Highlights from Startup Runway’s 25th Pitch Showcase: Celebrating a Milestone in Atlanta’s Entrepreneurial Scene

Startup Runway’s 25th Pitch Showcase marked a significant milestone, celebrating 25 editions of fostering entrepreneurial success for underrepresented founders. Held at Tech Square ATL last week, the event buzzed with anticipation as top founders from over 400 applicants across the Southeast pitched their groundbreaking ideas, competing for three $10,000 checks.

Visionaries Shine Bright: Announcing the Winners

The stage was set for a day of inspiration as all of the impressive finalists presented their ventures. Amid fierce competition, three visionary founders stood out, each securing $10,000 of non-dilutive capital to propel their businesses forward.


Congratulations to these incredible finalists, each taking home a $10,000 prize!

Honoring a Milestone and Recognizing Excellence

In celebrating 25 Startup Runway showcases, we are proud to share some remarkable highlights. Over the years, Startup Runway has encountered and encouraged over 5,500 founders, showcased 206 finalists, and seen our finalists raise a collective $78 million.

Insights from Alumni: Where Are They Now?

At the showcase, we featured a panel of Startup Runway alumni, showcasing their journeys since their participation. This included Damola Ogundipe, founder of Plural from Edition 5 in 2018, and Kristin Dunning, founder of Gently Soap from Edition 19 in 2023. Their stories of growth and success inspired all attendees.

Damola Ogundipe, Founder of Plural from Edition 5 in 2018, Kristin Dunning, Founder of Gently Soap from Edition 19 in 2023, and Nwanyinma Dike, Managing Director of Startup Runway

Honoring Veronica Sheehan, Chief Operating Officer at Make-A-Wish Georgia 

At the showcase, we also presented the Lighting the Way Award to Veronica Sheehan for her outstanding contributions to Startup Runway and Atlanta’s entrepreneurial community. One of Veronica’s pivotal contributions to Startup Runway was securing our first-ever sponsorship from Cox Enterprises. This sponsorship provided crucial financial support and lent credibility to our mission of fostering inclusive entrepreneurship. Veronica’s ability to navigate corporate landscapes and forge meaningful partnerships has been invaluable to our growth.

Startup Runway’s Managing Director Nwanyinma Dike, Chief Operating Officer of Make-A-Wish Georgia Veronica Sheehan, and Founding Managing Partner of Valor Ventures Lisa Calhoun

Thank You to Our Partners

We want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of our mentors and sponsors, including our newest sponsor, the NCR Foundation, whose support has been instrumental in our success. We also thank our esteemed panel of VC judges, which included A.T. Gimbel, Partner at Atlanta Ventures, William Leonard, Investor at Valor Ventures, Rachel Wilson, Managing Partner at The BFM Fund, and Martin Chaplin, Investor at LearnLaunch Fund. Their expertise and insights were invaluable in guiding and evaluating our finalists.

Looking Ahead: What’s Next for Startup Runway?

Exciting updates for Startup Runway are on the horizon. Stay tuned for details on how to apply or be a part of Startup Runway’s journey as a founder, sponsor, or mentor. There are countless opportunities to get involved and support our mission of connecting investors to top startups led by underrepresented founders. Thank you to everyone who made the 25th Startup Runway Showcase a resounding success!

Watch the Recap Video from our 25th Pitch Showcase: