Blog // Startups
Sunday, 04 April 2010 20:24

Toomah Scores Angel Funding

Written by Dave Walters
Ask around startup circles, and you'll hear that angel funding is dead – or at least on a major hiatus. The mantra of some is bootstrapping, while the debate continues around creating big-bang exits versus lifestyle businesses. Personally, I believe the accessibility to solid angel funding is a self-fulfilling prophecy that incrementally increases the sizes of startup exits – and therefore creates momentum in the ecosystem. My equation goes: healthy angel funding today = bigger exits (on bigger ideas) = more new angels = more angel funding tomorrow. But angels are out-of-reach now, right?  Tell that to Toomah, who have just closed an angel round of $350,000 on what is principally a pre-revenue business – but one with serious momentum. Yep, you read that right: an angel round in this market to a pre-revenue company. So let's look at how they pulled it off. The Toomah story begins with their…
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 19:46

GICSoft Delivers Transportation Management

Written by Dave Walters
When you survey the landscape of Atlanta startups, what’s missing is the proverbial “acorn from the oak tree.” Often there’s little relationship between the Fortune 500 behemoths in town and the entrepreneurial exploits happening at the grassroots. And rarely do Fortune 500 execs break out to form small startups designed to sell back to their previous employers. In some ways, this a natural fact of the industries based here – specifically large consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies like Coca-Cola, Newell Rubbermaid and Georgia-Pacific. The likelihood an entrepreneur will develop a new product that really impacts one of these businesses is miniscule given product development is close to a science for these companies. But for every CPG, there’s a Turner or UPS – companies who are built on innovation and who have shown a strong propensity to invest and/or buy companies. So why aren’t there more content creation or logistics startups in Atlanta? We’ll save the full…
Tuesday, 09 February 2010 18:29

SoloHealth Powers Vision Services At Retail

Written by Dave Walters
In the increasingly more self-directed world of healthcare services, Atlanta startup SoloHealth is making a big splash – in fact, you might have seen them at a local Kroger. With more than 50 kiosks in seven states, SoloHealth is coming off a hot 2009, and looking to parlay that success into strong 2010 growth. SoloHealth’s initial product is an in-store kiosk called EyeSite, which tests a user’s vision in about 3 minutes and provides an accurate vision screening. Included in the printed report are a vision health report, referrals to local eye care professionals and coupons. In 2009, more than 300,000 people used the kiosks, which gather demographic data and serve as an important lead generation tool for local eye doctors. As CEO Bart Foster notes: last year, more than 30 million Americans with severe risk of vision loss did not receive an eye exam. EyeSite is not designed to replace the traditional…
Tuesday, 02 February 2010 18:05

OtherNum Brings PBX To The Cloud

Written by Dave Walters
With apologies (but no royalties) to the Eagles, there’s a new kid in town – and it’s called OtherNum. Started by my fellow ATDC Alpharetta buddy Andrew Watson, the service has launched February 1st (a full two weeks early) and aims to free small- to medium-businesses from the shackles of complex PBX systems. Watson and his CTO Walter Duncan call it ‘virtual PBX in the cloud’. While startup launches are common, the OtherNum guys have taken a five different tacks worth noting: Watson kept his full-time gig while concepting and launching OtherNum. While bootstrapping is all the rage, those of us with families and mortgages know there are fiscal limitations to being a great entrepreneur. In the perfect world, you buy yourself out of full-time employment, and the early phase of your business is scalable enough to run in parallel with a job. That usually means managing your company semi-autonomously between the hours of 10 p.m.…
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