Peachtree Corners

Tough Mudder: Re-run.

(Several months ago I wrote the blog below about our upcoming Tough Mudder event.   Other than our December Toys for Tots donation day, it was my favorite charity event of the year.   We survived the run, the electric shock and raised money for a great cause.   Unfortunately, the Tough Mudder 2018 has been rescheduled.   So, this year we plan on participating in the Warrior Dash – and again sponsoring Promise 686) 

Preparing for a 12-mile run with obstacles is a serious commitment. Imagine doing it with little to no training at all! The average training window ranges from 12 to 20 weeks. First-time marathoners aim to build weekly mileage up to 50 miles over the four months leading up to race day, requiring about three-to-five runs per week. Runners know that, like marathons, goals require intentional effort and determination ahead of the race.

For example:

  • The effort required to execute and present a large project for your organization involves considerable planning and execution weeks ahead of the actual presentation.
  • Losing weight and gaining muscle mass is only possible through considerable lifestyle changes, a healthy diet, and consistent fitness participation.
  • Writing a book includes heavy research, story outlining, and several drafts before release.

Important commitments require preparation and effort to successfully implement from start to finish by a specific date.

What if there isn’t time to prepare?

This is the experience foster children and families undergo without warning. Competing in a 12-mile course without preparation is nothing compared to the fear and challenges new foster children experience each day. The founder of Promise686Andy Cook, is local to Peachtree Corners, Georgia and well-invested in the local foster care system.

“For their safety, children are unexpectedly removed from their home and their world is turned upside down. The next morning, they awaken to a new reality and loss. The road of foster care is not only tough for the child, but it’s tough for foster parents. Would this job description recruit you? ‘No guarantee of any tangible progress, the high likelihood of emotional turmoil in your home…’ Yet when you talk to foster parents, this is exactly what they knowingly sign up to do. They love a child wholeheartedly and then, most the time, they let that child go.”

It’s tough for foster children and parents.

While foster parents intentionally enrolled in the program, they have no real way to fully prepare for the emotions, entry, and exit of the children they will bring into their home and lives.

This is why we signed up for the Tough Mudder “TOUGH Campaign” with Promise686. Being a foster child or parent is a roller coaster of emotions void of preparation. Just like someone running a marathon without training, foster families hit the ground running and need the support of friends and family to help them make it from start to finish.

“We hope, in its own way, that our efforts will highlight the challenging commitment of foster families and raise essential funds to support these families and the children they serve. There are not enough families for Georgia’s more than 13,000 children in foster care,” said Cook. “Promise686’s goal is to plant foster care ministries in individual churches, raising up hundreds of new foster families – over 100 so far! So while Promise has almost 1000 volunteers currently serving via 105 church partners, we require ongoing resources to equip many more churches, families, and volunteers.”

This year’s Tough Mudder course includes 12 miles and 20+ obstacles. The Promise686 team grew from 16 runners in 2014, to 57 runners in 2015, to 100 runners in 2016! Last year the organization received 842 individual donations, were honored to have 34 corporate sponsors, and overall awareness was raised. This energy brings much needed attention to Georgia’s foster care crisis.

It isn’t too late to sign up for the Tough Mudder course!

You’ll see a collection of friendly faces from Relus, including myselfJosiah DeeganSarah EverettBrandon GrindleSeth HesterDavid Norman, and Sam Dobbins. If you can’t make it this year, you’re also able to donate to the cause.

Join us as we invest in our community and the lives being touched here. Like others who lacked time to prepare, I will be relying heavily on my team to help me make it across the finish line!


Note:  In 2018 we will be doing the Warrior Dash.   I hope to see you there supporting Relus and Promise 686.


$100K Investment in AgVoice, a 22TechPark Startup

AgVoice service selected by The Yield Lab to participate in selective nine-month ag technology accelerator program

Innovative voice recognition service to receive $100,000 in funding, plus networking, mentorship and ag-specific curriculum for duration of program


ATLANTA, Georgia (January 29, 2016) – AgVoice, an innovative voice interaction service created by Atlanta, Ga.-based technology startup TekWear LLC, was selected by agriculture technology business accelerator The Yield Lab to participate in a nine-month program designed to support emerging ag tech companies. AgVoice was selected as one of seven out 120 applicants from 26 countries to participate in the program.

AgVoice is a hands-free workflow management service that helps ag professionals capture insights while on the move. The platform can be utilized seamlessly by producers in the field, allowing them to record and process raw data files for use in analytics and note-taking, while also providing such necessary features as time stamps and location tracking to improve productivity and workflow management.

“We’re honored to be selected by The Yield Lab to participate in the program as one of its portfolio companies, and we’re ready to take full advantage of the tremendous business development resources they offer,” says Bruce Rasa, CEO at TekWear LLC. “It was important for our team to find a partner with ag tech as their top priority, and we feel that we’ve found an excellent match to further enhance AgVoice, which is projected to launch later this year.”

The insights and data that AgVoice provides to producers helps them meet an increasing array of government reporting mandates and answers food retailer questions on food traceability, as well as consumer questions regarding where and how their food was safely grown. The service is perfect for agriculture professionals in a wide variety of roles, including agronomists, plant scientists, veterinarians and machinery repair specialists, among others.

Based in St. Louis, Mo., The Yield Lab is the nation’s first and largest agriculture technology business accelerator, maintaining its focus entirely on investing in early-stage development of ag tech companies that offer creative and innovative solutions in the agriculture industry. The Yield Lab provides mentorship, networking and funding to hand-selected companies during a nine-month period, all while in the heart of the country’s ag tech industry.

