Sure the latest initiatives from the Teslas, Apple and Googles of the industry tend to dominate the tech news space — and with good reason. Still, the tech titans aren’t the only ones bringing innovation to the sector.
In an effort to highlight up-and-coming startups, Built In has launched The Future 5 across 11 major U.S. tech hubs. Each quarter, we will feature five tech startups, nonprofits or entrepreneurs in each of these hubs who just might be working on the next big thing. You can check out last quarter’s round-up here.
The Atlanta tech scene is booming with large companies like Apple and Microsoft setting up shop in search of diverse talent and others like Walmart, Instacart and Carvana expanding their local footprints. Even local startups are thriving, according to a recent report from Real Estate Witch, which named Atlanta the number five city in the U.S. to launch a business.
While most local headlines focus on big-name fintech and logistics companies of varying sizes, the Peach State capital is also home to hundreds of startups in other industries ranging from greentech and e-commerce to beauty tech and software. Read on to learn about five up-and-coming startups in Atlanta highlighted in this quarter’s Future 5 series.
BUILT IN’S FUTURE 5 UP-AND-COMING ATLANTA STARTUPS, Q2 2022
- Cloverly (Greentech)
- Flourish Software (Cannabis Tech/Software)
- Govalo (E-commerce)
- H2cryptO (Fintech/Cryptocurrency)
- Young King Hair Care (Beauty Tech)
Greentech startup Cloverly is used by organizations of all sizes to offset their carbon footprint. The startup’s sustainability-as-a-service API evaluates real-time business activities and calculates the carbon footprint of said activities. Then, it provides ways to offset it, purchases renewable energy credits to cover these emissions and shares a receipt with the company.
“Quality carbon removals and offsets are difficult to access. This is where Cloverly fits in,” Cloverly CEO Jason Rubottom told Built In. “Cloverly’s technology makes it easy to access, evaluate and purchase credits from verified projects with confidence. This ultimately accelerates our progress with climate change.”
Cloverly was founded in 2019 and began by serving e-commerce businesses. It has since scaled into the crypto, logistics, carbon accounting, financial services and travel industries.
The cannabis industry is tricky. Each state’s regulations for medical and adult recreational cannabis use vary, making it hard for businesses in the industry to operate and transport goods across state lines. Atlanta-based Flourish Software aims to simplify the process with its logistics software that helps organize supply chain operations from cultivation to distribution and point-of-sale.
“We’re trying to create an environment where there’s some equity and participation and opportunity for small businesses to be competitive and thrive and build generational wealth [by] creating new companies [and] great consumer products,” Flourish’s CEO and co-founder Colton Griffin told Built In.
Flourish works by finding common workflows to help its users more easily run their businesses. The startup can assist with labeling inventory, collecting harvest data, invoicing and shipping orders and more.
Griffin began working on Flourish in 2017. Today, the startup works with more than 100 businesses across 17 states.
Americans are leaving billions of dollars left unspent on gift cards each year, often because the gift card must be spent in-person. This was an issue Rhian Beutler, Govalo’s CEO, ran into at the start of the pandemic when she found a stockpile of unused gift cards in her home. Beutler realized that companies were moving shopping experiences online, but gift cards for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) weren’t seeing the same innovation.
“The fact [is] that we just had money laying around, ready to spend and forgot that it existed,” she said. “We’re not the only ones here; this is a widespread problem.”
Founded in 2021, Govalo helps small and medium-sized businesses grow by selling easy-to-use gift cards. Govalo provides a digital gift card-building solution for businesses that sell on Shopify, where consumers can purchase the gift card online, add a personalized note and email it directly to the recipient. Future platform integrations for the Govalo platform will enable customers to purchase a gift card online that can be used in-store, as well as the other way around.
George Kushner founded H2cryptO, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, after helping his son open crypto accounts. Immediately, they ran into confusing onboarding and trading processes and dead lines of communication with the financial institutions that held the digital currency.
“I found out that’s exactly how it is in cryptocurrency land when you try to invest or trade. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re on your own. There is zero help. There is no service, and we want to be the first provider,” Kushner, CEO and founder of H2cryptO, told Built In.
H2cryptO aims to reduce the pain points along the crypto trading journey by placing a large focus on customer service. Traditional crypto trading still takes place on the company’s platform, but users can also connect with a live person over the phone, via email or through an online chat. Its mobile platform is still under development but will allow users to purchase crypto through their retirement accounts, in addition to other features.
When walking down the hair care aisle, you’ll notice an overwhelming number of products marketed toward women and young girls. That’s what Stefan and Cora Miller do when looking for products for their young, curly-haired son. Their son Kade was born with a full head of hair, but Cora Miller said she couldn’t find clean, plant-based natural hair care products designed for young men with curly hair. So in 2019, Stefan and Cora Miller launched Young King Hair Care to meet the needs of young men of color.
“The inspiration came from our son Kade, and [we] really just wanted to make sure that he was represented in the aisles and the places that he chose to step into,” said Stefan Miller, the company’s CMO and co-founder.
The company offers a variety of plant-based products ranging from conditioner to curling creams made with natural ingredients like shea butter, grapeseed oil and marshmallow root. The scent of each product is also designed to be age-appropriate and approachable for young men.
Since launching, the startup has expanded into skincare. Its products can now be found in 1,500 Walmart and Target locations across the country.