Editor’s note: Atlanta Beat is a regular feature on Mondays.The Atlanta CEO High-Tech Council is now accepting applications for companies to present at its annual investor showcase. Based on results for 2003, firms that present seem to have a good chance to land a deal.

Of the 12 presenters a year ago, eight have raised $120 million, and another company is reviewing term sheets, according to Brendan McGuire, co-chairman of the event.

“Lat year was a strong pool,” McGuire tells Local Tech Wire. “We’re confident we’ll have a good program this year.”

Twelve or so companies will be selected to make their case for investment at the third yearly event, which will be October 20 at the Biltmore Hotel in Midtown. Some 100 investors representing $12 billion in capital attended in 2003. Several investors from Boston and Chicago have already registered.

McGuire says the selection committee is looking for “a good mix” of companies to present, from pre-revenue stage through later-stage. “We want things to balance out.”

Several venture capitals are part of the selection committee/

“The key is to pick the best companies we can so investors all across America can see what Atlanta and Georgia have to offer,” says McGuire, who is director of the strategic development group at the Morris, Manning and Martin law firm. “We have targeted over 100 investors. We had a lot of success last year, but it’s still a challenge to get the West Coast VCs to attend.”

CiperTrust, All Connect, CardioMems, Guarded Net, Ivivity, Oversight Technologies, Trusted Network Technologies and Data Trac landed deals. Vesdia is “talking to a lot of investors and has term sheets,” McGuire adds.

Pharmasset, which presented at the CEO event two years ago, recently landed $40 million. “We were excited about that,” McGuire says.

The Atlanta CEO High Tech Council includes more than 1000 CEOs and senior executives (CIOs, CTOs, CFOs) from technology companies and departments in the Atlanta region. McGuire serves as vice president of investor relations for the group and is part of the executive committee.

A selection committee of investors and business leaders will evaluate the company applications. The following categories will be included:

  • Software

  • Hardware/Infrastructure/Optical/Semiconductors

  • Business Process Outsourcing

  • Biotechnology/Life Sciences/Healthcare

  • Nanotechnology
  • Applications to present are available at: www.atlantaceo.org/apply_invforum.html

    Investors interested in attending can find information about invitations at: www.atlantaceo.org/investor_register.html

    New name for Slingshot

    Slingshot, a market intelligence firm, has taken a new name. It’s now known as The Bantam Group.

    The company also added Read Ziegler, who has 15 years experience in marketing and brand strategy, as executive vice president. His most recent position was as vice president of marketing at Interland.

    “Our new name and the hiring of Read signal a fresh way of thinking,” said Troy Nottingham, the founder and president of the company, in a statement announcing the changes. “Too often, the true power of research isn’t realized because it fails to address real business issues or doesn’t adequately represent input from the customer. We’ve found our success comes from having the client’s perspective that we use to effectively represent the voice of the market at the decision-making table. That philosophy will underlie The Bantam Group’s approach going forward.”

    Bantam Group clients include AFLAC, AmSouth, SCANA, Interland, ChoicePoint and Snapper.

    The Bantam Group: www.thebantamgroup.com