Atlanta Startup Battle is the premier startup competition in Atlanta. With 300+ startups and 2 days of competition, the top participants will develop their ideas with seasoned mentors and present to investor judges, real VCs from Atlanta and Silicon Valley, all in an effort to help Atlanta build, scale, and fund the next generation of outstanding tech companies.
The winner of the Atlanta Startup Battle takes home a $100,000 investment into their startup. Last battle, we chose not one but THREE winners. One of the winners was Eletype, a real-time digital marketing agent designed for search and social media marketing campaigns.
We took the time to interview founder, Michael Sengbusch, CEO and founder of Eletype, and also serves as the CTO-In-Residence at ATDC.
Tell us about Eletype?
Eletype is taking a brand new approach to digital marketing analytics by avoiding dashboards and instead using conversational and collaborative tools like Slack. Why? Because there are over 7,000 different marketing technologies out there and the average company uses over 30 different tools to manage their marketing programs. It’s very difficult for today’s marketing teams to use this many tools and still keep their eyes on dozens of clients, hundreds of campaigns and thousands of ads.
Now imagine if there was a way to cover all of those ads using an automated digital assistant? Well, that is exactly what we’ve built at Eletype. Marketing teams across the country are using Eletype to monitor all of their campaigns and landing pages to detect problems they might be missing. And here is the best part, they don’t have to log into another tool because we deliver our solution exclusively through today’s hottest collaborative platform, Slack. Because who has time for another dashboard? MarTech is a fragmented $33b industry that is ripe for disruption in how we deliver marketing intelligence. So if you are a marketing team, don’t get caught off guard again, Eletype is here to cover your ads.
What’s next for Eletype?
Conversational and collaborative tools are the next wave in SaaS. We believe that in order to succeed in this next evolution of the enterprise, startups will have to learn how to insert their value seamlessly into the user experience. This can be achieved by leveraging new platforms like Drift, Intercom, Facebook Messenger, Amazon Alexa, and, in our case, Slack. For MarTech companies, like Eletype, our goal is to create a virtual assistant that covers as much of the tedious day-to-day campaign tasks as possible so that marketing teams can turn their attention to high-value work while rapidly scaling their client base.
What was your experience with the Atlanta Startup Battle?
Startup Battle was a bit of a surprise actually. I don’t think any of us knew what we were getting into, but who doesn’t want to win a battle?? So we gave it a shot. Our experience was obviously beneficial since we were one of the winners, but the process was an excellent learning experience and a ton of fun.
How did you prepare for success at the Atlanta Startup Battle?
Startup Battle gave our young startup a meaningful date to get prepared for. We wanted to have our application approved and in the Slack App Directory before the battle and we wanted to have enough customer feedback so that we would be ready for Mentor Day.
How was your experience with Mentor Day?
Mentor Day (emphasis on “day”) was a marathon that really helped us refine our positioning, our messaging and our pitch. It really is an all-day affair and one that really puts you through the gauntlet. We are a 3 person team, so it helped all of us get very comfortable with the elevator pitch. The CEO is the person that can usually best articulate the vision and value prop because they are the one that gets the most practice, but Mentor Day really helps the rest of the team learn how to frame the company, explain the value, and most importantly, manage the questions. I think we all left exhausted but confident.
What is it like to work with Allen Nance and Paul Judge?
Allen and Paul are two guys that understand technology, there is a reason they bet on technical founding teams, and we found that refreshing. Allen is the only investor I’ve pitched that actually got up in front of a whiteboard to explain his understanding of our tech. I left that meeting after Mentor Day thinking “These guys get it.”
Do you have any advice for the new contestants apply to the 5th Atlanta Startup Battle?
Every startup should apply because the process will help you test your assumptions and validate your pitch. Act like a sponge, absorb as much feedback as possible. Your startup will be better at the end, win or lose.