In the last few years, Atlanta has birthed several multi-billion dollar tech companies, including SalesLoft, Calendly, and Rubicon just to name a few. But now, we are sitting at a critical crossroads in terms of our city’s future leaders.
So, I’m reaching out to you—our network of outlanders from Los Angeles, New York, DC, Miami, and across the country—to help us elect a mayor who will have a profound impact on the most diverse startup city in America.
Atlanta needs an ethical, progressive mayor who wants to engage with the startup and venture community, and Andre Dickens has impressed me since day one. That’s why I’m hosting a critical fireside chat with Andre on 11/18 at 11 am ET, so you can see for yourself why he’s the right candidate for the job.
With a donation as small as $1,000 (and as large as $4,300), you can invest in the leadership necessary to build the next Atlanta unicorns and the future of diverse emerging managers and founders alike. Leura and I are maxing out our individual donations to support his campaign, and we are asking our friends and family to join us in supporting the future of Atlanta innovation through a contribution to his campaign, too.
At our fireside, we will dive into his plans to advance education, build bridges with the startup and investment community, and provide a safe, efficient, and ethical local government. I believe that for the future of our startup ecosystem and the health and safety of our great city, he is the right person for the job.
Hope to see you all there!
Up next: OutPitch 2.0
Calling all innovative early-stage tech startups in the United States:
If you’ve got what it takes to outvision, outbrave, outperform, outsmart, and outpitch the competition, start your OutPitch 2.0 application now! The winner of the $100,000 investment from Outlander VC will be chosen from the five finalists who pitch live on December 7, 2021.
Attendees are invited to join us virtually on December 7, 2021 at 5 pm ET to watch the five OutPitch finalists pitch live for a chance to win a $100,000 Outlander VC investment. Spots are limited, so save your seat now!
Over the years, I’ve had many opportunities to move outside the Southeast. I repeatedly heard that if I wanted to work with the brightest minds at the best organizations, I’d need to relocate. I wasn’t convinced of that logic then, and I’m not now.
I’m a Louisiana native. I moved to Atlanta for my first job after college. When I left corporate America to start my company, I had to decide where I wanted my company to be based. New York and San Francisco were on the list, but after weighing the pros and cons of all my options I decided I wanted to be in a place where I could thrive personally as well as professionally. I wanted to be somewhere I could see myself staying for the long haul (like, until I’m an old man in a rocking chair). I wanted to be in a place that felt like home. I wanted to be in the South. I decided to stay in Atlanta.
Little did I know the impact that decision would have. I had unknowingly signed up for a front-row seat at a massive transformation and tech uprising. Atlanta’s next class of great entrepreneurs were just coming into their own and a lot of them were technical. I found myself surrounded by peers who introduced me to a whole new world. They helped me, a nontechnical founder, understand how technology could make the impossible possible. I listened, learned, and incorporated it all into my company.
Fast-forward. This southern tech uprising created many high-growth companies with eight-figure revenue. Companies like BBQGUYS (nine figures), Calendly, CallRail, Fleetio, GreenLight, and LeaseQuery, to name just a few. Each a testament to the caliber of entrepreneurs who call the South home. When I look back, I’m deeply impressed by what these entrepreneurs accomplished. There wasn’t much community when most of them started out and early-stage capital was hard to come by. Yet they still managed to build amazing companies.
The community is bustling now. Accelerators, coworking spaces, conferences, and demo days are all over the South. And there are more venture funds, such as Outlander, writing checks much earlier. All of this has created a supportive and startup-friendly environment in which founders get the support and capital they need earlier so they can go further, faster. I’m optimistic about where the region is headed. I see a not-so-distant future when founders from the region turn their wildest dreams into reality and change the world. The last decade was great, but I believe it’s only a taste of what’s to come.
They say timing is everything, and that’s so true. I believe the time is now for the South to shine, and I can’t think of a better place to be. It’s wonderful to be in a place where I, along with the whole Outlander team, can help smart people build terrific companies. Doing it in a place we all love and can call home is the icing on the cake!