Atlanta Technology Angels Energize Crowd at 2011 Premiere Event

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Atlanta Technology Angels (ATA) discusses how its evolution will impact members, angel investors, institutions, sponsors and companies in Atlanta and the Southeast.

ATA is going to be very relevant in this new market, and we look forward to their contribution to the technology ecosystem here.

The Atlanta technology investing community caught the excitement when they came out in droves on January 25 to attend the 2011 premiere event of the Atlanta Technology Angels (ATA). They learned what ATA’s next evolution promises for the coming year: improved deal flow and deal quality, greater member education, transparency, post-deal stewardship and more effective results.

“ATA has grown from a one-man show into an organization that is led by a very talented and committed board of directors, the members of which lead various committees responsible for delivering results,” explains Mike Eckert, ATA’s new executive chairman.

ATA plans to provide greater value to its members and to the early stage technology eco-system in Atlanta. This will be achieved in five main steps:

1. Breaking down walls with other early stage investment entities in Atlanta.

2. Creating various education initiatives targeted at angel investors and entrepreneurs alike.

3. Providing complete transparency to its members and entrepreneurs regarding deals and operations.

4. Organizing and creating separate LLCs for each ATA investment (such that ATA members will invest as one entity).

5. Providing post-deal stewardship after an ATA investment is made (partially filling a void created when Imlay Investments ceased making first-round early stage investments).

In the past, ATA members primarily invested independently, but now ATA will leverage the power of the group as a whole. This will accrue to more effective deal administration and results for both entrepreneurs and investors.

ATA has added several new individual members, sponsors and institutional members. Among its new sponsors are Nelson Mullins and the Georgia Automotive Manufacturers Association (GAMA). New institutional members include BLH Ventures, Fulcrum Ventures, TechOperators and Imlay Investments.

“What ATA is doing is happening at exactly the right time, and it is exactly what Atlanta needs,” comments new ATA member Virginia Persons, also the chair of the Atlanta chapter of the MIT Enterprise Forum.

What does this new vision mean for companies in Atlanta? Expect to see the correct deals getting done…with ATA at the forefront. ATA has developed and communicated specific criteria related to types of deals in which it will invest. As the economy improves, more angel investors will see liquidity, the results of which angels typically funnel back into the market and into new deals. ATA can help guide those deals.

“ATA is going to be very relevant in this new market, and we look forward to their contribution to the technology ecosystem here,” adds Said Mohammadioun, managing partner of the TechOperators fund.

For example, at this meeting, ATA introduced its members to Verdeeco, an up-and-coming Atlanta-based company that helps utility companies take advantage of the smart grid to reduce costs and increase profitability. It was only after the company was reviewed and approved by the ATA screening committee that it was allowed to present to the entire ATA membership.

“ATA moved quickly to review and ascertain exactly what we did and what our potential was,” says Musaddeq Khan (MK), founder and CEO of Verdeeco. “A great deal of interest came out of the meeting, and we are excited to proceed further with the ATA due diligence process.”

ATA is on its way to being the preeminent source for deal flow, funding and angel syndication in the Southeast. If you are a qualified angel investor, institution or sponsor, contact ATA to see how you can be part of the new energy that is happening in the Atlanta tech world.

About Atlanta Technology Angels:
The Atlanta Technology Angels (ATA) is an investment group, founded in 1998, that invests in early stage technology companies based in Georgia. ATA is an active source of private capital and business experience for local technology entrepreneurs.

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Devon Wijesinghe
Atlanta Technology Angels
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