“AgVoice is a service that we see contributing a great deal to the agriculture industry, making it a perfect fit as one of our seven portfolio selections in 2016,” says Matt Plummer, principal at The Yield Lab. “The hands-free, voice-interactive technology that the platform offers has the potential to fundamentally shift the way food and agriculture professionals capture usable insights and data.”

The Yield Lab’s program began on January 26 at the Helix Center in St. Louis. For more information on AgVoice, visit




Based in Atlanta, Georgia, AgVoice is an agricultural technology company focused on developing voice-interactive technology solutions that provide value to agriculture professionals and their trusted partners around the world. These solutions encompass a variety of business sectors across the food and agriculture ecosystem, including livestock and crop production, agronomy, animal health and wellness, and machinery repair.

Community Spotlight: MotivDeals Lands Partnership with LakePoint Sports

What is MotivDeals Fundraising?

MotivDeals fundraising is the digital version of those plastic fundraising deal cards and booklets that organizations sell to local residents in order to raise money. The old way was to sell a physical deal card or booklet with deals on them, requiring the customer to physically keep the card on them in order to redeem. But now, MotivDeals introduces the sales of memberships to local residents that allows people to receive local deals through their smart phone.

Recently, MotivDeals Fundraising has developed a great partnership with LakePoint Sports!

What is LakePoint Sports?

LakePoint Sports is well on its way to becoming one of the world’s largest and most exceptional destinations for travel sports. With over 1,400 acres of land nestled near the beautiful North Georgia Mountains, LakePoint will offer state-of-the-art sports venues. With nearly five million square feet of special amenities including themed retail, onsite hotels, restaurants, ziplines, water parks and many more attractions, there’s sure to be enough fun for the entire family.

LakePoint Pic

MotivDeals and LakePoint Collaborate

The LakePoint Deals Applications have successfully been accepted into the iOS & Android stores and are currently in beta testing. What next, you ask? MotivDeals and LakePoint plan to roll out their deal platform in early 2016.  This platform will be 100% free for the millions of LakePoint guests each year, and the Atlanta businesses will have a great opportunity to partner with LakePoint to gain some premium advertisement space targeting out of town visitors!

This collaboration will also open the doors for MotivDeals and give exposure to millions of sports teams from across the country, allowing them too, to #FundraiseAnywhere!

Keep Up with Motivdeals

On the Web




Kyle Head ShotMotivDeals founder, Kyle Valencia, is a dynamic, high-energy leader who strives to excel in innovation specializing in marketing, sales, product, and management, and aims to amplify business development. Valencia was a key factor in all negotiations with LakePoint Deals.



What Do Atlanta Startups Need?

At 22TechPark, we are working to build an incubator that will help companies successfully launch their business. While we provide a place for entrepreneurs to flourish within an environment that is conducive to teamwork, sharing, and execution, there come many questions and needs. Among these concerns, investment, connections, space to work, customers, and marketing prove to be the most prevalent.

Many inventors have great ideas- they have spent long, strenuous hours researching and developing their initial idea, and now they think it’s time to discuss with an engineer, developer, or customer. But, what’s next? Should you disclose or protect your idea first?  What can you do to protect your idea so that it cannot be stolen? Is a patent or trademark in your company’s near future? The process of getting trademarks or patents can be confusing and expensive. When should you file your patent applications? Is patent protection even necessary for your startup? How does one come up with a trademark? Find out these answers and more-Join us at 22TechPark this Thursday, August 13th at 12pm as our three expert panelists answer any looming questions you may have about IP and patents, and learn what it takes to become a success story in the startup world.

Startups Ready to Pitch Their Ideas at 22TechPark

22TechPark is North Atlanta’s new premiere tech incubator- a catalyst for technology companies to grow in the area.   We focus on fostering the growth of technology start-ups.  Incubators are a great way to form connections with people of similar interests.  Startups need to know about customers, vendors, and investors; they need mentors to help them figure out which pitfalls to avoid – all services provided by 22TechPark.

Located in Peachtree Corners, 22TechPark hopes to help the city benefit with new high-paying jobs when these companies succeed and grow.  22TechPark has the potential to start a revitalization of Technology Park, which will then obviously benefit all the local businesses, restaurants, and  residential real estate.

While our previous Pitch Offs have been successful, this 3rd Pitch event promises to be our best one yet.  With a variety of companies pitching, your interest is sure to be piqued.  Given only 5 minutes to present their company, these entrepreneurs will not only try to dazzle the audience, but will also receive constructive feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their pitches.

Hear from these entrepreneurs:


Incubating the Iron Man of Automated Migration

At the beginning of 2015, I wrote a blog post, “Get Jack’ed in 2015.” Drawing from my experience and from the inspiration of wanting to create an incubator for tech startups, I went on to discuss what I believed to be the Top 3 keys to success for businesses to not only survive, but thrive, in the upcoming year – Be Nimble, Be Quick, Jump Over the Candlestick.

Sonline is Always Online at the New Peachtree Corners Incubator

Sonline, the fourth startup to launch business in the Peachtree Corners incubator, provides IT Solutions & Services to US customers 24/7 by leveraging the global workforce. Suri Anantharama, Founder and CEO of Sonline, has over 20 years of experience in designing and promoting Enterprise IT solutions to over 300 customers. This will certainly come to play while working with Peachtree Corners Technology Incubator (PCTI) startups; by leveraging their global resources, Sonline can help the organizations build their solutions quickly and focus on their Go-To-Market.