Earlier today I got a question that hasn’t come up as often as I’d like: do you really believe Atlanta can be a top 10 startup city within 10 years? The answer is an emphatic yes! Atlanta has all the natural ingredients including a large number of young professionals, a low cost of living, the largest engineering school in the country with Georgia Tech, the world’s busiest airport, and an active startup community. If Atlanta has all the ingredients, what else is happening to make Atlanta a top 10 startup city?
Here’s what’s going on in Atlanta:
- Large anchor technology companies – Atlanta has AutoTrader.com (over $1 billion in revenue) and Air Watch, which is going to IPO and have a billion dollar valuation within 24 months. More anchor technology companies results in more talent recruited to the area, more jobs, and more startups that spin-out. The seeds have already sprouted in Atlanta and full bloom is right around the corner.
- High density startup areas – Atlanta has the ATDC, Hypepotamus, and the Tech Square area in Midtown with dozens of startups. Add in the new 103,000 square feet Atlanta Tech Village with room for 75-100 companies and 400+ people and now there are two areas accessible via train that have critical startup mass necessary for serendipitous interactions.
- Early stage investment dollars – Within the past 24 months Atlanta Technology Angels has invested in 29 startups (source). Within the past 12 months three new venture funds including Moseley Ventures, Forté Ventures, and Hamilton Ventures have been formed. Just last month Cox Enterprises announced the $250 million dollar Cox Innovation Fund to incubate tech startups in Atlanta.
All the ingredients are in place and necessary advancements are under way. Atlanta will be a top 10 startup city within 10 years.
What else? What are some other reasons Atlanta will be a top 10 startup city within 10 years?