ATLANTA (WXIA) -- New research shows Atlanta is a dynamic city for entrepreneurs. The Kauffman Foundation says Atlanta is second only to Los Angeles when it comes to people starting their own businesses.
Of course, it's not easy being coming up with an idea, executing it and then being the boss. So, we're learning from a determined young entrepreneur behind the hot mobile deals app, Scoutmob.
"It's always something I wanted to do," Michael Tavani, co-founder of Scoutmob said.
Tavani knew he wanted to be his own boss, but that came after law school and finding someone like-minded to launch a business.
That's where co-founder Dave Payne comes in. Together, they started mobile deals app Scoutmob in Atlanta. It offers discounts on local restaurants and boutiques
"It just took off from the first day," Tavani said.
Atlanta isn't Silicon Valley, but Michael says, today, it doesn't really matter where you are...
"The climate nowadays make it such that you can launch a business anywhere," Tavani said.
In fact, he says this is a great place to start.
"Atlanta is almost like the average big city for launching our product and if it worked here, it would work everywhere," he said.
Now, a little more than two years after launching here, they're in 13 cities. Their team of three has expanded to 50.
Tavani took us on a tour of the office and introduced us to team, including the technology experts. Developers were essential since Michael didn't have tech experience. They also didn't have deep pockets, so they relied on angel funding initially.
"Which is really just a friend and family kind of round," Tavani said. "It was just an investment in us."
Since then, they've secured venture capital. In total, Tavani says they've raised two and a half million dollars.
They also get paid when customers save. Atlanta restaurant, P'cheen, on Highland Avenue is one of the many businesses that pays Scoutmob a flat fee for driving customers in the door.
"Scoutmob really does work really really well. In fact, the first time we did it, it worked too well," said Keiran Neely, the owner and manager of P'cheen. "It seems the coupon craze has just got the restaurant industry in its grip. They're going to follow the coupons so what's important is to try to work on repeat business."
There's been a flurry of start-ups offering deals, hoping to cash in on Groupon's success. But of course, not all will survive.
But Tavani is optimistic they're different enough to survive and succeed.
"We just want to keep this ride going... And stay in the game and see where that takes us," Tavani said.
Scoutmob is currently raising another round of funding to continue developing and expanding. And they're hiring. Currently, the mobile deals app wants to add three new people to its Atlanta-based team.