By Kaliena Joy Bowen
In 2018, Atlanta Tech Village launched its It Takes A Village Pre-Accelerator Program to offer early-stage startups with access to a community, education, mentorship, and capital. This four-month program intends to provide women and minority-led startups with seed investment, a pilot with an enterprise company, and a spot in an accelerator program.
On June 4th, It Takes A Village Pre-Accelerator Program hosted Cohort 5 Graduation and Demo Day. This cohort is special because they had a “new normal” aspect of their experience. In response to COVID-19, the program was virtual for three months. Although the pre-accelerator was conducted remotely, participants worked hard to finalize their innovative products and pitches.
Armed with being a Main Street Entrepreneurship Seed Fund (MSESF) 2020 cohort graduate, Ashley Richardson (B.S. ’17), pitched her tech startup, MyTotem, for Demo Day. The business was founded by her and the CTO of MyTotem, Kate Shuab.
Richardson says, “Imagine an online logo generator with agency quality.” And that is just one aspect of what their tech startup has to offer.
MyTotem is an all-in-one branding automation system for small business owners. With an inexpensive subscription of 15 dollars a month, entrepreneurs will have access to an instant branding solution with an algorithm that utilizes artificial intelligence, target audience data, and industry design data. After completing a questionnaire about vital aesthetic preferences, this algorithm produces a list of design elements such as logos, colors, and fonts.
In today’s world of digital content, businesses must have a developed brand image. Until now, access to professional design and digital marketing has been limited by agency business models. As entrepreneurship continues to grow as a lifestyle and career choice, business owners who struggle to understand marketing concepts will continue to fail as their businesses lose attraction and credibility. MyTotem works to nurture these small business owners throughout their entrepreneurial journey.
Six months prior to pitching at Atlanta Tech’s It Takes A Village Pre-Accelerator Program, Richardson had released a prototype of MyTotem to 80 friends and family at no cost. By their second iteration, MyTotem was revenue positive and doubling in growth each month. According to Richardson, MyTotem costs eight times less than any other branding tech solution on the market. In this time of crisis and mass innovation, entrepreneurs need a way to affordably and professionally market and brand their businesses.
“The future of branding is automation. Agencies are a thing of the past; this is our now,” claims Richardson.
The audience must have agreed because Richardson’s pitch granted her the It Takes A Village Pre-Accelerator Program Audi Scholarship, a 6-month hot desk membership at Atlanta Tech Village. Watch her pitch MyTotem from our YouTube channel here and subscribe.