2023 Mid-Year Letter

Through the shifting landscapes of the world, business, and startup ecosystems, we’ve been intentional about laying the groundwork for the balance of global and local impact moving forward.

2023 Mid-Year Letter

Through the shifting landscapes of the world, business, and startup ecosystems, we’ve been intentional about laying the groundwork for the balance of global and local impact moving forward.

Today marks the fourth anniversary of the Intentionally Good program, and I can truly say we have a global presence now since we’ve grown to 500+ startups in 33 states and 16 countries. We are now a post-accelerator as founders in our community have participated in 300+ accelerators or similar entrepreneur support programs, and we’ve placed $40M+ in founders’ hands either directly or indirectly.

The Landscape Has Shifted...

But the current landscape for startups has changed. The startup world is now post-COVID meaning that virtual programming is common, but in-person experiences (happy hours, dinners, conferences, etc.) are back in full force. We are also now, unfortunately, in the post-George Floyd Era meaning that support for diverse founders, specifically Black founders, is back to pre-2020 levels.

At the same time, the accelerator scene is different. We’re seeing more accelerators than ever before, but they are graduating startups with less funding and revenue traction than the past 10 years. Some founders, mainly those from Big Tech companies or those on their 2nd or 3rd startup, are foregoing accelerators altogether.

And all of this is happening against the backdrop of the economic slowdown and the rise of artificial intelligence.

Recapping The Last Six Months...

Our theme for 2023 is one for all and all for one y’all. Let’s talk about what we’ve done over the last six months. We did a lot…a lot:

Launched A Fellowship Program: In January, we launched our fellowship program and admitted 14 dope people to our train. We exposed them to ways to identify their life’s purpose and also activated them in startup support, investor and talent relations, and tech storytelling.

Lenovo Evolve Small: In February, we partnered with Lenovo for the Evolve Small initiative where we distributed $300,000 in cash awards to 20 diverse-led CPG startups and 10 diverse-led brick and mortar startups from across the US and Canada.

Company Ventures Boost Fellows: We partnered with Company Ventures to support their Boost Fellows in our community. We also supported their DEI series which included panel discussions and an investor roundtable.

SXSW: We returned to Austin for SXSW for the first time since 2019 and hosted our powerful All Founders Need Therapy event as well as partnered with Google for Startups on an event for Black and Latino Founders Fund recipients at Capital Factory.

Venture Latinx Coalition Summit: In April, we traveled to Miami for the Venture Latinx Coalition Summit and partnered with them and Google for Startups for a cocktail hour.

We Expanded Our Presence in LA, SF & DC: Our DC (David Gibson) and LA (Cherida Smith) Ecosystem Builder Fellows organized private gatherings for our community members in their respective cities and I organized one in San Francisco.

Atlanta Welcoming Committee: For the first-time ever, we opened up our Welcoming Committee event series to the public, and partnered with Silicon Valley Bank and The Gathering Spot to support recent tech transplants in Atlanta. This was produced by our Atlanta Ecosystem Builder Fellow, Jewel Walker.

Google for Startups Global Alumni Program: We’re helping to create founder-to-founder connections for the top 45 startups that have graduated from Google for Startups’ programs over the years. 40 of them are outside the US.

Morehouse Public Health Science Institute: We worked with Morehouse’s Project Imhotep again to expose 30 of the top public health science students of color to artificial intelligence and how to discover their life’s purpose.

Angel Investing for Beginners Series: In June, Raeshawn Pelote, one of our Investor Relations fellows, helped to produce our Angel Investing 101 panel.

Storytelling Series: Our talented creative fellows (Ali Coad, Deja White, Kacie Willis, and Tiana Acosta) came together to produce awesome long-form stories of significant founders’ wins and our impact on them as well as podcasts.

Google for Startups Community Icon Award: At the end of June, I received the inaugural Google for Startups Community Icon award from Andre Dickens, the City of Atlanta mayor, and Goodie Nation received a $100,000 cash award.

The Next Era of Goodie Nation...

Our focus now shifts to becoming world class in our promises to build a trusted, multicultural community of the top diverse founders and social entrepreneurs in the world and the people + brands that support them; making they’ve set strong priorities and goals; holding them accountable to reaching them; helping them when needed; and developing them as humans and as leaders. All of this builds trust between founders and influential people in the innovation economy. And trust unlocks opportunities. The goal is to deploy, at least, $1M in social capital each year.

The upcoming six months represent the next era of Goodie Nation. As we think about our role in the larger global tech community, it’s time to think of Goodie Nation as its own “country,” and we’ll start to build community and ecosystems within our own “country”. I’m pumped to announce a few things that will lay the foundation for it:

Summer 2023 Fellows: This newest crop of dope people will be supporting startups at the pre-seed and seed stage, building communities, and focusing on tech storytelling. They have previous experience working at 10+ accelerators / similar entrepreneur support programs, and expand out geographic footprint.

Tech x CPG x Tech Workforce Startups: We’ll bring in even more CPG founders and do more to connect them with tech startup and tech workforce organizations – forming a very unique community.

Preferred Product and Service Provider Initiative: With a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta’s GoATL Inclusion Fund, we’ll now match startups in our community with the people and products that service them.

Keeping Diverse Founders In The Game: Over the last 5 years we’ve seen a huge number of talented Black, Latinx, and women founders create tech startups (a good thing), but, unfortunately, recent economic conditions have caused many of them to shut down their companies. Even worse, most of their cultures call this outcome a failure and shun them for it causing many of them to drop out of the tech community altogether. Well, the global tech community can’t have that. They are too talented and too important. So we’re starting a campaign to keep them in the “game”. Our plan is to match them with companies, both large and small, in the innovation economy that have open positions.

Goodie Nation Goes to Martha’s Vineyard: We’re hosting a special edition of All Founders Need Therapy as part of the 10th annual Unleashing The Power of Connections retreat in Martha’s Vineyard August 7th – 9th by COI Ladder Institute.

Developing Community Members As Humans & Leaders: We’ll slowly start sharing our model for identifying a person’s life’s purpose and aligning it with their work. This is especially relevant for the non-founders in our community.

Intentionally Good Summit Volume II: We’re partnering with Venture Atlanta to host our summit inside of the Venture Atlanta conference this year (September 27 – 28th) inside the beautiful Woodruff Arts Center.

Help Us Close The Relationship Gap...

If you want to help us close the Relationship Gap, please consider making a donation or becoming a sponsor. Join us tomorrow for a special Feel Good fundraising event with our good friends at Pledge hosted by their CEO and CMO


On a mission to do innovation right,


Joey Womack 

Founder/CEO, Goodie Nation