Six weeks before ten startups are transformed through Techstars Atlanta, the new program activation of the global accelerator, Techstars, Michael Cohn, managing director, and Tyler Scriven, director, are still wrapping up interviews and invitations to the first cohort. Their energy is palpable, reverberating within the glistening new space located in Ponce City Market, an emerging tech scene for companies like MailChimp, Twitter, Google, General Assembly, and Cardlytics.
Techstars Atlanta offers early-stage companies three months to accelerate their businesses through expertise, funding and office space at their new digs. The annual program is made possible through a partnership with Cox Enterprises.
“I’m so thrilled with how the space came out,” Cohn says. “Cox wanted to put on, first and foremost, a world-class accelerator and they looked for space around town that was at that level. They settled on Ponce City Market — arguably the hottest building in Atlanta. Cox identified the location by what’s going to be attractive to people in Atlanta and what’s going to be attractive to folks coming from other cities.”
As for the requirements for the space, Cohn explained that “Techstars has had the benefit of running 800 companies since it started through different accelerator programs and they’ve kind of figure out what the space requirements are. In working with Cox, they said we’re going to need modular space for anywhere from 10-14 companies and in our first year, we’re going to take 10 companies.”
The open layout with multiple desks spread out throughout the space inspire conversation and collaboration. Multiple conference rooms equipped with AV are offered to the participating companies to hold their meetings and calls in private during the accelerator. “Plenty of space for the companies to get out of the public co-working space and into a room for internal collaborations,” Cohn says. Nearby, a ping pong table encourages a quick break.
Aside from being a space for the accelerator, Techstars Atlanta will also host events for the cohort and community talks, serve as a pit stop for Techstars alums in need of space, and possibly running other programs, including Startup Week.
“As far as our class is concerned, my hope and dream is that every one of these companies raises a substantial amount of capital that provides them the runway that they need to build a big business. The true measurement of success is what these companies turn out to be,” Cohn says about the upcoming classes.
Here, Cohn gives us a quick tour of the accelerator space as it gets ready to welcome the first cohort in August.