How We Partnered With Venture Atlanta to Help the Southeast’s Top Diverse Founders Create Momentum

In this new age of entrepreneurship, tech hubs established in Silicon Valley and New England have casted shadows on emerging startup ecosystems across the Southeast — many of which being home to several diverse founders and social entrepreneurs. At Goodie Nation, our mission is to eliminate the Relationship Gap for diverse founders and social entrepreneurs so they may have access networks for advice, customers, funding, and professional growth.

Given our mission, we get excited about the opportunity to bring light to these growing startup ecosystems and create momentum within them by sparking conversations among the diverse founders that represent them. 

By teaming up with Venture Atlanta, Metro Atlanta Chamber, and Georgia Power, we were able to start that dialogue among diverse founders and social entrepreneurs through a series of virtual panel discussions coined “Creating Momentum.”

The Creating Momentum series engaged local organizations that serve startup ecosystems in the Southeast and drew upon decision makers and stakeholders to share insights about navigating the startup community as a diverse founder. 

Panelists shared their take on topics including:

  • The current status of their local startup ecosystem, and what it’s like for diverse founders
  • How diverse founders can overcome the relationship gap
  • How diverse founders can appeal to investors
  • How to crush a pitch competition
  • How to ace a written application for funding, pitch competitions, and accelerators
  • How diverse founders can build networks in their startup ecosystems

If you missed the live events, but want to access valuable insights the panelists offered, check out the event recordings on YouTube:

These events are just one step toward empowering diverse founders and social entrepreneurs in the Southeast regions to seek opportunities for advice, customers, funding, and professional growth. These events created momentum — now it’s a matter of continuing to build it. 

Special thanks to the Venture Atlanta for allowing us to be part of this series! Venture Atlanta is the Southeast’s largest venture conference gathering more than 1,200 entrepreneurs, investors, leaders, and students for a high-caliber, 2-day conference.

If you’re a startup founder anywhere from DC to Texas, don’t miss the opportunity to present in front of hundreds of investors and corporate leaders at Venture Atlanta 2021! Click here for more information. Applications close on August 6, 2021. 

Thank you to all our panelists and local partners. This event series wouldn’t have been possible without the following balls awesomeness:


Panelists: Allyson Eman, Barry Givens, Christy Brown, David Hartnett

Local Partners: Techstars, Collab Capital, Launchpad2x, Invest Atlanta

Central Florida

Panelists: Maria Derchi Russo, Ryan Whittemore, Dami Osunsanya,  

Local Partners: Softbank, Florida Funders, Black Men Talk Tech, Women in Miami Tech


Panelists: Jeanine Suah, Evan Leaphart, Maria Derchi Russo, Ryan Whittemore

Local Partners: Lightship Foundation, Refresh Miami, Florida Funders, Black Men Talk Tech, Women in Miami Tech


Panelists: Kelli Mason, Harold Hughes, Richard Fraim,

Local Partners: Agave Fund, BEAM Angel Network, Notley, Bandwagon, Knoll Ventures


Panelists: Jason Norman, Juliana Garaizar, Richard Fraim, Leonard “Lenny” Saizan Jr.

Local Partners: Portfolia, Concrete Rose, Urban Capital Network, Knoll Ventures


Panelists: Benjamin J. Vann, Ethan Monreal-Jackson, Richard Fraim

Local Partners: Impact Ventures, Knoll Ventures, Agave Fund

Washington D.C.

Panelists: Osman Nur, Melissa L. Bradley, Jason Caplain, Maurice Boissiere

Local Partners: 1863 Ventures, Bull City Venture Partners, Revolution, DataTribe, DC Startup Week, Seed Spot, Inclusive Innovation Incubator, 1776 Ventures

North and South Carolina

Panelists: Johnny Hackett, Jessica Mitsch, Tim Scales, Jason Caplain

Local Partners: Momentum, Black Dollar NC, Bull City Venture Partners, American Underground, Packard Place, Incolo, Black Girl Ventures

Deep South (Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee)

Panelists: Jaclynn Maxwell Hudson, Kelli Saulny, Haley Medved Kendrick, Larry McHugh

Local Partners: Gener8tor, Camelback Ventures, Black Girl Ventures, Women in VC, Tech Birmingham, Bronze Valley, Eastside Partners, Vocap Partners, Atlanta Technology Angels, WeWork Labs (Arkansas)