And we are back….

Randy returning to the BiltmoreThanks to all the teams and the supporters that made 2013 SXSWATLBUS a huge success. We learned a great deal as individual teams and as a group. We’re absolutely sure that the Atlanta startup community will benefit from our exposure and new relationship throughout 2013.


WHO’S ON THE BUS? STARTUP PROFILE #6 – Sidewalk District


Janelle Jolley is the CEO and Founder of Sidewalk District. She has a background
in journalism and public policy, but eventually found her way to tech after moving to
Atlanta and not knowing where to shop. The idea for Sidewalk District started off as just a
shopping guide, city by city. Then the idea grew to not just a shopping guide but a shopping
guide with a technical component that enables boutiques to become just as technologically
sophisticated as national chains. She kept playing kick the can with the idea and it kept
growing – from strictly apparel, to bikes, to home décor, etc.

Her passion for local independent retailers and their ability to spur economic
development in communities across America is what led her to pursue the Sidewalk
District platform. She’s passionate about The Sidewalk District because she’s tired of the
little guy getting pushed around and told that they don’t matter. There’s room for every
business on the sidewalk of commerce. Beware of her supernatural pitching abilities (she’s
won both of the Black Founders pitch competitions she’s entered into this year), you will
be powerless against them. She was recently forced to get on twitter, you may follow her at

Tagged , ,


TechturizedTechturized Description:  a hair care technology company that creates innovative solutions to solve the hair care needs of women of color.

Short Bio:

Four Black female engineers and hair enthusiasts founded Techturized Inc. in June 2012. The founders’ personal hair experiences allow them to resonate with their target market in a unique way, acknowledging the vital role that beauty and hair plays in a woman’s identity. Their mission is to help others awaken to their potential within and fulfill their purpose.

The technology company has released their first brand, Madame You, which addresses women’s need for a personalized hair care experience.


Techturized will revolutionize the hair care industry through science and technology. Our vision is to incorporate science and technology to transform the way women interact with their hair, information, and each other.

Kwanza Hall encourages the SXSW ATL BUS startups

Kwanza Hall, N4MD, Techturized, Augur, Office Hours, Viacycle, Sidewalkdistrict, Joey Digital

Many thanks to Kwanza Hall for supporting our collection startups and encouraging them to go, learn and come back to Atlanta to build great businesses.


me in a car

James Harris is co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Storyteller of N4MD. He has more than 18 years of experience in the interactive media industry. After co-founding Elemental in 1994, he served as its chief executive officer until the company’s purchase by Grey Global Group in December 1999.

N4MD logo 284x104

In 2001, Grey Global Group created an in-house interactive agency, GCI Interactive. Elemental Interactive subsequently continued to operate as the chief interactive division of GCI Interactive.  In May 2003, Harris repurchased Elemental Interactive from WPP, which retains a minority ownership stake in the new company, Elemental Interactive LLC. Elemental Interactive continues to operate under the Elemental Interactive Design and Development (EIDD) brand.

Over its 10-year history Elemental’s client list has included AFLAC, Ameritrade, AT&T, Avaya, Center for Black Women’s Wellness, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Cingular Wireless, Canadian National Railroad, The Coca-Cola Company, Compaq, General Motors, Georgia-Pacific, Holiday Inn, IBM, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Pfizer, Rayonier, Triarc, Turner Network Television, UPS, Worldspan, and others.

James’ interest in interactive media was sparked in the multi-media laboratory at Tennessee Technological University where he obtained his B.Sc. in Management Information Systems.  He launched his own consulting business in 1992 and began working with such clients as Turner Broadcasting and BET on new media strategy and converting video content into new media properties.  He also worked with Floyd Design (which later became IXL) as a programmer and project manager and with A.D.A.M. Software developing consumer CD-ROMs for retail. As part of leading Elemental, Harris helped prototype IBM’s first Intranet and developed The Coca-Cola Company’s first Web site.  He also led the team responsible for the design of the UPS Web site during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and developed the initial Website for the launch of Pfizer’s allergy drug, Zyrtec.

