A toast is in order for team Acuity!
Matthew May, our co-founder, was recently named president of the Atlanta Technology Angels (ATA). Matthew served the group as a volunteer member for about a year before taking the reins from previous ATA president, Joe Beverly.
As the name suggests, ATA is a volunteer-based investment group that supports start-up and early-stage businesses in Atlanta and throughout the southeast. Members provide mentorship, industry expertise, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs in a variety of high-growth technology industries.
We sat down with Matthew to find out what drew him to ATA, what his plans are as president, and how he wants to use his experiences to guide and mentor other entrepreneurs. Here’s what he had to say.
What drew you to ATA?
“I like the concept. I like helping fellow entrepreneurs. I think someone needs to step up in this space because professional investors have vacated early-stage funding. What I’ve found though is that there’s a need on two fronts. First, there’s the obvious need of just getting good founders access to early stage capital in as simple of a way possible. But second, and equally important, there is an educational side in helping investors to not overextend early, learn the basics of angel investing, and eventually lead investment rounds.”
What are some of your goals now that you’re the president of ATA?
“One of my first initiatives is to help our members avoid overextending in their early angel investing. We made some mistakes, Kenji and I, and I want to help others avoid those pitfalls and cope with the initial FOMO that is inevitable when you start investing.”
“The board just passed a new mechanism for members to invest that I think will help new investors a ton. We think it will speed up decision-making and also make our average investment size a little more predictable. There are a couple of things that entrepreneurs really value, and one of those is a well-defined process. We don’t want to waste their time; we want to make some quicker “no” decisions and continue to get 6-9 investments done a year like we always have.”
Historically, ATA has focused mostly on Georgia and the southeast. Any plans to branch out?
“Maybe in the future, but we have closed 3 deals this year already with great companies in the southeast. Everyone should check out, YellowCard, Altis, and ARMR by the way. We have 3 more in due diligence too so for now we’ll keep it in the southeast”
Do you think this will have any sort of crossover for your clients at Acuity?
“We’ve always been heavy advocates of start-ups and entrepreneurs, and I think if we have any ATA businesses as Acuity clients or vice versa, they will benefit. The more you know about a process and what people go through, the easier it is to advise them. I can already give our clients — based on things like their revenue traction — a ballpark of what the valuation is going to be and set their expectations correctly.”
To keep up with Matthew’s journey as ATA president, follow him on Twitter at @TheTechCPA. In the meantime, sign up for Acuity’s newsletter to stay up-to-date on client success stories, industry news, and more.