ATM Direct, led by Nandan Sheth, the co-founder and COO of Harbor Payments, is the winner of the 2008 GRA/TAG Business Launch Competition. ATM Direct seeks to become the leading alternative payments provider
with a platform technology that enables PIN debit payments on the
$100,000 in cash. $200,000 in services. Cha-Ching!
ATM was selected by a group of judges that included Adam Coyle of Advent Group, Tom Crotty of Battery Ventures, Cynthia Glassman of the U.S. Department of Commerce , Mark Johnson, formerly of CheckFree, Chris Klaus of Kaneva, Ann Lamont of Oaks Investment Partners, and Fred Sturgis of H.I.G. Why did this stellar team chose ATM? The company has great management with a unique solution that is addressing a large and growing market. They present well. What more do you want?
This was a great year for the competition. Seventy five companies, the most ever, initially applied. Thirty one mentors helped the companies refine their businesses and presentations. Forty five companies completed the second stage of the competition. And ATDC played a larger role then ever. Leading a kickoff luncheon, evaluating the initial applicants as well as the full business plans and recommending the semifinalists.
Most importantly I am proud of the fact that I, (along with my partners in crime Scott Burkett, Nelson Chu, Alan Graber, Melanie Leeth, Sig Mosley, and the whole ATDC gang) helped to move these companies along and make them stronger startups. How did we do this? With pitch coaching for the semifinalists and finalists. With one on one coaching with companies that requested it. By providing feedback to companies when they missed a cut.
How do I know we helped them? Because they told me and GRA the value they were getting. It took a lot of time and effort to support this effort from the time it launched in January. It was time well spent.
Congratulations to Sid Elliot of GRA and Tino Mantella of TAG for putting together the best competition yet. It is a great program. One that deserves continued support from GRA and from the community at large.
And congratulations to ATM Direct and all the companies that utilized the competition to make their startups stronger.