Atlanta’s neighbor to the north is the latest star on the map of burgeoning tech hubs in Georgia, and no, we’re not talking about the action in Alpharetta, we’re talking about Athens, y’all. While it can be hard to hear startup rumblings over the roar of “Go Dawgs” chanting, we are here to cheer for Four Athens, an unsung hero for budding tech entrepreneurs.
Since 2011, Four Athens has pumped education, mentorship, resources, and funding into the veins of entrepreneurs – and their latest initiative, the Athens Talent Partnership, will augment their expanding community by streamlining local talent into thriving startup companies. We recently caught up with the Director of Community Outreach & Marketing, Tamara Neff, to find out how they’re fostering Athens into a vibrant tech ecosystem.
“At our core, we support startup entrepreneurs and create opportunities for them to be successful – to bring their ideas from the back of a napkin to the masses,” stated Neff.
While Four Athens primarily focuses on tech-related businesses, they also have a hand in supporting product development companies. Not only does the incubator offer co-working space at their base location, but they also secure offices in the downtown area which they offer to startups at an affordable price. This, coupled with their education and programming to help decrease the widening gap between available talent and the growing need for geeks in the technology market, has created a more robust Athens community.
“Over the past four years, we have focused on building a core community of startup entrepreneurs. We’ve seen a lot of energy, interest, and investment from folks who have founded and successfully built a startup in Athens – and so their energy, interest, and investment continues to grow.”
Though the nonprofit has several years of success under their belt they hope to grow a notch or two more, which is where the Athens Talent Partnership fits in. The initiative includes four startups fostered out of Four Athens – RoundSphere, Peachtree Medical Billing, Partner Software, and Docebo, NA – who will participate in regional outreach efforts to attract professionals, disseminate best practices on hiring and retention, and create a pipeline that flows senior management talent into local startups.
“Ultimately, we want people to recognize that Athens is a great community to grow their startup into a business. It’s not an easy road, but it is a satisfying road when you get to build a company around an idea you’re passionate about. It takes an immense amount of strength and dedication to ride the crazy startup rollercoaster, and we are here to help entrepreneurs through it.”
Stay in-the-know on all the latest news and events happening at Four Athens by following them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. And make sure you check out the forthcoming activities during Athens Startup Week, March 28-April 1.