Over the past eight months there have been a number of sizable (eight- and nine-figure) liquidity events for Atlanta startups. Companies have been acquired by larger companies or private equity firms or have raised a round of funding from venture capital firms. Many of the recent transactions have provided cash to founders and other early employees.
I was catching up with one of these founders yesterday. His company completed a nine-figure transaction. He told me all the ways he wants to help emerging founders. He has some great ideas about how to prepare founders for the ups and downs of the journey. He had his own early challenges obtaining capital and now wants to start investing in emerging founders so they don’t have to experience what he did. I’ve heard four or five other founders express similar thoughts over the past few months. It seems to me that Atlanta’s ecosystem is about to skyrocket.
One year ago, almost to the day, I shared my thoughts on what was missing for Atlanta entrepreneurs: more large liquidity events. Now, one year later, the city has experienced such events and they’re having the effect I predicted. Founders and other beneficiaries of these transactions are investing cash in early startups. And they’re sharing the knowledge they amassed during their journeys. Both are huge pluses for early founders and will do wonders for them, including helping to accelerate their success. As more startups are successful, more investors and talented people will be attracted to the city.
We’re in the very early stages of the impact these liquidity events will have on Atlanta’s startup ecosystem. I see big things on the horizon. The startup scene in Atlanta is about to reach a level we’ve never seen before. Buckle up! It’s going to be a fun ride!