Spring 2010: Of Note

Sanjay Parekh at the podium during Startup Riot 2010

upstart: Sanjay Parekh 06MBA started his own company, Digital Envoy, and wants to help others do the same.

Courtesy Sanjay Parekh

Opening Pitch

Goizueta alum gives would-be entrepreneurs a shot

By Mallory Goldberg 10C

The obstacles facing fledgling businesses are daunting: they need investors, angel funding, or partnerships with larger companies to get off the ground. But Atlanta’s third-annual Startup Riot, founded by Sanjay Parekh 06MBA, aims to help entrepreneurs with startups make connections and build awareness about their ventures.

This year’s Startup Riot attracted more than four hundred observers and gave fifty hopefuls the opportunity to present three-minute pitches. As on ABC’s popular reality television show Shark Tank, real-life investors can choose to bite—or not.

Parekh selects those who get to present, and they’re typically technology- and Internet-related. “I’m looking for an interesting business that is scalable,” he says.

One with high potential was Learn It Live (www.learnitlive.com), an online marketplace that allows users to connect with instructors in interactive classes. “The Startup Riot brings together top experts and leaders in the Atlanta business and entrepreneurship realm,” says founder Sid Slover 03BBA. “It was the right event at the right time.”

For now, Parekh has no plans to expand the Riot into other cities, preferring to focus on local entrepreneurship, one hopeful pitch at a time.