Home CommunityContributors CONTRIBUTOR THOUGHTS: Georgia’s Startup Scene Speaks for Itself — Deloitte

CONTRIBUTOR THOUGHTS: Georgia’s Startup Scene Speaks for Itself — Deloitte

by Ed Heys

As we look towards closing out 2022, it’s becoming increasingly evident that Atlanta has solidified itself as a veritable hotbed of tech and innovation. Atlanta supports its tech community well, and we’ve seen a number of innovative companies producing a range of products and offerings this year. 

We’re referring to the strong showing of Atlanta-area companies on Deloitte’s new Technology Fast 500 List, which recognizes the country’s most innovative public and private technology firms. The list, now in its 28th year, showcases the fastest-growing North American companies in the technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, fintech, and energy tech sectors.

Georgia has 18 companies on the list, a number that ranks the state sixth in the country, preceded only by California, New York, Massachusetts, Texas, and Washington. Four of Georgia’s companies are unicorns, valued at least $1 billion. 

On the list: Neighborhood security company Flock Safety; mobile testing platform Kobiton; warehousing and distribution company Stord; fantasy sports firm PrizePicks; online food ordering site Popmenu; fintech firm Splitit; mobile forensic devices company Grayshift; email security platform Ironscales; online scheduler Calendly; medical software company Florence Healthcare; Microsoft 365 management company CoreView; healthcare tech company Centegix; digital intelligence system FullStory; fintech firm LeaseQuery; media company PlayOn! Sports; personal-loans company LendingPoint; sales-engagement platform Salesloft; and fitness app Wahoo Fitness are the companies on the list.

The unicorns? Flock Safety, Calendly, SalesLoft, FullStory, and Stord. 

The Atlanta tech ecosystem has prospered in recent years. Among local incubators are the Advanced Technology Development Center, an incubator for tech startups, Atlanta Tech Village, which nurtures tech startups, and tech accelerator Endeavor Atlanta. Research and intellectual support emanate from the powerhouse trio of higher education: Emory University, Georgia Tech, and Morehouse College. And thousands flock to the city each year to attend two tech-focused conferences – VC Atlanta and the invitation-only Pitch Atlanta. 

Further, an ample workforce supports tech in the city. As of 2020, Atlanta had the ninth-largest tech labor pool, with close to 150,000 employees. The state’s unemployment rate as of October 2022 is 2.8%, compared with the national average of 3.5%. Jobs in metro Atlanta (including Sandy Springs and Roswell) leaped by 150,400 in August 2022 over the prior August, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.  Professional and business-services jobs grew by 7.5%, compared with 5.0% nationally, according to BLS data. As a result, this flourishing job scene continues to attract high-quality workers to the area. 

So do the financial benefits of living in Georgia. The cost of living is 4.2% lower than the national average, and tech jobs, namely software development engineers and Java developers, pay an average of $91,206 a year, $3,000 more than the national average, according to data compiled by Atlanta-based search firm ImpactSearch.

Finally, there’s our quality of life. Atlanta tops Money magazine’s 2022 list of the 50 best places to live in the United States. The magazine extols the city’s rich cultural landscape, sports scene, culinary offerings, and colleges and universities – in addition to the financial benefits detailed above. 

Incubators and accelerators, higher education, quality of life, people-friendly finances: It adds up to a big “yes” when considering Georgia’s rising star in the national tech community. This star is poised to become only bigger and brighter. 


About the author: Ed Heys is the Atlanta and Birmingham Managing Partner, Deloitte LLP and Robert Kerr, Audit and Advisory Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP.

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Featured Photo by Marianna Smiley on Unsplash


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