Will: We are officially SOLD OUT for the Inno-Troduction next Wednesday. (Can’t wait). If you’ve RSVD’d, we’ll see you there. If you missed out, don’t worry! Our next event is in June and we’ll be announcing date, venue and theme shortly. Lots to get to today, so let’s kick a Beat…
The Big One
A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.
PolyPort’s SX Win & Why It Matters
Monday, SXSW revealed the 10 category winners of its 2-day Accelerator Pitch Competition, one of the most high-profile pitch events of the year. (The 403 companies that have participated in this competition over the past nine years have gone on to raise over $4.63 billion in funding.)
Last week, we previewed the three Atlanta competitors and PolyPort, the 3D Asset Protection Platform that provides design protection, tracking, and management for digital asset creators and owners, ended up winning the Security & Privacy category!
Here’s why this matters.
Leading up to our launch in February, I spoke to a lot of people – VCs, founders, heads of accelerators/co-working spaces, etc. – about how we can add value to the market. One thing I heard was that, while Atlanta has an extraordinarily active, collaborative and supportive ecosystem, they felt like the city could use some help in raising its profile as a startup/tech hub nationally. (That’s one of the reasons we’ve just added the Elsewhere in Inno section to all newsletters).
But take a look at the list of ten winners. You have seven cities represented – New York, Seattle, Austin, Boston, LA, London and Atlanta. Inclusion in groups like the above is how people can begin to subconsciously recognize a city as a destination for startup activity. Sure, it helps to be listed highly in VC reports and other rankings, but when local startups win big competitions, it serves as an advertisement for the ecosystem. It’s like a big flashing light for the unaware that signals “cool things are happening here, cool things are happening here.” PolyPort’s win may not change a Silicon Valley VC’s perception of Atlanta overnight, but it helps. Congrats, team!
Inside the people, companies and organizations making moves today.
Gathering Spot’s New Spot
Two Georgetown graduates are returning to D.C. to expand their workspace startup The Gathering Spot later this year. Originally founded in Atlanta, the co-working space is an exclusive club that hosts events, dinners and members-only experiences.
Founders Ryan Wilson and TK Petersen met as roommates at Georgetown University. They later decided to create The Gathering Spot in Wilson’s hometown of Atlanta. Since its opening in 2016, the club has doubled in size and its membership includes more than 1,500 people.
“It feels like we’re coming back home,” Wilson said about The Gathering Spot’s expansion. Wilson and Petersen lived in D.C. for eight years before venturing to Atlanta.
Wilson is currently the CEO of the company. He earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from Georgetown. Petersen graduated from Georgetown with a degree in accounting and finance.
The idea for The Gathering Spot developed during the duo’s struggles to find a place to work at night. They turned to restaurants and cafes to finish projects, but even then those spaces were limited. According to a 2017 Office Vibes report, only 30 percent of coworking space members prefer working during traditional business hours. Wilson and Petersen wanted to give night owls a place collaborate and network.
“I liked to work at night, but I couldn’t find a space to work that late,” Wilson said. “But we wanted to take the idea of being able to work after business hours to the next level.”
[Read More About The Gathering Spot & Its Expansion Plans]