left: Nicholas Richardson, program manager; Daley Ervin, entrepreneur-in-residence; Thiago Olson, managing director; Blake Patton,fund managing partner, and Scott Lopano, associate.

The team at Engage from left: Nicholas Richardson, program manager; Daley Ervin, entrepreneur-in-residence; Thiago Olson, managing director; Blake Patton, fund managing partner, and Scott Lopano, associate.

Atlanta Magazine honored two of the Enterprise Innovation Institute’s programs — Engage Ventures and the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) — with Groundbreaker Awards for their respective work in helping drive technology and innovation.

 

The magazine created the awards in 2012 to highlight the individuals and projects each year that are driving Atlanta forward with new, initiatives and innovative ideas.

 

This year’s theme was “Technology & Innovation” and Atlanta Magazine fêted the 2018 winners at a Nov. 1 reception held at the Atlanta History Center.

 

Engage, launched in 2017, is a mentorship-driven accelerator and early-stage venture fund that targets high-tech startups. The Engage accelerator is open to startups across the country, with a focus placed on mentoring and market access strategies. Its founding partners include AT&T, Chick-fil-A, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Georgia Tech, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power Foundation, Goldman Sachs Group, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Invesco Ltd., Tech Square Ventures, The Home Depot, and UPS. The fund was initially launched with $15 million from the 10 founding corporate partners (Goldman Sachs joined in 2018). Those corporations also actively support Engage through mentoring, education, and collaboration.

 

“If we can bring together some of the leading innovators with titans of industry to develop relationships, then—fast-forward five years from now—you can only imagine where that could lead,” Engage Managing Director Thiago Olson told the magazine.

 

One year in and several cohorts later, Engage’s 24 portfolio companies have obtained venture financing of about $75 million in the last six months. Engage also reports its portfolio companies have 38 signed enterprise contracts between the startups and Fortune 500 companies.

 

Read Atlanta Magazine’s Groundbreaker Award profile on Engage Ventures here.

 

ATDC team members from left: Frank Tighe, lead entrepreneur-in-residence; Joy Hymel, Campus Connect; Jacqui Chew, marketing catalyst; Jenny Bass, startup catalyst, and Shannon Denton, entrepreneur-in-residence.

ATDC team members from left: Frank Tighe, lead entrepreneur-in-residence; Joy Hymel, Campus Connect; Jacqui Chew, marketing catalyst; Jenny Bass, startup catalyst, and Shannon Denton, entrepreneur-in-residence.

ATDC, which was founded in 1980, is the state of Georgia’s technology startup incubator. Its focus is to work with technology entrepreneurs across the state to help them learn, launch, scale, and succeed in creating viable companies.

 

“What we’ve created here is a community,” ATDC Interim Director Jane McCracken told the magazine. “The better the companies we grow, the better our city and state will be.”

 

To date, startups that have graduated from ATDC, which is one of the longest running and most successful university-affiliated incubators in the United States, have raised more than $3 billion in investment financing and generated more than $12 billion in revenue in the state of Georgia. Read Atlanta Magazine’s Groundbreaker Award profile on ATDC here.

Daley Ervin joins Engage Ventures as Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Veteran entrepreneur and ultramarathoner spent more than a decade leading venture capital-backed startups around the world.

 

 

Daley Ervin

Daley Ervin has joined Engage as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. (Photo: Allie Schonberg)

Engage, the strategic grouping of 11 major corporations in an independent venture fund and platform,announced today that Daley Ervin, a seasoned entrepreneur and executive, has joined as an entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR).

 

Ervin, who is Engage’s first named EIR, will focus on deepening corporate partner relationships and assisting portfolio founders in partnership development, go-to-market refinement, and the issues surrounding high-growth and scale.

 

“Engage’s mission is to leverage our platform to give entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain access to customers, distribution channels, and Fortune 500 scale,” said Engage Managing Director, Thiago Olson “Daley will bring immediate value to Engage, our portfolio founders, and our corporate partners, we’re excited to have him on board.”

 

Ervin has more than 10 years leading four venture capital-backed startups on three continents that raised a collective $4.6 billion. Most recently, he was Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for Amazon-backed Nucleus in New York. Prior to that, he was the General Manager and Head of North American Operations for Student.com, launched international offices for YPlan, and was part of the International Expansion Team at Airbnb.

