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Josh Jackson | Photo: Jimmy Johnston | March 5, 2013
Are you on the list? A new, exclusive think tank connects Atlanta’s entrepreneurs with potential investors.
The sun has set in Buckhead, and though we’re in a residential condo in the Terminus building, the real work is just beginning for the entrepreneurs who’ll be sharing their visions with the couple dozen businessmen and women in the room.
This is First Monday—an idea that was inspired by the reality-TV series Shark Tank—but there are no prizes for the two businesses presenting tonight, unless the connections they make with people in the room lead to investments in their ventures.
“We wanted to make it an event,” says co-founder Greg Gilbert, a partner in an Atlanta wealth management firm. “Do it live, keep it intimate and help the
next generation of the city’s entrepreneurs.”
Gilbert started First Monday with three others: Price Harding, the founder of two executive search firms (Bell Oaks and Carter Baldwin); Brandon Rickman, founder of ProVision Sports; and Jeff Shinabarger, founder of Plywood People, which provides jobs for some of the city’s international refugees.
“We bring angel investors, venture capitalists and young people with good ideas together,” Gilbert says. “We’re not an investment group, but we’re giving entrepreneurs an opportunity to present in a room full
One of the first six companies to present, Atlanta’s Ten Eight, has developed an app for the commercial real-estate industry. Its founders seek to modernize real-estate listings by compiling useful data on buildings around the country. Soon after their First Monday presentation, they were oversubscribed on a $500,000 round of funding. The first person to commit was in the audience that night.
While Atlanta has been a hotbed for entrepreneurs, it’s not always easy for them to get the funding they need. One of the recent keynote speakers at the event, Michael Tavani, spoke about how he had to travel to California to secure funding for his locally based Scoutmob.
“We don’t expect to change that immediately,” says Gilbert. “We just want to be a small piece—a flicker in the flame—to encourage [entrepreneurship] in our city.” Members must be invited. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.