Ideas for Building Community at Atlanta Tech Village

With the new Atlanta Tech Village a reality, it’s time to start brainstorming and planning what we need to do to make it a success. The true measure of success, over a 10 year horizon, is the number of startups, tech or otherwise, that grow into real, sustainable businesses creating jobs and wealth for our community. More successful tech companies will also enhance the tech-related service providers in the Village as well as the desirability of larger tech companies to have a remote office in the building (e.g. for engineering or sales). Now that we have the end in mind, let’s backup to the present and start working on how to build community at ATV.

Community isn’t something that can be forced and will come from a number of places including serendipitous interactions (imagine how many great conversations will take place at Chipotle across the street!). Here are a few ideas to help build community at ATV:

  • Host meetups, get togethers, and conferences in the cool boardroom and awesome event space (room for up to 150 people as well as smaller options)
  • Provide an amazing training lab for teachers and training companies to teach courses (e.g. learn Ruby on Rails in 10 weeks) and do workshops (e.g. SEO 101 for entrepreneurs — a half day session) — learning with a group of peers or as a cohort is one of the best ways to build trust and relationships
  • Facilitate office hours with venture capitalists, coordinate job fairs, and “speed dating” for members of the Village to meet each other
  • Collaborate with other tech and startup organizations in town (e.g. ATDC, Flashpoint, Hypepotamus, TAG, etc)
  • Great coffee shop with tons of indoor and outdoor seating

Community is one of the most important aspects of the Atlanta Tech Village and it’ll take time to build it.

What else? What are some other ideas for building community at Atlanta Tech Village?

6 thoughts on “Ideas for Building Community at Atlanta Tech Village

  1. For B2B companies, provide a connection to the business development/research resources of established companies who might be eventual customers. Perhaps bi-monthly seminars for regional companies to share what kinds of business problems they are trying to solve.

    Not sure the best way to do it, but there needs to be a connection between the startup community and the business community. (Startup Gauntlet style)

  2. I love what you’re doing. You’ll want people to want to socialize as much as possible. Sometimes i’ve noticed that teams get so much in work-mode that they don’t interact with others. To fight this, I have always been amazed by the power of free lunch. If you have free burritos on Wednesdays, you can bet your ass that people will come out and interact with everyone else.

  3. Consider “Round Tables” exclusively for member companies of the Village. Marketing, Finance, CEO, etc. Instead of function based they could be revenue-based, or industry-based. Whatever makese sense to create an environment to encourage learning and sharing.

    It is important that these be exclusive to members of the Village and consider keeping strict criteria for membership in each specific Round Table (i.e. marketing personnel would not be allowed at the CFO Round Table, CFO’s would not be allowed at the Chief Marketing Officer Roundtable). Sensible exclusivity leads to more purposeful meetings, trust and open dialogue.

  4. Just to echo Mark Travis’ point. Atlanta is #3 in the country behind New York and Houston with 10 Fortune 500 companies. Overall, Georgia has 30 Fortune 1000 companies. Would love to see Atlanta Tech Village find a way to engage with these companies for sponsorships and customer access. All 30 of these companies have a vested interest in seeing Atlanta Tech Village and the Atlanta start-up community be wildly successful.

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