A couple of years ago I came up with the concept of the “Gang of 5” – a peer group approach to launching your venture.  I’ll soon be posting more information on this on the StartupLounge web site.

Matthew Sweezey (MechanixLoop) and his midtown Atlanta Gang of 5 are embarking on a project they call STARTAtlanta. It’s pretty cool to see one grassroots initiative being born out of another.  Way cool.

If you are interested, here are details on their next event:

When: September 19,20,21

Location: Appcelerator office space in Buckhead

Sign up: A MUST, using Facebook events

Total number of open spots 50 for the weekend which is why signing up is required. We have to limit the number of people so we don’t have to many cooks in the kitchen and can have an open discussion with out it being a one sided conversation.

Who is invited: Investors, Entrepreneurs, Developers, Designers, anyone interested in making a change in the community

Their recent press release:

Monday, September 8, 2008
START Atlanta Helps Early-Stage Atlanta Technology Startups Access Knowledge and Capital to Launch New Businesses

ATLANTA, Georgia, — START Atlanta, a non-profit organization started by local Atlanta entrepreneurs is holding a kickoff event the weekend of September 19-21 to bring together Atlanta-based angel investors, VC’s and Atlanta entrepreneurs to help connect the Atlanta Startup Community.

The vision of START Atlanta is to provide the Atlanta early-stage technology startup community access to knowledge and capital necessary to launch new businesses. START Atlanta focuses on very early-stage companies in Atlanta that are typically below the radar of the angel and VC community. The funding needed for these companies to reach their first milestone is usually between $15k to $50k. START Atlanta plans to help companies network within the Atlanta startup community and to help raise the needed capital to build these companies to a level where they can seek additional rounds from angels or higher.  START Atlanta’s technology platform will also make it easy to allow investors to invest in smaller amounts and help bring transparency to the local technology companies.

“This is a fundamental need we see as local entrepreneurs.” says Patrick Clements, one of START Atlanta’s co-founders. “Based on some frustrations with the current technology startup ecosystem, a group of local entrepreneurs decided to propose a solution as a way to give back to the community and to help start new ventures that don’t require the same type of investment capital seen in more traditional businesses.”

Companies that participate in START Atlanta will have to network online and attend various offline events to interact with each other and investors. The companies will have access to online resources, peer knowledge, and tools to help them succeed. Investors will have the ability to invest in small amounts with collaborative results, and the ability to research and track their investments’ milestones.

Alan Pinstein, another START Atlanta co-founder added “For any community, you get what you put into it.  The goal of this non-profit is to grow and foster the local startup community. We want to show that you can hit home runs in Atlanta if you have an idea, a team, funding and a supportive community.”

START Atlanta will begin with a kickoff event the weekend of September 19th to gauge the needs from both entrepreneurs and investors. START Atlanta is anticipating around 45-50 people at the event made up of entrepreneurs, lawyers, developers, designers, investors, and anyone else interested in the success and growth of the Atlanta Startup Community. Please refer to for information, schedules and registration details.

About START Atlanta

START Atlanta was conceived by Atlanta entrepreneurs, more specifically, members of the Atlanta Midtown Gang of 5 (Mathew Sweezey, Duncan Freeman, Wei Yang,  Patrick Clements, Ray Abram, Alan Pinstein, Josh Watts, Paul Stamatiou and Loren Norman). START Atlanta is a non-profit organization set up to help foster better startup companies and bring investors new opportunities with smaller outlays of capital.

About Gang of Five

Far too many entrepreneurs unwittingly forego perhaps the single biggest resource they can tap on – other entrepreneurs!  So the idea came about to get a group of Startup companies together once a week to help each other out. The Atlanta Gang of Five was originally formed by Scott Burkett.  To get help setting up your own Gang of 5, please contact Mathew Sweezey.

All inquiries should be sent to the following:
Mathew Sweezey
Phone: 615-289-5391




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