Valor Ventures and The Gathering Spot Announce Startup Runway

Pitch Series Connects Southeastern Women and Minority Founders to
Seed Capital

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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 deadline to apply to pitch for the first cohort is August 10.
  • 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
(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,

About Startup Runway

Startup Runway is the only seed stage venture event series in the
Southeast designed to surface innovation from the frontier of
outperforming, overlooked founders: women and minority informed founding
teams. We seek racially and gender diverse founding teams for their
innovative perspectives and for their unstoppable solutions to real
world problems.

About Valor Ventures

We believe the best way to predict the future is to be part of inventing
it. We are an early-stage venture capital partnership of visionary
investors that funds high tech innovation from diverse founding teams.
Diverse perspectives are driving financial performance and derisking
investment on the innovation frontier. Learn more at

About The Gathering Spot

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




Valor Ventures
Nancy Laws