Atlanta CEO

Coming together to accelerate success. With two membership options dependent on title and background, ACEO opens its exclusive membership to qualifying executives of all backgrounds.


1. What is ACEO 2.0?

ACEO 2.0 is a paid, private network of technology product CEOs. Comprehensive programs target the biggest challenges confronting every CEO: personal development, access to capital, connections to customers, and exposure to talent. ACEO 2.0 aims to grow successful Atlanta companies by creating more opportunities for Atlanta’s deserving CEOs.

What are the four programs of ACEO 2.0?

Forum: Formally structured roundtable groups of 6 – 10 CEOs who meet monthly to accelerate their personal and professional development in a safe and confidential environment

Customer Connect: A commitment from ACEO to leverage our network to introduce ACEO 2.0 members to up to 2 game-changing clients per year.

Capital Connect: A series of monthly webinars exposing ACEO 2.0 members to the limitless sources of capital available to them: private equity, debt lending, venture capital, and more. We host monthly webinar sessions for capital groups to pitch their theses and provide introductions between investors and CEOs.

Apprentice Program: An eight-week career acceleration program designed to connect ACEO 2.0 members with up-and-coming future leaders.

3. What does it mean to be an ACEO 2.0 member?

The Founding Fathers. The Fantastic Four. The Three Musketeers. All groups of flawed people with various strengths and weaknesses who came together to achieve something greater than any one individual might on their own. Now imagine having access to a powerful mastermind group dedicated to your own growth and success as a company leader. That’s what it means to be an ACEO 2.0 member.

4. What are the benefits of ACEO 2.0 membership?

5. What is the price of ACEO 2.0 membership? What does that fee cover?

The cost is $2,500 annually, which can be paid in annual, quarterly, or monthly installments. That cost is a breakeven amount which covers moderation, food, and space, and is significantly less expensive than comparable executive network organizations.

As a nonprofit 501c(6) organization, ACEO reinvests any profit back into community programming.

6. Who is eligible to join ACEO 2.0?

CEOs of product companies with greater than $0.5 million in revenue or funding.

7. What is the relationship between ACEO 2.0 and ACEO today?

ACEO 2.0 is an expansion of our programming. We will continue to host networking receptions and as an ACEO 2.0 member you become part of that network.


8. What is the mission of forum?

To use the peer-learning model developed and proven by YPO to help small groups of product technology CEOs amplify personal and professional success.

9. How are forum groups created?

Groups may be curated based on product type, company size, level of CEO experience, etc. We will defer to forum expert consultants (ForumSherpa) on group formation protocol.

10. How many people in a group?

Six to ten.

11. What payment is required?

 None! Forum participation is a benefit of ACEO 2.0.

12. What commitments are required of participants?

There is a monthly time commitment of about 6 hours: 4 hours in a monthly half-day group session, and a possible 1-2 hours of email support and communication amongst the team throughout the month. As groups mature, external group facilitator (ForumSherpa) will transition out, and group will become self-moderated. The moderator position is voluntary and will require an additional time commitment of a few hours each month to prepare for the roundtable sessions.

13. What benefits are provided?

Forum members of similar roundtable groups report benefits such as… [ source: ForumSherpa materials]

  • “Emotional peace and security, a safety net for concerns where I can admit that I don’t know all the answers.”
  • Insights from others.
  • Personal connection to all the members, kind of like a second family.
  • Non-judgmental support on some difficult issues.
  • The feeling that I am not alone in the problems that I encounter.
  • Simply having a group of people who I respect, to share issues with and discuss the “big picture” of life.
  • Long lasting friendships.

14. Who moderates the forum?

15. Can you be on the board or advisory board if you are also a forum member?


16. How do sponsors interact with the forum members?

While not invited to participate in forum groups, sponsors will interact broadly with CEOs who are members of ACEO 2.0 at events like CEO Breakfasts, CXO Receptions, etc.

Because forum groups are self-funded and highly confidential, these peer-to-peer groups interact only with each other and occasionally other forum groups (i.e. in training sessions or learning workshops).

Apprentice Program

17. Articulate the mission statement of the apprentice program in one sentence

To connect Atlanta’s promising future leaders with ACEO 2.0 members who can teach them what it truly takes to be a technology company CEO.

18. Who is eligible to join the program?

Apprentices can come from any background/functional expertise and must have demonstrated leadership potential, as reflected in their application. The program will consist of several cohorts per year, with 10 “apprentices” in each cohort.

19. Is there an application / selection process for apprentices?

Yes. We will hold a call for applications, and a selection committee (preferably comprised of ACEO 2.0 members) will approve the final 10 candidates in each cohort.

20. Who are the “mentor” companies and how do they join?

All ACEO 2.0 members are invited to participate in the apprentice program. ACEO will recruit additional coaches (CEOs and industry leaders) to lead specific sessions of the program according to their strengths and experiences.

21. How does the program work?

Each cohort is an eight-week commitment, comprised of two main elements of the program: in-session learning and the non-profit project.

ACEO will work with sister nonprofits who will develop specific problem statements which apprentices will tackle in their eight-week cohort. These problem statements will be presented in the first session of the cohort. Apprentices will work in small teams on the nonprofit project for the duration of the cohort, and present their results in the final session.

