Four Athens startups gathered for a lunchtime Member Demo Day in May to share and discuss favorite marketing tools. Demonstrations were made by two Athens startup founders, Dustin Checketts of Paperboy Games and Ty Frix of Ichor Sports. Given their unique user base, each spoke on the specialized marketing processes they created over time, how they measured success along the way, and the tools that helped them get there.
Coffee Catch-Up began this year as a means to bring Athens startups, entrepreneurs, and community supporters together for daytime knowledge exchange and networking over coffee. Recurring every other Tuesday from 11am-12pm, Coffee Catch-Up is lead by local startup and small business community members, who choose a topic of interest or expertise to share, highlight key points or stories about the topic, then host a Q&A discussion with attendees to identify actionable ideas, suggestions, and resources startup founders and entrepreneurs can immediately apply to their current needs or challenges.
We are going to nominate talent as the word of the year in 2014 at Four Athens. Much of the year, and our time, was spent connecting entrepreneurs with skilled individuals, identifying gaps in the talent pool, and helping to train the next generation of developers, entrepreneurs, and skilled service providers. By the numbers, we added 53 new members, our member companies hired over 70 people (through end of Q32014), and we worked with 5 companies that received funding this year.
Technology is changing the way we live. From automating massive numbers of jobs, to making basic tasks easier, to allowing us to communicate more efficiently, technology has fundamentally altered the way we live. Part of our mission at Four Athens is to help educate the community on the power and benefit of technology.
People build companies. It's a simple concept that is often forgotten in the rush to help companies starting out with logistics, paperwork, and the myriad other concerns that appear when a company "starts". At its core, though, companies are built by people. Within Four Athens, one of our fundamental beliefs is that if you repeatedly connect enough smart, dedicated, persistent people, great things will happen.
I spend a lot of time convincing (or trying to convince) entrepreneurs & founders that they are more important to their business than their idea or product. Starting out, it seems most people want to believe all they need to do is have a great idea or build a pretty product and they'll be successful. Ultimately, what matters most are the people behind the opportunity. I believe that if you put the right people, in a big enough market, with enough runway, they'll figure out how to make a successful company. Unfortunately, those are a lot of big ifs.