 

“My belief in the Engage mission and seeing howcommitted the corporate partners are – from the CEOs down to operating teams – is what drew me to Engage. The partner appetite for more engagement seems to be growing rapidly. They want to build out an even more comprehensive platform,” Ervin said. “I am excited to help create opportunities for the Engage partners to connect and learn from each other by building out that platform.”

 

As a competitive ultramarathoner and extreme endurance athlete, Ervin set the United States’ pairs record having rowed 3,000 miles over 45-days across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain to the Caribbean in the “World’s Toughest Rowing Race.”

 

He earned his bachelor’s degree in business and communication from Arizona State University.

 

About Engage

Engage is a venture fund and growth platformthat gives entrepreneurs what they need most — customers and market access. Engage corporate partners contributing capital, expertise, time, and resources include AT&T, Chick-fil-A, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Georgia Tech, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power Foundation, Inc., The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Invesco Ltd., Tech Square Ventures, The Home Depot and UPS. These corporate partners, along with the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) and Tech Square Ventures, provide tools, hands-on support and resources.Engage is headquartered in Georgia Tech’s Technology Square. For more information, visit engage.vc.

Georgia Tech marks startup expansion milestone with visit from Lt. Governor Casey Cagle

Chris Downing (left), vice president of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, shows a new suite of offices to (from left) ATDC Assistant Director Jane McCracken, Ga. Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, and Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson. The office expansion is designed to meet growing service needs of Tech’s startup programs, ATDC, VentureLab, and CREATE-X. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

In a 2016 visit to the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle challenged the state’s tech startup incubator to double the number of resident startups it served in Atlanta and the rest of the state.

 

Two years later, ATDC — a program of the Georgia Institute of Technology — not only met the challenge, but has exceeded initial expectations, with more than 180 companies now in its Signature and Accelerate portfolios across the state.

 

The growth has led to an expansion of ATDC’s offices in Technology Square to accommodate that demand. The creation of new suites at ATDC’s second floor offices in the Centergy Building — and expansion onto the third floor — allows for the incubator to house an additional 25 resident startups.

 

Cagle was on the Tech campus in a May 8 reception to mark the milestone, visit with some ATDC startup company CEOs, get an update on the Engage venture fund and growth accelerator, and to learn more about the innovation ecosystem that also includes the Institute’s VentureLab, CREATE-X, and Flashpoint programs.

 

His visit was part of a weeklong series of events taking place during Tech Square Innovation Week, which celebrated Tech Square as a hub of ideation.

 

Ga. Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, during a visit to Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Develpment Center, discusses how technology startup entrepreneurship programs such as ATDC and VentureLab incubators are to giving new economic development opportunities to communities across Georgia. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

“Entrepreneurship is critically important to what the new economy is going to look like,” Cagle said during his visit. “I am thrilled to be with you here today and I can’t tell you how proud I am of each and every single person here. We’re just getting started and we’re going to take Georgia to even higher levels than we ever imagined, and you are the very reason for that.”

 

The expansion underscores the explosion of demand for ATDC’s services not only in Atlanta, but across the state, including Athens, Augusta, and Savannah.

 

“We were able to meet that demand in part because we received an increase in state funding — thanks to Lt. Governor Cagle’s leadership — that allowed us to increase our services and statewide reach,” said Chris Downing, vice president of the Enterprise Innovation Institute, Tech’s economic development arm whose programs include ATDC.

 

In 2017, ATDC’s portfolio companies raised $130 million in investment capital and in the in the first quarter of 2018, they attracted more than $33 million in investment dollars to the state.

 

Jane McCracken, ATDC’s assistant director, explains how the incubator’s portfolio companies raised $130 million in investment dollars in 2017 and about $33 million in the first quarter of 2018. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

“All of the ATDC’s work — the coaching, connections and community building — further establishes Georgia’s reputation a leading place for entrepreneurs and technology companies to flourish,” said Jane McCracken, ATDC’s assistant director. “That means jobs, additional funding and increased revenues, which benefit all of Georgia’s citizens.”

 

Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, who welcomed Cagle to campus, said ATDC’s success is just one of the many successful components in the Institute’s technology startup support.

 

Other programs include CREATE-X, a faculty-led initiative that helps students pursue entrepreneurial opportunities.

