Business Expo features startups hungry for success

Showcase offers entrepreneurs expert critiques

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ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Six local entrepreneurs got a chance to pitch their startups before a panel of experts Friday at the fifth annual Business Expo at the Alpharetta Marriott.

The third annual Startup Technology Showcase, sponsored by Tech Alpharetta, featured new local businesses looking to market and grow their customer base. The showcase was the opening event at the Business Expo, which featured close to 100 businesses, said John Ray, president of the Alpharetta Business Association, which sponsors the Expo.

Ray said the entrepreneur showcase serves as a welcome to the local business community.

“It’s a way to pull our technical companies into the mainstream and help them grow their businesses,” he said.

Many of the young businesses are in the early stages of establishing their products on the market, and many are members of Tech Alpharetta’s Innovation Center.

The six companies included:

• Atlanta Urban Farms – Formed in 2013, the company grows non-GMO fruit, vegetable, herb and leafy green seedlings for its Tower Garden growing system. These Tower Gardens provide urban farms to rooftops, parking lots and other areas, all while using 10 percent of the water and space used in traditional gardens.

• eData Collectors Inc. – The company uses mobile technology to streamline data collection processes and let staff do their jobs more efficiently and quicker. The system means fewer lost paper documents, manual data entry, fewer errors and omissions. Users have access to easy-to-use business forms, maps and data, while communicating with other team members in real time.

• Pathway Real Estate Technologies – Pathway is a fully integrated, mobile-friendly real estate management platform that allows agents and brokers the ability to manage all aspects of the client engagement, management and transaction process within a single system.

• RTG Research Laboratories – RTG is a personal care startup company founded by Angela Ellington, former AVP of Ethnic Research and Innovation at L’Oréal USA. The company manufactures Moistura Silk, a multicultural hair care brand for all textures of hair.

• SignStream.net – The startup offers a content distribution platform to make digital signage an integral part of how businesses communicate with employees and customers. Content providers and advertisers can control their message in real time by uploading and managing content to their channels from anywhere.

• WeMontage – The company offers a website that lets you turn your digital images into a large, custom collage, on removable wallpaper.

Following the four-minute presentations, the panel of local business experts provided the presenters with feedback about their pitches.

The panel included Tom Berger, a seasoned senior operating manager with 22 years of big company experience and 23 years of start-up company experience in telecommunications and high tech including working within the venture capital community for six years.

Capel English, a hands on multi-discipline engineer and innovator with more than 25 years of mechanical design and software development experience, also lent his expertise to the showcase.

Brock Kolls was the third panelist. Kolls is a serial entrepreneur and a registered U.S. Patent agent with more than 17 years of patent drafting and prosecution experience, and with more than 80 patents to his credit.

This year’s Expo attracted close to 1,000 visitors.


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