Midtown is the undisputed king of the Atlanta seed stage startup scene with the ATDC, Hypepotamus, and Georgia Tech (see Rob’s post). ATDC alone has dozens of startups in the building. With the seed stage being defined as under $1M in revenue and under 10 employees, it’s especially helpful to be in an area with great startup density. As startups grow from the seed stage to the early stage (10 or more employees with $1M or more in revenue), the ATDC becomes more difficult due to space constraints (there’s a waiting list for space) and the three year term limit (startups have to move out after three years) resulting in the startups that are most likely to be successful long term having to leave and move out.
Most ATDC startups that hit the early stage move north to the Buckhead, Vinings/Galleria, or Perimeter area — extremely large geographical areas with little startup density. Buckhead is the clear winner due to the central location between in-town neighborhoods and the northern suburbs. Here are some early stage and growth stage software companies in Buckhead:
Unfortunately, even with those software companies and more, there’s little serendipitous interaction as there are so many office buildings and such little walking around. Buckhead has great resources like access to interstates, train stations, restaurants, retail, and residential that it should become the heart of the early and growth stage Atlanta startup scene. This is even more true since it is centrally located to the metro area, more accessible to the northern suburbs (tech professionals eventually get married, have kids, and want an affordable house in a good school district), and more affordable than Midtown (Buckhead has many buildings with free parking).
What else? How can we make Buckhead more cohesive as an early and growth stage startup community?