2016 was a strong year for the Peach State. Metro Atlanta was named among the top 19 knowledge capitals in the U.S. and Europe, producing 4,000 new jobs in mobile app development alone and fostering over 3,000 new startups, according to the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC). When looking at the state as a whole, Area Development named Georgia the top state for doing business for the third time in a row.
Hype is not surprised. From a rising FinTech industry to a large concentration of incubators and accelerators like Georgia Tech’s ATDC and Techstars Atlanta, the state is nurturing incoming and local talent and becoming the tech hub to watch.
The Chamber’s Chief Economic Development Officer, David Hartnett, shares the state’s recent accomplishments in the tech sector and how your startup can get more involved in this growth.
What are some of the recent accomplishments in the business sector?
Throughout 2016, Metro Atlanta Chamber, in collaboration with our partners at the state and local levels, has assisted multiple companies with their location or expansion needs. These corporations include powerhouses like General Electric, Honeywell, NCR and Anthem. To date, these companies have collectively created 10,489 jobs and generated $4 billion in investment in our region.
More specifically, this year, the Chamber along with our partners have helped 31 technology companies relocate or expand in the region, and these companies will collectively create 3,400 jobs over the next three years.
What are the city’s goals for the next year, in regards to the tech community?
From Atlanta’s history as a railroad town to our region’s current reputation for high-tech startups, our region continues its transformation from an industrial center to the home of tomorrow’s technology disruptors. Since 2015, more than 20 companies have invested in metro Atlanta by establishing or expanding their digital and innovation hubs, research centers and IT headquarters.
In 2017, we will continue to grow local technology companies, support entrepreneurs, and attract talent. At MAC, we specifically focus on the following industry clusters: Bioscience and Health IT, Cybersecurity, Mobility/IoT and Smart Cities, FinTech, and Supply Chain and Advanced Manufacturing. In the New Year, look for these sectors to be on display at international events, including SXSW, Money20/20, InfoSecurity Europe, GMSA Mobility Live! and more.
How can companies get more involved to boost the state’s and city’s growth even further?
One word: collaborate. We consistently hear from businesses and their consultants that a key strength for metro Atlanta is the partnership and collaboration between so many entities. When a large employer compares our area to other cities across the country, they are impressed by the partnership between state and local government, academia, the non-profit community, and the business community.
I encourage our startup ecosystem to further the great collaborations that are already in motion. These include ATDC’s FinTech program, which is powered by Worldpay; the Coca-Cola Bridge program, Techstars Atlanta, Baker-Donelson Cyber Accelerator, and WEI, a city-backed incubator for women-owned companies.
Photo via Explore Georgia