Hype’s Top 12 Tech Stories of 2018


 How We Work: Accenture’s Southeast Lead Wants to Hire ‘Storytellers’

Jimmy Etheredge, senior managing director of Accenture’s U.S. Southeast region, oversees an area that stretches from Puerto Rico to New Orleans to Washington D.C. One of his major projects this year was the launch of the consulting firm’s newest Innovation Center in Atlanta. He details the kind of employees that he’s looking for and why he places an emphasis on being involved in the local community. The Innovation Center opened this month in Tech Square.  Meet Jimmy here.


Atlanta Music Exec Bernard Parks Has Launched His First Tech Startup to Tackle Construction Deliveries

Bernard Parks, Jr., Parks, a long-time music executive who was instrumental in shaping the careers of legendary hip hop groups like Goodie Mob and the Dungeon Family, entered the tech startup world with TommyRun, a mobile platform that facilitates the delivery of construction materials straight to home building sites. Since we covered them, the startup joined and graduated the Techstars Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator in Austin. Get the scoop delivered here.


Home Building Startup New Story Unveils 3D-Printed House At SXSW to Shelter the Developing World

New Story, an Atlanta-born startup non-profit that builds homes for families in developing nations, has always been on the hunt for technology that can do good for those they serve. They made a big splash at this year’s SXSW when they unveiled a 3D-printed home that was constructed in less than 24 hours — and cost $4,000. Fun fact: their partner ICON, an Austin-based 3D construction technology startup, was accepted into the Engage program in Atlanta a few months later. Check it out here.


Hacking the Enterprise: 5 Reasons Your Corporate Innovation Strategy Will Fail

Carie Davis, corporate innovator extraordinaire, would like to welcome you to the exciting, rewarding, and sometimes-exacerbating jungle of corporate intrapreneurship. She shares the five most common missteps made when trying to take an abstract idea and create real change. Hack it here.


Georgia State’s eSports Program Helps Students Tap Into This $900M Industry

Higher education — the purview of philosophers and mathematicians… right? Not at Georgia State, where their eSports program is helping students tap into a career in an industry projected to grow to more than $900 million in revenue next year. It’s not just gamers, either, with concentrations in shoutcasting, social media marketing and tournament planning. Level up and check it out.


Real Estate Unicorn Opendoor Hires Atlanta Lead For Its First Non-California Engineering Hub

Opendoor Atlanta

When real estate tech unicorn Opendoor was looking for a leader to build a team in its first non-California engineering office, they wanted someone who understood the value of a product that could really improve people’s lives. They found her in Atlee Breland, a former engineering lead at Career Builder. Breland told us about her human touch approach to interviewing, where she looks for not just technical skills, but qualities like “are you humble and are you curious?” An additional $400 million funding round since this interview means that Opendoor will be growing its Atlanta office even more in 2019. Get more Atlee gems here.


Daimler’s Lab1886 Innovation Hub Opens in Atlanta With A New CEO and Volocopter Display


Not every new office opens with visits from the Governor, Mayor, technology evangelist Guy Kawasaki, and a and a fully-electric, autonomous flying volocopter. But Lab1886, Daimler AG’s innovation hub, does. At the official opening of the innovation hub, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz also introduced Lab1886 Atlanta’s new lead, design veteran Paul Lafata. Fly away to Lab1886.


Shaq Backs Atlanta-Based Gig Workforce Assistance Startup’s $9 Million Series A

Now, that’s an investor team. Atlanta-based Steady, a platform for gig workers to find, manage, and get paid for jobs, took in a $9 million Series A led by San Francisco-based Propel Venture Partners with participation from Omidyar Network and Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq subsequently joined the startup as an advisor and advocate. This is one you’ll want to check back in on. Shoot it like Shaq.


Intercontinental Exchange-Owned Cryptocurrency Startup Bakkt Confirms Its First Product: Bitcoin Futures

Alright, we waited for Fall to get to the crypto. In 2018, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, spun out a new startup called Bakkt to create a “global, regulated ecosystem for digital assets.” Additional partners include Microsoft, Starbucks and Boston Consulting Group, so it’s really not a group of folks accustomed to being wrong about the market. Kelly Loeffler, ICE’s head of digital assets and now-CEO of Bakkt, announced that its first product will be Bitcoin futures contracts, set to open for sale in 2019. Go crypto-crazy here.


Airbus Aerial Takes to the Skies to Aid Hurricane Michael Disaster Efforts

airbus aerial

This one takes the cake for the feel-good tech story of the year. After Hurricane Michael, the third-strongest storm to ever hit the U.S., slammed into the Southeast this year, Atlanta-based drone company Airbus Aerial worked around-the-clock helping FEMA and other disaster organizations evaluate and mitigate damage. They did this with an arsenal of drones, camera-enabled manned planes and observation satellites collecting real-time information through their cloud-based interface. That information could be sent to government agencies, insurance companies and utilities to help them know where to go first. Skies are cleaning up.


IBM’s Atlanta Team Designs Mobile Cybersecurity Training Simulator In An 18-Wheeler

“You can bring in a group of corporate executives or security team and basically run them through what their worst day at work is going to feel like.” Sound fun? Now, try putting the whole operation in one giant truck. IBM’s X-Force Command Cyber Tactical Operations Center is the first mobile cybersecurity training unit, part of IBM Security’s $200M+ investment to aid clients on their ability to respond to cybersecurity incidents. Drive away with all that knowledge.


With Support From The Home Depot, Women Who Code Moves Global HQ From San Francisco to Atlanta

women who code

In a great piece of news to close out the year, Women Who Code (WWC), the largest organization supporting career women in technology, moved its global headquarters from San Francisco to Atlanta on the heels of a major partnership announcement with The Home Depot. The non-profit’s new office in Midtown Atlanta will be the site from which they launch several new “learning communities” and other initiatives to support a gender-equal technology industry. Let’s get behind that.

That’s a wrap for 2018! Hype will be back next year with all the tech and startup goodies (and a few bad puns) you need.