Engage Ventures Connects Enterprises with Startups
Tech Square's newest accelerator, Engage Ventures, recently celebrated its first-ever cohort with an open-house style Block Party. Guests had the chance to meet portfolio CEOs and learn more about the technologies they're developing with help of the program.
From its inception, Engage has been focused on improving connectivity. It emerged as a collaboration between the City of Atlanta, Georgia Tech, and ten household-name corporations:
- Cox Enterprises
- Delta Air Lines
- Georgia Power Foundation, Inc.
- Intercontinental Exchange (ICE),
- Invesco Ltd.
- The Home Depot
Each enterprise contributed $1.5 million to launch the fund that supports the accelerator, making Engage the largest grouping of strategic corporations in a venture fund.
"Creating the network between these corporations and startups builds a network to allow for a ripple effect later on," explained fund managing partner Blake Patton. He hopes both sides of the table will build lifetime relationships and find ways to help each other throughout the course of their careers.
After this successful launch, Engage plans to welcome two cohorts of about eight to ten companies each year. In addition to capital and connections, the accelerator provides extensive coaching for its startup founders. The program is particularly focused on helping founders building strong product-market fit to quickly accelerate their growth.
Of the eight companies in its first cohort, two are women-led and one is minority-led, which is an important piece of the puzzle to Engage's founders.
"Atlanta has all the ingredients to be a great tech hub," said Patton. He's working hard, alongside Engage's "Who's Who" roster of committed staff and advisors, to make that vision a reality.