Earlier today I gave a tour of the Atlanta Tech Village to a group of CMOs from large companies in Atlanta. Naturally, the CMOs asked a number of great questions as we walked around the community. After finishing the tour, I realized I needed to write down the most frequently asked questions. Here we go:
- Is there an equity component to being a member of the Village?
No, we want to keep the model simple and attract the best entrepreneurs possible. An equity component would discourage previously successful entrepreneurs as well as entrepreneurs that already have a successful startup (we stay away from the word incubator for this reason).
- Do entrepreneurs have to sign a lease?
No, the model is to pre-pay per desk per month with a 30-day notice to cancel. Everything is furnished and turn-key so that entrepreneurs can show up with a laptop and be immediately productive.
- Is there a period of time entrepreneurs are allowed to stay before being asked to leave?
No, right now entrepreneurs can stay as long as they continue meeting the core values. This might change in the future but we don’t have any plans.
- What’s the turnover like on an annual basis?
We haven’t been open long enough to know what the churn will be but we’re guessing 20% per year (so, with 200 startups, 40 startups will come and go each year).
- Are back office services provided as part of the model?
No, we believe back office services like accounting, payroll, and others are best provided by experts that specialize in the area. There are a number of great service providers locally and online that have extensive startup experience.
- How does having free beer on tap for Villagers work?
Great! Seriously, we haven’t had any issues so far, and as long as we don’t sell it, we don’t need a liquor license.
- Have you had to kick out any Villagers yet?
Yes, we’ve had to kick out a few Villagers for not meeting our core values. Luckily, it’s been a very small number.
- What are some of the biggest success stories at the Village?
We’ve had a number of success stories so far including BitPay, Yik Yak, Insightpool, and SalesLoft.
- What’s the goal of the Tech Village for the next 10 years?
Our goal is to help make Atlanta a top 10 city for tech startups and to create 10,000 new jobs in Metro Atlanta by way of startups that come through the Village.
- How does the Tech Village bring entrepreneurs together?
We put on a number of events and programs like Startup Chowdown, Atlanta Startup Village, monthly roundtables, happy hours, workshops, panels, and more. Bringing together like-minded people so that they can help each other out is one of the most important aspects of the Tech Village.
I’ve had the opportunity to answer these questions hundreds of time and they never get old. I love sharing the Atlanta Tech Village story and lessons learned.
What else? What are some other frequently asked questions about the Atlanta Tech Village?