Coca-Cola Pilots with Reply.ai to Drive Consumer Engagement in sub-Saharan Africa

Reply.ai, the AI-powered customer experience platform, has landed a pilot with Coca-Cola during their participation in The BridgeCommunity by Coca-Cola. The startup enables businesses to scale personalized, 1:1 communication with their customers across messaging and voice channels, in any market or language, all while maintaining the highest security standards. Reply.ai works with Samsung, Kia, and Ryanair to facilitate their B2C communication via chatbots and is the only startup to make Forrester Research’s ranking of “Top 10 Chatbots for Enterprise Customer Support.” Reply.ai became aware of the BridgeCommunity through an accelerator in the commercialization program’s referral network. Co-founder, Clara de Soto, joined the BridgeCommunity to expand her startup’s corporate network and put a framework around the corporate sales cycle Reply.ai was navigating on their own.   The workshops and toolkit the BridgeCommunity provided gave us a concrete look into the best way to get into enterprises, build a pilot, work through KPI’s and move into an agreement. We finally saw the process in black and white. – Clara de Soto, Co-founder, Reply.ai             In the BridgeCommunity’s Connect Days, each startup meets with interested corporate participants on their home turf to discuss piloting opportunities. For Coca-Cola the organization of the Sponsor Connect Days and the follow-up of connections made were organized by BridgeCommunity corporate member and Coca-Cola Consulting and Services Partner Capgemini, as part of a detailed startup engagement process they established this year, led by Todd Redmon (Principal & Client Partner, North America) and Adam Agnew (EVP & Global Client Partner for Coca-Cola), that was integral in helping to socialize and integrate BridgeCommunity startups into...

Verady Pivots to Launch Cryptocurrency Accounting and Audit Platform

Kell Canty and co-founder, Nathan Eppinger, have been in the blockchain space for a little over four years. In that time they built 2017 BridgeCommunity cohort startup, Verady, a platform that utilizes critical business information to power smart contracts in a private enterprise blockchain. While working through the program and customer interviews the team found their product’s complexity was making it difficult to describe, piloting was proving tough because of so many implementation points, and the year-and-a-half-long sales cycle was not sustainable. Based on the BridgeCommunity education and exposure, the Verady team realized they had built the product offering of a big company with only the resources of a small company to make it a success. So the Verady team is pivoting back to a product they previously created, but did not find enough market appetite for at the time. “Verady was super innovative, but it was a lot of innovation all at once and required a huge amount of buy-in. We’re sitting on a gem and need to focus on VeraNet.” – Kell Canty In 2013, Kell and Nathan were approached by the largest independent Georgia-based accounting and auditing firm to assist with validating transactions and other key data on the blockchain. This came as part of completing certain required auditing procedures necessary to finalize an independent financial audit of a client whose business operated in cryptocurrency. The accounting firm did not have the tools to audit these bitcoin assets and the underlying transactions. Typically, auditors check with the financial institutions that enabled catalogued transactions to cross-reference records. In contrast, cryptocurrency transaction information is stored on the blockchain....

Pivot Story: How One BridgeCommunity Startup Found a Bigger Problem to Solve

A startup in our current cohort is pivoting after a big opportunity revealed itself during a discussion with The Weather Company, a BridgeCommunity corporate member. Convergent’s initial focus on rapid application prototyping in the cloud created a lot of initial interest from business leadership and first meetings, but tended to stall when IT people were brought in. But Tyler Johnson, Convergent’s CEO, realized there was a disconnect. Convergent’s main offering was essentially improving overall business agility. This sparked interest in business leadership, but not IT – the ones with budgets for technology, looking to solve narrow technical problems and more urgent issues. Influencing organizational and budgetary issues within large enterprises as part of the sales process is simply too challenging for a startup. Tyler realized Convergent needed to pivot to a narrower, more clearly defined solution. Convergent’s conversation with The Weather Company, brokered through the BridgeCommunity, shed light on what that clearly defined solution could be. The European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is giving Convergent a “hair-on-fire” corporate problem to tackle. With just 10 months before the enforcement date, this new European Union data privacy law is critical for every company with EU customers, as they will be liable for stiff new penalties of up to 4% of their global revenue. By attaching policies and metadata to customer data, Convergent’s technology will now enable automation of data governance with policies driven by permissible use, consent, and other compliance data. This makes it possible to quickly, safely and cost effectively use personal data to create better, more personalized customer experiences. The best part was that there was...

4 Pieces of Advice to Sell Your Pilot

Our startup workshop covering pilot program principles, models & case studies with Scott Sambucci was a roaring success. In line with our focus on building Atlanta’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and our belief in the power of collaborating with other programs in the community, we opened up the workshop to B2B and B2B2C early-stage tech companies in other accelerators all over Atlanta. Five local startups joined our 2017 startup cohort and got to work building out a pilot program for their company’s active sales opportunities. We cherry-picked Scott Sambucci to lead the workshop because of his 20 years of experience in building and selling technology products – leading three Silicon Valley startups each to their first millions in revenue. His most recent startup, Blend Labs, was backed by Andressen-Horowitz and Peter Thiel. Scott is also a marketing professor at Hult International Business School and has been a featured speaker at a TEDx event in San Francisco, The Lean Startup Conference, and at the US Chamber of Commerce. Here are four top takeaways from Scott’s workshop on startup piloting:...

Astrid Fontaine | Porsche’s BridgeCommunity Experience

Astrid Fontaine Porsche Cars North America’s VP of HR, Culture, & Innovation Astrid Fontaine was attending BridgeCommunity startup interviews at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and was asked why it is important for Porsche to be involved in the program and the importance of cultivating an open environment for innovation in your company. WATCH THE FULL...