 

VentureLab collaborates with Institute faculty and students to create startups based on Tech research. Flashpoint is a startup accelerator, and Engage is an independent, early-stage venture fund and growth program.

 

The additional office spaces will allow for greater collaboration and partnership between ATDC, VentureLab and CREATE-X.

 

Keith McGreggor (left), director of Georgia Tech’s VentureLab program, gives Ga. Lt. Governor Casey Cagle an overview of the incubator and explains how its companies raised $125 million in investment dollars in 2017. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

 

“This success all around Tech Square has been possible largely due to state support, and the lieutenant governor’s vision for fostering innovation in the state,” Peterson said.

 

“Thanks to increased state funding to ATDC and establishment of the Invest Georgia fund, we can continue to foster home-grown innovation. We are dedicated to helping keep these entrepreneurs in Georgia.”

Goldman Sachs Joins Engage Venture Fund

This largest group of major corporations in a strategic venture fund helps startups access customers and markets.

Goldman Sachs logoThe Goldman Sachs Group has joined Engage, a venture fund and growth accelerator primarily focused on investing in early stage companies. The fund’s mission is to provide talented entrepreneurs with access to capital, customers, and distribution channels through its accelerator and corporate partnerships. Engage’s investors include leading public and private companies that have provided capital to the fund, and senior leaders from these companies sit on its board of directors, which Dave Dase, head of Goldman Sachs’ Investment Banking Division’s Southeast Region, will join.

 

“Engage is a unique model for a fund and accelerator because it allows an impressive group of corporations to lend their talent and resources to entrepreneurs in order to help them drive strategy and growth,” Dase said. “Goldman Sachs is committed to the Southeast and to Atlanta, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to invest in the entrepreneurial community is such a meaningful way.”

 

Goldman Sachs joins the 10 founding companies investing capital, expertise, time, and resources in support of Engage, including AT&T, Chick-fil-A, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power Foundation Inc., Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Invesco Ltd., The Home Depot, and UPS. Invest Georgia has also joined the fund since it was first announced last year. The fund is managed by Tech Square Ventures.

 

What makes Engage unique is the interaction of global companies with the startup ecosystem to help entrepreneurs build companies that will transform their markets. Rather than filling the specific needs of a single large company, Engage startups benefit from the combined perspective of all the member companies.

 

“Building on the unique market access Engage already offers, we are pleased to collaborate with Goldman Sachs to further drive innovation,” said Martin L. Flanagan, president and CEO of Invesco and chairman of Engage.  “Our startups will benefit from Goldman Sachs’ market insights and caliber of talent.”

 

Engage is based in Technology Square and provides programming and support in partnership with Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC).

 

“Since its inception a little over one year ago, Engage is already having an impact on the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Atlanta and across the country,” said Georgia Tech President G. P. “Bud” Peterson.  “As we engage with companies like Goldman Sachs, we are working to maximize the collective strengths of Georgia Tech, the Engage corporate partners, and the city of Atlanta to support startups nationally, while promoting Atlanta’s world-class talent and strengthening the economy here in  Georgia and the southeast.”

 

Engage recently announced an impressive group of startups selected for investment and participation in the Spring 2018 go-to-market growth program including Dev/Con, Homee, Intrinio, Pryon, Stord, ThingTech, and Verady. Leaders from these companies include serial entrepreneurs, first-time founders and founders listed on Forbes’ “30 Under 30.” The technologies they are pioneering span from autonomous flight, to artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain.

 

About Goldman Sachs:

The Goldman Sachs Group is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world. To learn more, visit goldmansachs.com.

 

About Engage:

Engage is a venture fund and growth program that gives entrepreneurs what they need most—customers and market access. Engage corporate partners contributing capital, expertise, time and resources include AT&T, Chick-fil-A, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Georgia Tech, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power Foundation, Inc., The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Invesco Ltd., Tech Square Ventures, The Home Depot and UPS. These corporate partners, along with the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) and Tech Square Ventures, provide tools, hands-on support, and resources that help companies develop go-to-market strategies, open doors faster, and transform strategies into action. Engage is eadquartered in Georgia Tech’s Technology Square. For more information, visit engage.vc.

