February 24, 2023
🗓️ Event | 🍾​ Raise a Glass | ⬆️ Company Coming Up | 🚀 Beta Product | 🎙️ Podcast

EP39 | ​TAG event w/Marc Gorlin | Queues | Lemon Perfect | MatchPlay Brands | Activ Technologies | Cookonnect | The Atlanta Story

Introduction: Welcome to Five & Thrive: a weekly podcast highlighting the Southeast’s most interesting news, entrepreneurs, and information of the week, all under 5 minutes. 

My name is Jon Birdsong and I’m with Atlanta Ventures. 

Event of the Week:  A lot of moving money this week but before we get there, I want everyone to know about the must-attend event of the week hosted by Kyle Tothill of eHire. This event of the week is the TAG Sales Leadership Society and their Fireside Chat with Marc Gorlin. Marc started, scaled, and sold Roadie to UPS. Marc is a serial entrepreneur with tremendous stories. I highly recommend attending this event on Monday night at the Atlanta Tech Village starting at 6:30 p.m. We put the link in the show notes because there is a charge of $10 if you’re in TAG or $30 if you’re not.    

Raise of the Week: I mentioned there was some money movement this week. First off is Queues. This one went a little under the radar as I didn’t see much from Atlanta Inno or Hypepotamus on this but Queues was started by Sam Porta out of Georgia Tech. As a student, Sam was so bewildered and frustrated at the amount of lines he waited in – particularly at the coffee shop. So he set out to fix it. Today, his app, Queues is used by thousands of Georgia Tech students to view and assess wait times. How do they do it? Queues software can detect, down to the minute how long the line will be based through machine vision. Atlanta Ventures, Kenzie Lane, and Chris Klaus all made up the $1.1M investment. Queues is hiring!   

Another major raise was from Lemon Perfect. If you remember, I interviewed their CEO, Yanni Hufnagel on The Atlanta Story about their growth plans. He alluded to big news but now we know what he meant. Just last week, Lemon Perfect closed on $36M of growth capital. The roles that they are hiring for likely just doubled. Lemon Perfect is the 4th fastest growing water brand in the country and Yanni’s goal is to be the largest beverage acquisition in the history of beverage acquisitions.  

Okay, one more on the raise front. MatchPlay Brands led by decent golfer but better Pickle player, Michael Gottfriend raised $4M from BLH Ventures led by Ashish Mistry. These guys are running back the playbook from their KontrolFreek days which was a superior success. MatchPlay brands has two major brands which include Piper Golf Balls and PCKL – two sports that have taken off post-Covid. If you want to learn how to run a successful e-commerce business, hustle down this team and company!

Company Coming Up: I love stories of companies that plotted along for several years and then a transformational event occurred. These events can be a new technology, leader, customer or approach to the business. Activ Technologies is a great example. This is a company that is 10 years old but in the last 3 years, they began the shift to SaaS. Activ Technologies is a cloud-based platform for real-time supply chain visibility and management. Supply chain technology seems so vast and expansive to me. The industry is huge. The good news is their CEO, Jaymie Forrest who has been a 20 years industry veteran. This company has sticky customers and their growth plans are ambitious, which also means they are hiring.

Beta Product of the Week: This week’s beta product is Cookonnect led by Erica Tuggle. She is bringing talented and vetted family chefs into the kitchen. For working families who have enough trouble finding healthy, edible food to feed the kids and afterwards default to Uber Eats a few times a week, this product is for you. Cookonnect matches you with cooks who come to your house and will cook anywhere from 2-4 meals for you in one day. They cook, package, and clean so you have food for the entire week. Oh, and they also go to the grocery store to get the food. The price average is around $20-$30 a meal per person. If you’re always on the go and want good healthy food for you and the kids without spending precious after-work and pre-Netflix time, check out Cookonnect right now. Link in the show notes. 

Podcast of the Week: Lastly, we just launched this week our sitdown interview with Bloomberg columnist, Conor Sen. Each week, Conor writes for Bloomberg on all things housing, economy, and more. If you want to skip the paywall and get his thoughts on major trends on the housing market and the Sun Belt, give it a listen. 

Annnnd that is five minutes!

Links discussed: 

🗓️ Event of the Week: TAG Sales Leadership with Marc Gorlin 

 🍾​ Raise a Glass: QueuesLemon Perfect, MatchPlay Brands

⬆️ Company Coming Up: ActivTech

🚀 Beta Product: Cookonnect

🎙️ Podcast of the Week:Conor Sen: The Atlanta Story