Arguably the number one reason why Atlanta is great for startups is the Georgia Institute of Technology. If you didn’t already know, Georgia Tech is a force nationally as it is ranked in the top five of engineering schools. I’ve hired many software engineers from Georgia Tech over the years and almost all of them have been excellent in their programming abilities.
In addition to the technical talent from Georgia Tech, the school also has a business school that has risen significantly in the rankings, and is now ranked in the top 25 nationally. Now, of course, rankings aren’t everything, but the rankings do help with recruiting. Georgia Tech has a surprisingly high number of out of state students, and thus acts as draw to bring smart people from all over the country to Atlanta. I can think of three developers alone that work for me that moved to Atlanta to attend Georgia Tech from out of state, and naturally they stayed after graduation.
Georgia Tech is a major advantage for startups in Atlanta.