Officially launching today, The Startup Pledge, aims to close the gap between corporate and startup leaders in Atlanta. In an effort to ensure that the next wave of innovation happens in our region, The Pledge encourages Atlanta-based CEOs and Presidents to actively support our local startups. CEOs or Presidents of an Atlanta-based company should sign up to join the ranks of Paul Bowers from Georgia Power, Jim Hannan from Georgia Pacific, Larry Gellerstedt from Cousins Property, Kat Cole from Focus Brands, Hala Moddelmog from the Metro Atlanta Chamber, and Mayor Kasim Reed who have already taken the pledge.
It’s intriguing to see an organization take a systematic approach to combining the polar ends of the business ecosystem – greatly increasing the odds that startups will be successful. Atlanta’s concentration of Fortune 1,000 companies is time and time again touted as a major asset to the startup community, but without access it will continue to be an untapped resource. Adam Harrell, Executive Director of Startup Atlanta, has the goal to have 500 companies take the pledge by the end of the year. This could be a game-changer to our ecosystem.
- Evaluating at least one new product or service from an Atlanta-based startup in the next 90 days
- At least one senior executive from their company will seek to join the board of advisors of a local startup within the next 12 months
Here’s some inspiration from the community leaders who have already signed up:
“As corporate citizens, we have the responsibility to make the communities we serve a better place because we are here. This pledge is a way to make a tangible and immediate difference through support of one of our city’s most exciting avenues for growth.” – Georgia Power Chairman, President and CEO Paul Bowers
“As the Chief Executive of the City of Atlanta, I am proud to take this pledge to support entrepreneurship and innovation in our city. A startup company’s first pitch or first order can be the breakthrough they need to move forward. I urge executives around the region to follow suit and join us in helping further grow Atlanta’s robust startup sector.” – Mayor Kasim Reed
If you are a startup that wants to have a major company CEO on your board (who wouldn’t) then sign up to be considered.