I attended the TAG Business Launch 2012 last night 5/24/12 at the Defoor Centre in Atlanta. Four companies in the funding stage made 15 minute presentations to 4 judges to win a $50000 prize. The contest finalist will receive over $450K in cash, services and prizes from some generous TAG Service Providers. Below is my take on the experience.


Presenting firms

  • BrightLight Systems– Brad Lurie  addresses costing savings potential in the industrial lighting marketplace
  • Collector Dash– Bill Jones  WINNER  makes it easier for communities of collectors to buy, sell, trade their goods.
  • IdeaString – Genevieve Bos  provides a social media oriented platform to document and speed corporate innovation
  • SalesLoft– Kyle Porter accumulates webbased data to help sales better qualify leads and close deals


David Moeller- CodeGuard- Moderator

The event was well planned and executed over a 4+ hour timeframe 3:30 – 8 pm. The judges all had an opportunity to share their experiences working with funding with the crowd. These experiences included situations in replacing the founding CEOs, coachability of CEOs and the startup teams, the importance of the startup teams, the importance of the board of directors.

Some comments that particularly stuck with me were:

  • – That CEO’s with experience bringing startups public are in hot demand
  • – Presentations are not as important as the value proposition and the marketplace. You have to be able to tell a good story and address the problem that you hope to resolve.

All of the presenters were passionate about their work and the presentations were well done. Watching a competition like this reminded me of the important role competition plays in delivering new products or services to the marketplace. While there may have been only one winner in this competition, the entire tech community gains because of their efforts.


Whenever I attend events such as these ideas come to mind that may be valuable to someone. I wanted to share them here.

 BrightLight Systems – Could you remove the pain of upfront capital expenditures by working with a third party to finance and own the system and rent it back to the customer at a specified cost savings? This model has worked in the solar thermal industry to provide heated water to industry so it may work here too. You quoted a 45+% cost savings annually which over a 10 year investment period may allow the customer to save and the investors to get a good return on investment.

CollectorDash – Congratulations on your win. It seems that your solution could also be applied to so many other markets. Instead of CollectorDash building the stamp and coin markets, when the product is ready why not make it available to other investors who have other market development ideas?

IdeaString –  I saw this company at the ATDC Showcase last week and think it is a good idea. Could you use IdeaString to innovate new ways to differentiate IdeaString from the competition?  Innovation is about bringing the right people together to generate good ideas and then acting on them for something worthwhile.  The Talent Assessment component you mentioned may be the best way to build real innovative teams and gain corporate attention.

 SalesLoft– I like the data accumulator and presentation capability your product offers but I think the real value will be the intelligence that you build in to the product. This intelligence can be tested and improved as the data is acted upon and reviewed for results. The development of a best practice sales approach for each client would be valued as it helps the client build success into the sales process and helps the sales professional

Author: Rick Zabor

Engineer / Scientist / Researcher turned Recruiter in 1987. Interested in the best way to do things and mixing with people who have passions for life. Writes on topics important to building winning teams and personal growth and accomplishment. Connect with me on Linkedin. Lives in Atlanta, GA.