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Engage Sets the Bar for Corporate Venture Capital

February 2, 2023
As the end of 2022 draws to a close, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the events of this year before shifting our focus to all the excitement the future holds.

This year was big for Terzo: we closed our Series A funding round, gained several new customers, were selected as part of the ProcureTech100, made some great new connections at events such as SIG Global Executive Summit and Procurement Foundry Forge: Engage, and released our first eBook.  

Another highlight of our year has been growing our relationships with some incredible partners and investors. One such investor is Engage Venture Capital, a first-of-its-kind innovation platform composed of category-leading corporations in the Southeast that have joined forces to support startups building the future of enterprise. (In case you didn’t know, Terzo is proudly based out of L.A. and Atlanta.)

Engage VC: An Overview

Founded in 2017, Engage was designed to promote innovation through a network of connections between startups, Atlanta’s top Fortune 500 corporations, the innovation ecosystem at Georgia Institute of Technology, and the venture investor community. Executives from Terzo connected with leaders from Tech Square Ventures and Engage VC in 2021 and were selected to participate in the Engage program’s Cohort 9 during 2022.

Karen Kirkpatrick of Georgia Tech writes, “Since its founding, Engage has mentored and invested in 10 startup cohorts, a total of 75 companies. Its portfolio companies have inked 116 customer contracts signed with corporate partners. Engage startups have raised more than $2.7 billion in capital after graduating from the program and employ more than 3,000.”

In addition to celebrating its five-year anniversary and 10th cohort of enterprise technology startups, Engage also hosted their Executive Reception in October. Around 300 people attended this event, including executives from Fortune 500 companies, startup founders, and investors.

Event Takeaways

We were honored to join this event, represented by our President and COO, Eric Pritchett, and our Head of Customer Success, Kevin Character. The event gave us a chance to stay connected with executives from our valued Engage VC LPs — including ICE-NYSE, Delta, Home Depot, Georgia-Pacific, Honeywell, Goldman Sachs, and Coca-Cola Companies — as well as the opportunity to meet the leaders of the Cohort 10 startups.

“Blake Patton and all the leaders at Tech Square Ventures, Engage VC, and especially the corporate leaders who represent many of the world’s top corporations here in Atlanta are setting the standard for partnership between entrepreneurs and Corporate Venture Capital,” said Pritchett.  

Engage VC has been a great partnership fit for Terzo. A bit of an outlier among startup missions and demographics, Terzo’s innovative products and services primarily target challenges faced by Fortune 500 organizations (after all, the larger the organization, the more contracts and suppliers they manage.) These top global companies are often a very difficult audience for startups to access. The Engage companies understand this dynamic, so they strategically partner with and mentor top enterprise B2B startups, helping perfect go-to-market motions targeting the Fortune 500.

Final Thoughts

Terzo is grateful to have an investor so dedicated to connecting us with leaders of Fortune 500 organizations. Engage’s Executive Reception taught us that we are part of a truly dedicated community of leaders and innovators who are not only there for us, but helped us form new connections with Cohort 10 startup leaders.

“We’ve been active participants with Engage since our run in Cohort 9, but this reception served as a reminder of all the incredible work the corporate partners are doing to help continue driving innovation here in the Southeast — the work never stops,” remarked Character. “Hats off to the entire Engage team for getting a big group of disruptors together in one room. The burning desire to win was truly felt. The enterprise startups continue to raise the bar, and Terzo is reminded how fortunate we are to be part of such a transformative network.”