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Today, Atlanta venture capital partnership Valor Ventures and local city club The Gathering Spot announce a new event series that connects startups informed by diverse perspectives with seed capital.

  • Applications open today at
  • The final deadline to apply for the fall series is September 30.

Georgia ranks number 1 in the United States for producing women entrepreneurs and number 2 in the country for producing black-owned businesses(1) (2). Atlanta is leading a national trend: across the country, 41% of entrepreneurs pitching venture capital are minorities. Yet from a venture capital investment standpoint, there is a gap in the number of minority-informed businesses started and the number of these businesses that get professional financing past friends-and-family and angel-stage investment.

At Startup Runway, that gap becomes an onramp.

“No venture pitch event in our area has focused specifically on founding teams that feature women or minorities,” says Lisa Calhoun, founding partner at Valor Ventures and event co-host. “Startup Runway is a physical space to tune that conversation face-to-face with committed, quality investors. It will open greater opportunities for founders and investors alike.”

Ryan Wilson, founder at The Gathering Spot and event co-host, is a Millennial African American business leader who personally experienced challenges pitching his successful business for capital. “Access to capital is one of the most important aspects of starting any business. For minority and women led companies gaining access to potential investors and pitching your concept is often more difficult. Startup Runway will change that conversation by bridging this gap and creating direct connections and broadening the community of success in innovation,” said Wilson.

Startup Runway also distinguishes itself by its focus on seed capital. “Atlanta and the Southeast have terrific forums for angel capital and for more traditional venture capital,” says Calhoun. “We want Startup Runway to create a feeder pipeline for these ecosystems.” Several notable seed stage investors have committed alongside Valor to Startup Runway, including investors from New York, Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia. Startups at the showcase will compete for cash prizes as well as guaranteed access to later stage venture events and other benefits.

To learn more, see the growing list of investors, or to apply to pitch, visit



About The Gathering Spot, the host of Startup Runway

The Gathering Spot, located in Midtown Atlanta just West of the Georgia Tech Campus, is an innovative, private members-only club that brings together a motivated and diverse community of professionals, creative, and entrepreneurs. Our growing and exclusive community of members benefit from a 24/7 alternative work and social environment, complete with stimulating events, concierge, integrated technology and full service restaurant and bar. Learn more at