Apprentices will spend the majority of the sessions in lectures and workshops with different coaches speaking each week. Executive Director will consult a CEO-advisory committee to develop the outlines of the curriculum. Each week, apprentices will be assigned a task to accomplish for their nonprofit based on that week’s subject material.

ACEO 2.0 members can serve as coaches, and will be invited to attend sessions to mentor and build relationships with cohort participants. All 2.0 members will be invited to the final session of the cohort, hosted as a “demo day” reception.

When program details are finalized and ready to launch, Executive Director will create application and work with PR to spread the word. Once six to ten applicants are selected, cohort will begin.

22. Is there a cost associated?

Yes. Participants will pay a $1,000 fee.

23. What is the time commitment from everyone?

Time commitment for apprentices is about 10 hours per week: six hours in the classroom, and about four hours of homework.

The time commitment for coaches is around 4 hours to prepare for and attend one Saturday session: speaking for 1-2 hours and assigning a task to be completed for the next week’s session. We also ask mentors to be available via email as a resource for apprentices to ask questions and follow-up with.

Time commitment for the Executive Director is considerable. Working with PR to promote the call for applications, coordinating the nonprofits, coordinating the logistics of the events themselves, possibly attending each session, and supporting the CEOs will demand 15-20 hours each week.

24. Who administers the program, creates content, etc.?

Executive Director will handle the logistics of the program and assist coaches in creating the content they will present in each session.

25. What are benefits to apprentice program?

Learning from CEOs what it takes to be a CEO and networking with Atlanta’s top technology leadership. The program is a mechanism for apprentices to accelerate their careers and demonstrate their talent.

26. What are benefits to coaches and ACEO 2.0 members?

Building relationships and possibly hiring young and hungry talent that can accelerate their company’s growth.

27. Is there “matching” between mentor and apprentice?

There will be no formal 1:1 matching between apprentices and CEOs at this time.

28. Can an apprentice drop out?

Yes, but they will lose the $1,000 investment/application fee.

29. What are the benefits of participating in the Apprentice Program?

For apprentices: Real-world lessons from real-world CEOs, and the opportunity to connect directly with and learn from those individuals. The program is a mechanism for apprentices to accelerate their careers and demonstrate their talent.

For coaches: Building relationships and possibly hiring young and hungry talent.

30. What are the expectations of ACEO 2.0 members?

Participation by ACEO 2.0 members is voluntary. If they choose to participate, we expect them to interact with apprentices in each cohort as mentors, coaches, and advisors. If ACEO 2.0 members choose to hire one of the apprentices, they agree to pay a $5,000 hiring fee.

31. What happens if the ACEO 2.0 members don’t get the benefits expected (like, employees that fit the open roles they have?)

The principal benefit for ACEO 2.0 members is building relationships with up-and-coming promising leaders. There is the potential opportunity to hire an apprentice program participant, but no guarantees. If 2.0 members are not satisfied with the program, we will incorporate their feedback into the next iteration.

Customer Connect

32. What is the mission of customer connect?

To help ACEO 2.0 CEOs amplify their companies’ success by leveraging the ACEO network to make qualified introductions to game-changing customers.

33. What is the cost of customer connect?


34. How does an ACEO 2.0 member request an introduction?

By emailing the Executive Director.

35. How do members justify their request for an introduction (i.e. prove that this would be a “game-changing” customer)?

Members are tasked with 1) identifying the person at each company (by name or title) they would like to meet, and 2) explaining why that person would be interested in learning more about their product.

36. What does an introduction entail?

Introduction means introduction via email, phone, or in-person, as arranged by the member of the ACEO network who has a contact with the customer.

37. What happens if no one can help with that introduction?

Unfortunately, this may occur. If no one in the network can make the introduction, we will work with the member company to connect them with another customer.

Capital Connect

38. What is the mission of capital connect in one sentence?

The mission is twofold: to educate CEOs about the variety of funding sources available to them, and to provide mutually beneficial introductions between CEOs and capital groups when appropriate.

39. How often will the webinars be hosted?

Once per month, with 2-3 sources of capital presented during each session.

40. How does an ACEO 2.0 member request an introduction?

If an ACEO 2.0 member wants an introduction, ED (or most relevant contact on the ACEO team) will contact the investor source with a generic profile of the CEO and ask if they would be open to an introduction. If yes, the ED (or other contact) will send a personal email connecting the two parties. We will follow the same process for when an investor requests an introduction as well.

41. What is the proposed benefit to investors?

In 15 minutes, investors will connect with dozens of investable CEOs in a market where they may not be actively engaged.

42. What is the cost of Capital Connect?

There is no additional fee for ACEO 2.0 members to participate in capital connect.

43. What does a typical capital connect call look like?

A typical call will run as follows (using the 8 am hour as an example):

Presenter 1:

8:05 – 8:15 Present investment thesis

8:15 – 8:20 Q&A

Presenter 2:

8:25 – 8:35 Present investment thesis

8: 35 – 8:40 Q&A

Presenter 3:

8:45 – 8:55 Present investment thesis

8:55 – 9:00 Q&A

44. How often will the same sources of capital be invited to present?

Capital groups will be invited to present once a year.

45. Is there time for Q & A?

Yes, each 15 minute time slot includes 5 minutes for moderated Q&A. Participants can submit questions via WebEx during the presentations, and the ED will moderate each Q&A segment.

46. Where will we store the content library for future ACEO 2.0 members?

The sessions will be recorded and stored in a members-only section of the ACEO website.