The investors at the initial Forum saw nine great presentations from firms that needed funding to reach new
levels of success. The entrepreneurs were facing a room with 20 active investors who wanted to help fund
new businesses with a chance to disrupt the market. The RAISE Forum was held at Emory University’s
Goizueta Business School, where the smart money met the top innovators in the South. Call it OKCupid for
RAISE (Retention and Advanced Investment for the Southeast at Emory) matched firms that were already in
business and post-revenue with investors who were looking for firms that could really make a difference and
had proven they could sell product.
“This was one event that didn’t waste the investors’ time,” according to one group whose firm was looking at
several of the presenters. “What we saw were well-prepared presentations” that went off on-time and
highlighted what the funds and investors really wanted to hear in order to make commitments.
Rather than hearing about hopes and expectations, companies like SkyMedicus, NFant, CleanHands
SafeHands, and SIGNiX have already been in business for several years, have clients signed up with more in
the pipeline, and their products or services are already in use. They are looking to break out in a big way.
Others, like Prong, a consumer technology company; NexDefense, a cyber-security firm; Metrotech, a next-
gen traffic software; FotoIn, a document management firm; and Clinigence, a healthcare management
software firm are either in production or have beta partners running their platforms and proving their
The beauty of the RAISE Forum is that it’s not a ‘shark tank’. The companies and the investors are well-
matched, and the “invitation-only” event was produced to facilitate a real dialogue among not only the firms
and the investors, but also among the investors themselves – like some Silicon Valley models.