More startups join Engage

Kell Canty headshot verady

Kell Canty is CEO and co-founder of Verady, one of eight startups in Engage’s spring 2018 cohort. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Eight additional technology startups will go through an early stage venture fund created by Georgia Tech and 10 leading global corporations.

 

The Engage Ventures growth program differs from other accelerators in that it targets later stage companies and helps them develop and execute go-to-market strategies.

 

“Bringing top executives from our corporate partners together with founders of high-growth companies to focus on go-to-market has unlocked immense value,” said Thiago Olson, managing director of Engage Ventures. “We’re humbled by the talent pulled together this spring.”

 

The three-month program brings the startups to Georgia Tech’s Technology Square.

 

Sean Henry speaking

Sean Henry is CEO and co-founder of STORD, a startup in Engage’s spring 2018 cohort. Inc.com named him one of the Global Top 50 Emerging Entrepreneurs of 2017 and America’s Top 30 Emerging Startups of 2017. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Companies in the spring cohort are pioneering technologies spanning from autonomous flight to artificial intelligence to blockchain, Olson said. To date, this group of companies join Engage with average annual revenue of $1 million and an average of more than $3.5 million in venture funding.

 

Half of the startups have Georgia Tech connections. Three are current portfolio companies in Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) and a fourth participated in CREATE-X, a series of entrepreneurship programs for undergraduate students.

 

Meet the companies (one is in stealth mode):

  • Dev/Con: The cyber security company works with media and agencies to detect and prevent advertising fraud. The company is part of the ATDC Signature portfolio.
  • Homee: The company offers an on-demand, home servicing app that provides instant access to handymen, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing providers.
  • Intriono: A FinTech marketplace with access to more than 200 financial data feeds that cover 350,000 global securities.
  • PRYON: This company developed an AI platform with the accuracy and security features necessary for enterprise applications.
  • STORD: A real-time global warehousing network that connects independent, third-party warehouses via an enterprise software platform to drive inventory efficiency. This company participated in Georgia Tech’s CREATE-X.
  • ThingTech: An IoT service platform that connect assets, fleets, heavy equipment, sensors, machines and mobile workforces in real-time. The company is part of the ATDC Signature portfolio.
  • Verady: This company combines blockchain and industry thought leadership to bring accounting and audit technology to cryptocurrencies. The company is part of the ATDC Accelerate portfolio.

 

Josh Summit

Josh Summit is chief technology officer of Dev/Con. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

The startups are the second cohort to go through the program. The first group completed the program in the fall.

 

This current portfolio builds on the success of Engage’s fall 2017 program. “Investing with Engage has allowed us to tap the latest in disruptive technologies and look for potential collaborations with our own digital transformation efforts,” said Christian Fischer, president and CEO of Georgia-Pacific. “This program model is working – the caliber of innovation that these companies have brought to the table has been impressive.”

 

The cohort builds on the success of Engage’s fall 2017 efforts, which are intended to provide a world-class program for high-potential startups, said Martin L. Flanagan, president and CEO of Invesco and chairman of Engage.  “In a short period of time, the fall cohort’s activity led to 24 signed contracts between the startups and our corporate partners and $18 million in closed financings. On average, the program’s startups from the fall cohort are projected to add an additional $400,000 in revenue in 2018.

 

Tim Quinn

Tim Quinn is CEO and co-founder of ThingTech. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Engage Ventures is the largest-ever strategic grouping of major corporations in an independent venture firm. The 10 founding companies contributing capital, expertise, time and resources in support of Engage include AT&T, Chick-fil-A, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power Foundation Inc., Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Invesco Ltd., The Home Depot and UPS. Executives from these firms mentor companies receiving financial support from the venture fund. The fund is managed by Tech Square Ventures, which is led by managing partner Blake Patton.

 

Engage offers programming and other services through a contract with ATDC, which was established at Georgia Tech by Georgia lawmakers in 1980 to launch and build technology companies.

 

“This initiative is producing stellar results by leveraging Georgia Tech’s startup expertise through programs such as ATDC,” said Chris Downing, vice president and director of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2). The unit is Tech’s economic development arm and is comprised of a dozen programs, including ATDC and Engage.

 

“Tapping into ATDC and having access to the talent, resources, and collaborative opportunities with some of the world’s largest corporations has helped us create what we see as a world class model for such public-private partnerships.”