RAISE Forum connects entrepreneurs with growth funding

Atlanta consistently ranks among the top cities for new startups, but there is a notable lack of investment for locally grown companies in the Southeast who are post-revenue and need to raise $1 million to $5 million to grow. To find a larger base of potential investors, these companies often head to cities like San Francisco, Boston, and New York. Often, as a condition of their funding, companies are required to relocate, resulting in a loss of future employment growth opportunities for the Southeast.

Goizueta’s RAISE (Retention and Advanced Investment for the Southeast at Emory) Forum hopes to change this trajectory. The third Forum event, held on November 11, brought together startups and investors from across the Southeast with the goal of closing the region’s funding gap.

“We are deeply committed to helping Atlanta and Southeast startups get the necessary funding they need to grow and remain in the Southeast,” says Charlie Goetz, senior lecturer in organization & management, serial entrepreneur, and co-founder of the RAISE Forum.

At each of the semiannual events, the Forum regularly garners more than 50 applicants. MBA and BBA students in Goetz’s Entrepreneurial Practicum course evaluate the applications with a hefty set of measures then whittle the number to 8 to 10 finalists.

“We then use a highly disciplined approach to ensure the right mix of investors attend the Forum,” explains RAISE Forum founder Barry Etra. “To date, we have averaged 40-plus investors/investor groups per Forum.”

Finalists are given 10 minutes to present to a room of qualified investor groups and five minutes for questions. To date, three companies have received funding through the RAISE Forum. Interested startups that have revenue and are looking for growth capital can apply for the RAISE Forum at http://raiseforum.com.

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