Atlanta’s International Startup Exchange Program Opens Applications

atlanta international startup exchange

Pack your bags! The second Atlanta International Startup Exchange program, hosted by The Mayor’s Office of International Affairs and Invest Atlanta, is now accepting applications for this year’s exchange residency.

“2016 was incredibly successful,” says Sam Adams, Manager of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Invest Atlanta. “Of the four companies involved — the two Atlanta companies, one was acquired by Amazon and the other one received a $1M NSF grant and has gone on to make a significant capital raise. While the two French companies, one is looking to open up their North American headquarters here in 2018 and the other one has two potential pilots with a Fortune 100 here in town.”

This one-week international residency program gives the chance for four Atlanta startups to travel to Toulouse, France or the United Kingdom to test their product, make connections, and expand their global presence.

“We were able to get fantastic companies as part of the exchange and they have all gone on to see greater success in the last year,” says Adams. “This was something we wanted to run again, but also expand. This year, not only are we going to Toulouse, France, we are also going to the U.K. For France, we will continue our focus on the aerospace sector as they are the home base for Airbus. For the U.K., we’re looking at smart cities, Fintech and cybersecurity.”

The residency covers all costs including airfare, accommodations, dedicated co-working space and ground transportation for one startup representative.

As part of the exchange, four startups from Toulouse and the U.K. will come over to Atlanta and participate in Atlanta Cyber Week or Venture Atlanta in October, both of which will expose them to top investors from around the country. During their stay the startups will connect with local business leaders, investors, potential clients and customers, attend international conference and of course, engage with the local tech ecosystem.

Last year’s inaugural edition of the the Atlanta International Startup Exchange program sent startups Carbice and Partpic to Toulouse while our city hosted French companies Uwinloc and Donecle. These international startup executives worked out of the Garage at Tech Square and attended events like  Techstars Atlanta Demo Day, the 2016 Venture Atlanta conference, and a special Aviation Innovation Demo Day. The exchange was so successful that the exchange program was awarded Sister Cities International’s Innovation Award for Economic Development.

“This is a way to give foreign companies exposure to Atlanta and to look at the city as their jumping off point for the North American market,” says Adams. “Also, give the opportunity for Atlanta-based companies to look at an export market because we know that startups that export tend to be more stable, have higher revenue and grow faster.”

Interested? To learn more, submit an application by August 11 here.