Atlanta’s entrepreneurial zeal reached new heights at our 23rd Startup Runway Showcase at The Woodruff Arts Center last week. It was Startup Runway’s biggest event of the year, with over 400 applicants from across the Southeast applying to pitch. Nine outstanding finalists emerged and competed for the chance to win three $10,000 grants in partnership with Partnership for Inclusive Innovation

Announcing the Winners

It was a day to remember full of groundbreaking ideas, and the audience had the opportunity to witness the next wave of entrepreneurial brilliance in the Southeast. We are honored that Mayor Andre Dickens was in attendance to announce and hand over the winning checks! 

Other presenting sponsors included Cox Enterprises and the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact. The competition was fierce, but three founders emerged victorious: 

Yolanda Barton, Founder of Revere XR (Women’s Empowerment Grant): Revere XR is passionate about immersive technology storytelling, aiming to magnify, influence, build, and preserve community voices and stories. Through Community Access to XR, RVR is bridging the gap in XR access, creating opportunities for schools, communities, musicians, private groups, and organizational leadership.

We were thrilled that Yolanda Barton, Founder of Revere XR won the Women’s Empowerment grant, being awarded by Mayor Andre Dickens.

A sneak peek into Revere XR’s glowing pitch deck!

Gera Baano-Stewart II, Founder of Simp Now (Audience Choice Award): Simp Now is revolutionizing interactive apps, redefining how people connect and live their daily lives. From innovative dating apps to safety-focused applications, Simp Now is at the forefront of changing user experiences.

Gera Baano-Stewart II, Founder of Simp Now won the hearts of the audience, taking home the Audience Choice Grant. Congratulations, Gera!

Shayna Stewart, Founder of Shown Live (Judge’s Prize): Shown Live is empowering creators of all sizes to earn money, while helping marketers amplify their influencer campaigns with unprecedented efficiency. Infusing the essence of Product-Led Growth (PLG) tactics, Shayna is fostering a vibrant community of creators and marketers alike.

Our awesome panel of VC judges selected Shayna Stewart, Founder of Shown Live, as their top choice! 

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our sponsors, mentors, and contributors who played a pivotal role in making this event a resounding success, as well as our esteemed panel of VC judges who brought a wealth of expertise to the table: William Leonard, Investor at Valor Ventures; Dar’shun Kendrick, Investment Advisor at Kairos Capital Legal Advisors; Douglas Watson, Founder and Managing Partner at Measured Capital; Kevin Moore, Managing Partner at Serac Ventures; Haley Bryant, Principal at Hustle Fund. 

Looking Into 2024

As we celebrate the success of the 23rd Startup Runway Showcase, we invite you to stay tuned for in-depth Q&A sessions and podcast interviews with these visionary founders. We have exciting updates for Startup Runway that we’ll be unveiling in the new year. Be sure to mark your calendars for the 24th Startup Runway Showcase scheduled for March 21, 2024, where a new cohort of innovative startups will have the chance to shine.

Stand by for details, and founders can apply here.