ATDC has felt like home to Alex Rhodeen for some time now. After moving to Atlanta in 2013, he found his way to the startup incubator in Midtown as he helped build up the last-mile logistics startup Kanga as its chief operating officer.
Now in 2022, Rhodeen is returning to ATDC as its new Supply Chin Catalyst, a role he sees could help foster the next generation of logistics companies in the city.
Rhodeen is stepping into the role at an interesting time for the overall supply chain industry. Atlanta was a supply chain and logistics hub long before those terms were top of mind for the average consumer going to the grocery store or buying a car. But now, he said there is even more energy around the space.
“You’re seeing discussions around bringing manufacturing back to the United States and diversifying where companies manufacture things,” he added. Rhodeen’s role within ATDC will be to spearhead growth in the local supply chain startup ecosystem and help startups tackle the next big problems in the space.
“Everyone got used to clicking a button and things showing up in 2 days. With the disruption we are seeing now, I think that has had a lot of people searching for solutions. So I expect we’ll look back six or twelve months from now and say this is the moment where a lot of great ideas in supply chain were born. And I’m excited to see what comes,” he added. “This is a vertical that has a lot of room for growth.”
While Rhodeen noted that “the ATDC portfolio at the moment does not have a lot of pure supply chain companies,” there has been some recent momentum. Verusen, a scaling startup in the materials management supply chain space, graduated from ATDC in 2021 and Rhodeen said several early-stage startups have recently joined as well.
Rhodeen’s appointment isn’t the only sign of growth in ATDC’s supply chain vertical. The Home Depot has signed on as a three-year sponsor that will create a new program focused on Supply Chain and Logistics startups (SC&L).
The new sponsorship is an extension of The Home Depot’s work overall with the local startup community.
“Our long-standing relationship with Georgia Tech is a cherished one as the ATDC will foster the next generation of technology entrepreneurs. We’re proud to support the introduction of a new vertical within the incubator program to contribute forward-thinking innovation as the Supply Chain and Logistics industry continually evolves,” said Stephanie Smith, SVP of Supply Chain at Home Depot, said in a statement.