More of Silicon Valley is moving to Georgia. Plug and Play Tech Center, the world’s largest innovation platform, is “plugging” into the Atlanta and Savannah ecosystems to expand the startup and corporate innovation landscape.
Both cities are a natural fit for the Bay Area-based center that is a hybrid corporate innovation consultancy, startup accelerator, and venture capital firm, said Senior Director Nate Hinman. The team is already connected with many of Atlanta’s Fortune 1000 offices, but they will work to bring other corporate players into the city as well.
Some of Plug and Play’s current corporate partners are across fintech, insurtech, IoT, transportation and mobility, healthcare, retail, supply chain, travel, and other tech verticals.
Currently, Jessica Vargas serves as Director of Corporate Partnerships and is the only representative for Plug and Play in Atlanta. The team will start hiring soon ahead of their Q1 or Q2 2023 Atlanta office launch.
Vargas told Hypepotamus that she is focused on “getting her feet wet and learning the ecosystem.”
Plugging In To Georgia
Plug and Play has wasted no time getting involved in the local tech ecosystem. It was a partner for the recent Spark by Go Studio Startup Demo Day, which took place in August in Atlanta. The Demo Day brought together startups working on the ‘future of retail,’ including local ventures like Dorabot, Speedchain, and Ware.
Over in Savannah, Plug and Play is making waves in the last-mile delivery and supply chain space. It just announced its first cohort for the accelerator program out of its Savannah office. The program is running with The Savannah Logistics Innovation Center (SLIC), a public-private partnership led by Georgia Southern University and the Savannah Economic Development Authority.
The accelerator is in partnership with Foram, the Georgia Department of Transportation, Georgia Ports Authority, Georgia Power, Georgia Southern University, Maersk, the Savannah Economic Development Authority, Savannah State University and Savannah Technical College.
“Modern ports like Savannah are very efficient at the mechanics and information systems involved in moving cargo on-and-off terminal,” said Griff Lynch, Executive Director of the Georgia Ports Authority, in a written statement. “We are thrilled to see where the accelerator program takes this inaugural group of startups and the ways in which our systems and processes improve because of the solutions they discover.”
Meet The First Cohort
The Southeast’s supply chain scene is well-represented in the first cohort, with the following startups joining:
CASI (Atlanta, Georgia) – Relays workforce shift changes and announcements between a management dashboard and the tolls that employees already have in place like text messaging and email.
QUALLE (Nashville, Tennessee): Software that helps with container triangulation to match import containers with exporters’ demand.
REALLY VIRTUAL (Savannah, Georgia): A unique workforce development platform that manufactures a scalable, cost-efficient and immersive forklift training simulator called the Real-Forklift Premium.
REPOWR (Birmingham, Alabama): An open marketplace and community of private networks that allows logistics companies to lease and share assets in a single, integrated platform.
SLIP ROBOTICS (Atlanta, Georgia): A solution that provides a frictionless robotic implementation while solving the biggest challenges faced in the trailer loading and unloading process.
SPLICE (Norfolk, Virginia): A low-code automation platform connecting logistics and supply chain applications across customers and partners, automating workflows through a cloud-based environment.
Other startups joining the cohort include AWAKE.AI (Turku, Finland), DATCH (San Francisco, California), DRAY ALLIANCE (Long Beach, California), EINRIDE (Stockholm, Sweden), TIVE (Boston, Massachusetts), and RIDE-N-DOCK.
Startups in Plug and Play’s various accelerators do not give up any equity to participate and are from across various growth stages. The center currently has other accelerators for AgTech, animal health, energy, brand & retail, enterprise tech, fintech, and food/beverage startups.