Will This Fly? celebrates the diversity of the creative and entrepreneurial spirit across our region by showcasing up-and-coming innovators as they pitch their ideas.  Emerging Southeast entrepreneurs take the stage for three minutes to tell the world why their concept is awesome.


community LUNCH

A casual lunch where Full Access Ticket Holders mingle with community supporters and key players in the startup ecosystem of the South East. 

Startup Village

16 semifinalists showcased their startups to the public. Two panels discussed the entrepreneur journey and the challenges of building a South East startup community.

Pitch Battle

At 5:30pm we announced the 2016 Will This Fly? finalists:  7 lucky startups that pitched to the full audience and competed for the Jury Award and the Popular Award. 


After the winners were announced, we celebrated all the competitors and stayed late building meaningful connections to continue to grow the South East startup community. 


At Rocket Hatch we believe in the importance of strong programs that have lasting impact. Designing, planning, executing, and monitoring these programs is hard work. Like a startup, successful programs. require creativity, passion, and tenacity. Will This Fly? is possible thanks to a team effort.  

Steering Committee


Eric Grigorian
Co-Chair, Mentors Chair

Ashley Gilbreath
Volunteer Chair

Antonio Montoya
Co-Chair, Judges Chair

Ana Aristizabal
Finance Chair

Brittany Wedding Irons
Community Engagement Chair

Alton Reich
Alumni Chair



Our mentors are experienced entrepreneurs hailing from across the Southeast and Silicon Valley.
We leveraged our proven mentoring process to help the semifinalist startups practice and refine their pitch prior to the event.  Semifinalists had access to our volunteer mentors through an online mentoring platform, as well as one-on-one. 


John Whitman

Craig Kerstiens
Citus Data

Jim Philips
Leo Law Firm

Kathleen Hamrick
Innovation Depot

Peter Beucher
Beucher Consulting

Andrew Jennings

Peggy Sammon


Tripp Watson
The Watson Firm