How Tennessee’s Southland Summit could topple SXSW

Venture Atlanta just announced the companies presenting for 2013. Venture Atlanta companies have raised more than $1, sovaldi sale 140,000,000 in the past, and this year’s group looks to be the best group yet.

After reviewing hundreds of applications, Venture Atlanta has made its final selection of 32 early-to late-stage companies to present at this year’s event. Presenters represent diverse technologies with many of the selected companies coming from Georgia’s top-performing business sectors, including information security, financial technology, communication services, health IT, logistics and mobility.

See the official announcement below and be sure to follow these companies on AngelList. We’ve linked the AngelList accounts below. Please comment below for any other AL links we should add.



Venture Atlanta 2013

(BUSINESS WIRE)  Venture Atlanta, Georgia’s premier event connecting technology innovation and investment capital, revealed today its lineup of presenting companies for its annual two-day conference to be held October 22-23 at the Georgia Aquarium. Since 2002, Venture Atlanta and its earlier iterations have brought together entrepreneurs and investors to help companies raise over $1 billion to-date.

Presenters at this year’s event represent diverse technologies with many of the selected companies coming from Georgia’s top-performing business sectors, including information security, financial technology, communication services, health IT, logistics and mobility. The 32 early- to late-stage companies chosen by Venture Atlanta are:

— Aptitude Health Excelegrade — RazorInsights, LLC
— Azalea Health — GetOne Rewards — REACH Health
BitPay, Inc. — Insightpool — Rimidi Diabetes
Blue Ridge — Izenda — Sensiotec, Inc.
— Catavolt — Lightshed Healthcare Technologies ShopVisible
CheckAction, LLC — Sideqik
— CoinX — MemberSuite, Inc. — SignUp4
— CX Technologies — OneCare — SoftWear Automation, Inc.
— DecisionLink Corporation — Parkmobile USA, Inc. — Soneter, LLC
— Digitus Biometrics, Inc. — Racemi — StarMobile, Inc.
— Edevate


“When top investors have the opportunity to interact with the most innovative and interesting companies, tremendous things happen and that is definitely what attendees can expect from Venture Atlanta,” said Bill Nussey, president and CEO of Silverpop and a Venture Atlanta board member. “Atlanta is home to a vibrant start-up community, and this year’s conference presents the opportunity to see the very best companies’ vision, energy and plans in action. Listening to these companies will tell you where the region and the world are going in terms of tech trends.”

Presenting companies and attendees will have opportunities to network with regional and national venture capitalists and investors, as well as Georgia technology entrepreneurs and senior business executives. Other activities during the event include a mobility panel and dynamic presentations by Dick Kramlich, co-founder and chairman of New Enterprise Associates; John Balen, general partner at Canaan Partners; Alan Dabbiere, chairman of AirWatch; and Chris Walters, COO of The Weather Company.

“Venture Atlanta does a fantastic job helping companies connect with the right investors while gaining broader community exposure,” said David Moeller, CEO and co-founder of CodeGuard, 2011 Venture Atlanta Early-Stage Audience Choice Award winner.” Unlike other conferences, Venture Atlanta curates the presenting companies and painstakingly assists them in crafting their presentations, enabling remarkable investment opportunities in the Southeast to be showcased in the best possible light. Venture Atlanta is uniquely aligned with the interests of the presenters and attendees. This makes for a memorable and intimate interaction.”

Register today for Georgia’s most innovative entrepreneurial event. For more information, please visit

The successful agreement

One thing I’ve learned through the years is finding GOOD talent is hard to do. Finding GREAT talent is even harder. We’ve all experienced hiring frustrations and misses. We all have our own horror stories to tell.

One of the hard parts of hiring is simply finding people. Finding reliable sources for candidates is challenging, more about
so we often turn to staffing/recruiting firms to help us with sourcing great people. Opinions about staffing firms vary based on experience. We sometimes wonder what value we are getting from the 20-30% fee we pay for their services, but in this ever increasing competitive market, they are becoming more and more strategic to finding the right people.

I’ve learned this from personal experience.

Probably the most important lesson I learned is this: I, the hiring manager, am accountable for the success of my staffing vendor partners.

I love the way Kevin Floyd, COO at Prestige Staffing in Atlanta, talks about this. He says the biggest problem he sees is clients not understanding that staffing firms want to be partners and need information/communication to make it work. He says, “Many hiring managers don’t think they have time to invest but the ones that spend the time usually have the best and most efficient process. Clients that see recruiters as transactional resume sweepers will never value what we do – and never benefit how they should.”

So, here are four tips I’ve learned along the way on how to make the staffing vendors successful in finding the right people for my organizations.

1.      Know the profile you are hiring for

It’s your responsibility to educate your staffing vendors on your business.

What to do: Have intentional conversations with your staffing vendors about the attributes you are evaluating during the interview – what’s most important, what culture fit really means, what skills are vital for success and what your overall hiring process will be for this hire.

What not to do: Don’t just send over a job description and hope your staffing vendors can read between the lines or read your mind about what type of person you are looking for.

2.      Push for Technical Skills Vetting

Find a tool that gives you visibility into a candidate’s skill and push your staffing vendors to administrate this on your behalf.

What to do: Ask your staffing vendors to use tools that give you insight into a candidate’s job skills. For example, if you are hiring software developers, get them to implement a tool that gives you visibility into a candidate’s actual coding skills. Push this early in the interview process so only those who have qualified skills make it to you and your team.

What not to do: Don’t neglect the evaluation of skills early in your interview process. Doing this adds additional time and money to your interview process and increases the risk unqualified candidates consume your interview time.

3.      Quickly Turnaround Feedback

What to do: Turnaround feedback as soon as you wrap up interviews. This will pay off in value for you and your staffing vendors. Work to set up a system that works for both of you.

What not to do: Don’t wait days before you give your staffing vendors feedback on candidates you interview. Good candidates move off the market quickly and slow feedback slows everything down for everyone.

We pay 20-30% fee for an expertise and access we don’t have ourselves. It’s our responsibility to enable our staffing vendors and position them to be successful at leveraging their expertise. In doing so, we both win.

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Southland - the new SXSWHow Tennessee’s Southland Summit could topple SXSW (via Pando Daily)

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