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. 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.”