An enthusiastic crowd of nearly 200 people at The Exchange event last week, demonstrated that Jewish Atlanta is rich in entrepreneurial talent. The Exchange showcased the wisdom of successful business creators and the aspirations of an amazing group of women who spent five weeks sharpening and mapping their business plans through Federation’s Women’s Accelerator program. “We planned this event to let our business and professional community see the creative and compelling startups that are happening in Atlanta. Many of them have an Israeli or Jewish dimension,” said Nancy Friedman, who co-chaired The Exchange along with Marc Goldberg and Steven Richman. “Two-minute pitches are hard to do, but these women really practiced, and they were masterful!”
Following the pitches, Robert Arogeti moderated a panel of seasoned and serial business creators who talked about what it takes to start your own business. Sharing their own professional triumphs, as well as inevitable bumps in the road, they also mentioned how Jewish values have guided their growth. Then, using a phone app, the audience voted on their favorite pitches from the Women’s Accelerator group.
First place winner was Rachel Gurvitch. Her pitch was to bring the Israeli trend sport Catchball to Atlanta by creating an all-female Catchball league in Greater Atlanta. Practicing at the MJCCA, the team and its coaches go to tournaments and will host a Catchball clinic to bring more women into the sport. Catchball is a team game based on the rules of volleyball with the essential difference that players must catch the ball with both hands before passing it on to their team mate. The International Catchball association holds annual international games every year in Eilat Israel!
In their pitches, the women asked for mentors, for in-kind support and other resources to take their ideas to the next level. We hope to see the community rise up to support them. Read more about the other women innovators here. You can also text “ATLinnovation” to 51555 for more information on their startups.
The Exchange was sponsored by PNC Bank, Dressler’s Funeral Care, Siegel Insurance and its partner, Central Insurance Company. Federation’s Women’s Accelerator program was a partnership with Hub Central, Hadassah, and Jewish Women’s Connection of Atlanta.
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