James is regularly selected to judge awards competitions in the interactive industry, particularly annual report competitions. Elemental won more than two dozen design awards including two Standard of Excellence awards from the Web Marketing Association, three Gold Awards from the International Academy of Communications Arts and Sciences, the Distinction in Technology Communication Award from American Graphic Design, the Applied Arts Annual Design Award, and a Silver Medallion from the New Media Invision Awards.

In 1999 Harris was recognized as Tennessee Tech’s Outstanding Young Alumnus. He is working to develop Camp Freedom, a camp for inner city children that will specialize in teaching environmentalism, mathematics, and technology in the foot hills of Tennessee.



Nawar Alsafar

Nawar Alsafar is a graduate of Georgia Tech, where he studied at the number one [1] ranked program in the country for industrial engineering. While in college, Nawar was an Honors Program scholar, University Scholar, Math Olympian, Student Government Senator and Executive Cabinet Member, conducted research on high energy physics and artificial intelligence. Nawar has been inducted into a College Hall of Fame and Student Government Hall of Fame for his collegiate achievements.

Nawar has been an early-stage executive at the following startups:

1. A silicon wafer tech venture that contracted with STMicroelectronics, Europe’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, to improve their wafer fabrication process in Singapore

2. ReGreen Technologies, a Clean Coal tech company that won awards from MIT, Georgia Tech, and that National Renewable Energy Laboratory called a top 10 U.S. seed stage company in 2011

Nawar co-founded:

3. A vehicular hydrogen tech company that attained sales in Texas and Florida and was sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative, an organization funded by former President Bill Clinton

4. A waste-to-energy-to-biofuel power plant development co-venture that raised $744 million for projects in Malaysia and Delaware

5. A luxury herbal cigarettes venture that sold to high-end consumers on South Beach in Florida

6. A mobile B2C app that went through ATDC’s Startup Gauntlet and attained 400 customers pre-launch, including Microsoft Stores and GameStop. Insights from this venture led to Augur.

7. Augur, which is Nawar’s current company. Augur is the fast, free platform for developers who want to build personalized apps.

As a product designer, Nawar has redesigned 150 products across 10 brands, at McKinsey & Company. Nawar has an office at the Hypepotamus where he advises first time entrepreneurs and Atlanta startup tech companies on his lessons learned from wearing many hats during his ventures. He’s advised 11 tech startups and sits on the Board of Advisers for several tech startups.


Office Hours Logo

Michael Revell is currently the Co-Founder and Technology Director of OfficeHours Inc, a platform providing students with access to experienced teaching assistants for online courses.

Prior to OfficeHours, Michael founded an events promotion platform that was used by millions (Caltweet), co-founded an SEO / Marketing company predominately selling automotive parts (Upsurge LLC), wrote an internet security eBook which sold over 2000 copies, and, while in high school, started a company that bought ipods in bulk, dissembled them and sold the individual parts online.

Michael has been programming since the age of twelve and has built everything from 2D games in C to iOS Apps to Web-based Software. He has also won multiple programming competitions, including a Stanford Hackathon. Michael studied at Georgia State, Hanyang University, and UC Berkeley, earning his degree in Computer Science.

When he’s not building things, he enjoys international travel and playing bass guitar (usually not at the same time).

Who’s On the Bus? Startup Profile #1 – viaCycle

ViaCycle Logo

Kyle Azevedo is an entrepreneur and mechanical engineer working to change the world with sustainable technology. As co-founder and CEO of viaCycle, Inc., Kyle leads product development and sales of viaCycle’s revolutionary bike sharing technology, which now operates in four US cities and is expanding rapidly. Prior to viaCycle, Kyle designed intelligent mobility systems for Ford Motor Company. He holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a B.S.M.E. from Johns Hopkins University.

viaCycle makes it easier for people to get around their campus or neighborhood.  We create networks of bicycles that can be located and rented instantly via cell phone, providing flexible, inexpensive transportation and improved mobility for any community.

SxSW ATL Bus Theme for 2013

Can you guess what it is? Well, the theme of the 2013 tour is, “The More You Give, The More You Receive…” Pass it on.