Here it is, midnight, and I just got home from our quarterly Capital Connections event. Wow, what a night. I am completely spent, so I’ll make this post brief!
We’ll have a full wrap-up posted in the next few days (along with tons of photos), but here are a few short observations:
- Despite the really terrible weather and apparently horrible accidents that backed up traffic on most of the major highways, we still managed to get over 200 people in the door – not bad. We had over 300 on the RSVP list, but I got calls from several investors and entrepreneurs shortly before the event telling me that they had diverted planes from Hartsfield Airport, and that the roads were seriously backed up. Several out of state VCs had their flights to Atlanta sufficiently delayed or cancelled. Yay. :( Nevertheless, 200+ entrepreneurs and investors in a room filled with gourmet crab cakes is never a bad recipe. It is probably a good thing – had the weather and traffic permitted, we would have quite likely been elbow-to-elbow. I think we may need to cap attendance at 250 or so for future events. 300 would have been brutal.
- It was good to see new deals and new investors in the room. Keeping the event “fresh” is something that is always at the top of our mind.
- It was also very encouraging to see established Atlanta entrepreneurs such as Chris Klaus coming to participate. We need more of this. Guys with ideas rarely become emerging growth companies without the mentorship, guidance, and wisdom that can be provided by those that have tread before them. Those of you who have experienced a great deal of success, and who are not sufficiently engaged, know who you are.
- The happy moment for me came when I looked across the demo area and saw literally dozens of entrepreneurs hunched over their laptops showing investors and other entrepreneurs what they were up to. This sort of transparency is very healthy.
- I saw some folks who participated in our recent PitchCamp showing off their new pitches and one pagers. Very cool!
- Despite repeated invitations, the Atlanta Journal Constitution still refuses to attend (or even write me back for that matter). Too bad. You would think that something as revolutionary, grassroots and impactful as these events would be newsworthy. Oh well. Thankfully, there is the Atlanta Business Chronicle, who realizes that this event represents a unique nexus between ideas and capital.
Thanks to everyone who came out and participated! A thanks to our sponsors as well! Your collective support allows us to continue providing a remarkable quarterly opportunity to drive change. The event continues to evolve, and we are grateful for your patience!
We’ll soon begin planning our Q4 event, which will be in early December. Should be a great time to gather around the holidays ….