ATLANTA – June 24, 2015 – FORTUNE Magazine describes our current era as the “Age of the Unicorns,” a time characterized by the rise of billion dollar, tech standout companies being spearheaded by inventive entrepreneurs and the investors who back them. Cowboy Ventures data, in fact, indicates that on average four “unicorns” have been born each year over the last decade. At this year’s Venture Atlanta conference, Niraj Shah, CEO and co-founder of “unicorn” company Wayfair.com, will share his experiences and lessons learned in building one of the world’s largest online destinations for home furnishings and décor with a market cap over $3 billion. Shah will deliver the keynote address at the annual two-day showcase event to be held October 20-21 at the Georgia Aquarium.
In 2014, Wayfair grew its sales more than 63 percent and filed one of the largest e-commerce IPOs in U.S. history—rightfully claiming its spot in the famed “Unicorn Club.” Shah, along with his partner and co-founder, Steve Conine, have built and rapidly grown the company to surpass $1.3 billion in sales and employ over 2,600 people in just over a decade since it was founded.
“Over the past decade, I’ve watched Niraj and his partner, Steve, grow Wayfair from a bootstrapped collection of small e-commerce sites to the world’s leading online home goods retailer,” said Blake Patton, managing partner at Tech Square Ventures and Venture Atlanta board chairman. “When we went looking for an all-star entrepreneur to speak at Venture Atlanta 2015, Niraj was the first person I thought of. He’s one of those rare founders that can spot a market opportunity, execute on it, and lead it through an IPO and beyond.”
Prior to founding Wayfair, Shah was CEO and co-founder of Simplify Mobile, a software company providing mobile phone management solutions to large enterprises. The company was sold to enterprise software company, Tangoe. Before co-founding Simplify Mobile, he was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Greylock Partners, a leading venture capital firm with more than $2.2 billion under management. Shah has also held executive positions at iXL and at Spinners Incorporated, an IT services firm ultimately acquired by iXL. Shah continues to further entrepreneurialism and education, sitting on the Board of Directors for both the Massachusetts Innovation Technology Exchange (MITX) and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).
Shah’s keynote address will take place on Wednesday, October 21, at 9:30 a.m. Venture Atlanta showcases Southeastern companies in a variety of technology sectors at both early and later stages, all looking to raise capital in the next 18 months. Applications are available online and will be accepted until Friday, Aug. 14.
For more information on Venture Atlanta 2015 or to register for the event, visit www.ventureatlanta.org.
About Venture Atlanta
Venture Atlanta, Georgia’s technology innovation event, is where the region’s most promising tech companies meet the country’s top-tier investors. As the region’s largest investor showcase, Venture Atlanta connects local entrepreneurs with local and national venture capitalists, bankers, angel investors and others who can help them raise the capital they need to grow their businesses. The annual nonprofit event is a collaboration of three leading Georgia business organizations: Atlanta CEO Council, Metro Atlanta Chamber and the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG). For more information, visit www.ventureatlanta.org.
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