Mark Suster has a solid new post up titled How to Kick Start Your Community’s Startup Scene. Whenever I see a post like this I always size up Atlanta relative to the recommendations. Under the “What does a city need to compete” section Mark offers five areas of focus. Here are the five areas and how Atlanta’s doing:
- Events (Grade: B+) – With a strong set of metro events like the Atlanta Startup Village Meetup, Startup Chowdown, ATDC Entrepreneurs Night, and TAG Entrepreneurs Society there are a number of great events that connect the community. Without a national event that brings outsiders to Atlanta, it’s tough to get a better grade (we have a great venture conference with Venture Atlanta).
- Co-Working Space (Grade: A) – Between ATDC at 40,000 sq. ft. and the Atlanta Tech Village at 103,000 sq. ft. Atlanta has a tremendous amount of startup-friendly office space.
- Angels & Recycled Capital (Grade: B-) – With the Atlanta Technology Angels (one of the largest and most active angel groups in the country) combined with a number of local angels, Atlanta is making great progress. It’s still extremely difficult to raise seed stage capital and there’s limited recycled capital.
- Venture Capital (Grade: B-) – There are a number of active venture firms in town including Noro-Moseley Partners, BIP Capital, Mosley Ventures, Fulcrum Equity Partners, TechOperators, and Kinetic Ventures. Even with those firms, a general guideline is that they’ll average one investment per year in Atlanta, meaning there’s only six local VC investments per year. Venture capital, and all other capital, is much more mobile now, meaning it will find the best entrepreneurs and opportunity to make money, regardless of geography. Entrepreneurs with proven metrics and a scaling business can easily raise money in Atlanta.
- Mavens & Marketing (Grade: B) – We’re working hard to spread the word about Atlanta’s great startup community, especially for bootstrapped businesses, startups for grownups, and our strong clusters (like digital marketing, internet security, logistics, mobility, financial technology, health IT, and more). Atlanta unicorns happen fairly regularly, but we can still do more to get the word out.
Atlanta’s making great progress and is well positioned to be one of the top 10 cities in the country for tech entrepreneurs.
What else? What are your thoughts on Atlanta’s grades in the competition for startups?