Atlanta Startup Spotlight: Punchlist

Metro Atlanta was ranked among the top 3 Startup Ecosystems in the United States. As Online Optimism’s Business Development Strategist in Atlanta, I want to shed light on the incredible startups based in the city through Startup Spotlight. In this monthly blog series, we will put the spotlight on an Atlanta-based startup, sharing their mission, breakthrough moments, and impact. We want to acknowledge the incredible founders of these startups for their hard work and dedication in their entrepreneurial journeys. If you know of a startup that should be featured in our #StartupSpotlight for 2022, reach out via our contact page and we’ll consider them for this series.


Organization: Punchlist

Founder: Pete Bernardo

Career/ Area of Study: UX/UI Design, Web Development

Book Rec: The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick




I was first introduced to the founder of Punchlist through Atlanta Startup Village, a pitch competition at Atlanta Tech Village. Pete was one of five incredible entrepreneurs presenting their startup that evening. After listening to his pitch, I knew that Punchlist could make the lives of project managers and web designers a lot easier.  


Here’s how it works: you create a project by uploading a piece of digital content—that can be a PDF, image, video, website URL, or even a GIF—to the site. Punchlist then creates an annotative layer on that digital content for you (and others) to edit. Your team can leave feedback over the annotation later, attach other media files where you left comments, and assign tasks to others within the same project. Users can share and work from the same project by using a unique URL link that Punchlist creates. 

Although I initially saw the value of Punchlist for annotating websites, Pete notes that his software has been used for projects he’d never imagined—one being for a university photography class’ group project where they analyzed photos from the 1930s, another being for a Dutch astrologist who used Punchlist to help him map out the stars. The possibilities with this platform are endless. 


From the beginning, Punchlist was designed to bridge the communication gap between tech experts and lay people who didn’t have the jargon to communicate their feedback accurately. The biggest challenge in developing this tool, the founder discloses, was the intimidation of taking on such a large project. Teaching yourself to code is daunting enough. However, working a full-time job in the day and teaching yourself to code by night to create a new product is all the more challenging. To manage the stress, Pete took it one task at a time, studying a tutorial video from YouTube on one screen, and applying the lesson on a second screen. Eventually, with time, patience, and feedback, Punchlist was born.

Pete credits the development of Punchlist to his support system, those who gave constructive feedback in the early stages of his software development. More recently, he also credits Techstars, an investment and innovation group that connects entrepreneurs with funding and support to create solutions across industries.


“I think to be an entrepreneur you have to be a little optimistic.”

To date, Punchlist has helped users across 6,000 projects (and counting). The startup has also added to and continues to expand their team. The end of 2021 has brought an increase in venture capital and new investors, keeping Pete optimistic about stepping into the new year.



Would You Like To Be Featured?

Fill out the contact form below and a member of our team will get back to you! As we’re committed to Build on Trust, we promise that this interview will take no more than 30 minutes of your time!