Atlanta, GA, June 07, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- After a day of compelling presentations among four of Georgia’s hottest Internet technology companies, ATM Direct was named the winner of the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA)/Technology Association of Georgia’s (TAG) 2008 Business Launch Competition.
An alternative payment provider with a patented platform technology that enables PIN debit payments on the Internet, ATM Direct competed against an initial 75 companies in the competition, which began in April with a business plan round. Fifteen companies were selected to present in the semi-final round in May; four of those fifteen, including ATM Direct, were then selected to present in the final round on June 4th to a panel of seven judges.
“We were very pleased to have made it to the final round of the competition,” said Nandan Sheth, President and COO of ATM Direct. “As the only financial services technology company, we were able to win against a highly competitive group including an anti-phishing company and a social networking company.”
The Business Launch Competition is an annual event, co-sponsored by GRA and TAG, which is designed to help a Georgia technology-based startup launch its business, with the ultimate goal of fostering continued innovation and growth among Georgia companies. As part of its win, ATM Direct receives a $100K cash prize along with a suite of professional services estimated to be worth an additional $200K.
ATM Direct began operations in Atlanta, Georgia in March 2008 and is currently run by Sheth, an experienced entrepreneur who has founded several companies, including Harbor Payments. ATM Direct’s web-based, software-only service provides online shoppers an encrypted method to use their PIN debit card online. The service is embedded directly into the checkout process of online merchants, providing consumers a frictionless payment experience.
“We are introducing a product that solves the largest two pain points for online merchants,” said Sheth. “PIN debit interchange fees are 50-60% lower than credit card interchange fees, with the lowest fraud rates of any card-based payment type.”
ATM was selected as the winner based on the strength of their presentation and viability of their business model, technology and market need. Judges included Adam Coyle of Advent Group, Tom Crotty of Battery Ventures, Cynthia Glassman of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Mark Johnson, formerly of CheckFree, Chris Klaus of Kaneva, Ann Lamont of Oaks Investment Partners, and Fred Sturgis of H.I.G. For more information on ATM Direct, see http://www.atmdirect.com