Atlanta’s Startup Ecosystem Bans Together For Engage
Atlanta has had a thriving startup scene for the last five years. They’ve got ATDC, Tech Village, Hypepotamus, Georgia Tech, Emoray and many other resources for area entrepreneurs. They hold meetups, conferences, Ted Talks and Startup Grinds. Atlanta, rich in diversity and industry, is doing it right.
In adding to that, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and 10 Atlanta based companies announced the launch of Engage, a new accelerator program.
Engage will be a 12 week immersive startup accelerator program. They are looking to attract up to 40 startups for mentorship, business training, investment preparation, business plan modeling, startup growth lessons and more. ATDC (Advanced Technology Development Center) will provide the education and the program. The Engage Accelerator will be housed at Georgia Tech’s TechSquare. While startups don’t have to be from Atlanta, they must be present in Atlanta for the program.
“Atlanta is the Southeast’s technology, innovation and entrepreneurship capital, with the third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the country,” Mayor Reed said. “We must take advantage of these unique assets to further stimulate our growing ecosystem of startups and growth-stage companies, connecting them to capital, talent and mentorship.
“This new venture fund and accelerator program will offer an unmatched opportunity for entrepreneurs in Atlanta and the region, and I am confident its success will lead to greater interest and investment in our emerging technology companies.”
The idea for the program stemmed from a 2013 trip Mayor Reed took to Silicon Valley. Atlanta is reach with startup and entrepreneurial resources. Chik Fil A, AT&T, Georgia Pacific, Coca Cola and many other Fortune 500 companies call Atlanta home.
In addition to the flagship participating companies, Tech Square, and the ATDC, Reed has called on the Atlanta Committee for Progress (ACP) to support the effort. Startups participating in Engage will have access to those Atlanta based companies that participate in the ACP.
The founding members of the Engage accelerator have pledged $1.5 million dollars each to a venture fund specifically for the accelerator program. That fund will be managed by Tech Square Ventures.
“by combining mentoring from executives of Atlanta’s top companies and experienced entrepreneurs with programming from ATDC, Engage will give entrepreneurs unparalleled market access and connectivity to help them bring their ideas to market.” Blake Patton, managing director of Tech Square Ventures said.
“Engage is a unique platform to enhance Georgia Tech’s strategy to provide opportunities for large corporations to access talent and innovation in the startup ecosystem while benefitting ATDC’s mission to help entrepreneurs launch and build technology companies in Georgia,” according to Jen Bonnett, general manager of the ATDC. “Georgia Tech is a leader in corporate innovation. The Institute is home to more than a dozen corporate innovation centers.
“Georgia Tech’s Tech Square is recognized as a national leader in providing entrepreneurial opportunities and economic development. Engage will also support increased commercialization opportunities for Georgia Tech students and faculty.”
Applications will launch shortly, in the meantime you can get updates on Engage here.