In an effort to make the Atlanta Tech Village the best place for entrepreneurs to go to increase their chance of success, we’re always brainstorming ideas to make it better. One idea was “what if the Atlanta Tech Village were completely free?” Of course, it costs a million dollars a year just for things like property taxes, utilities, security, maintenance contracts, and more, not including staff salaries, to keep the building open. Absent the financial questions, here are a few things that might change:
- Stricter Entrance Criteria – The Village requires that startups have proprietary technology and meet our core values (be nice, dream big, pay it forward, and work hard/play hard). With more demand, entrance requirements could include having a working product, paying customers, or other milestones.
- Stricter Exit Criteria – Right now, there’s no timeframe on being in the Village and startups graduate out once they have a few dozen employees. The greatest need for office space is in the 2-8 person range, so startups would graduate sooner to ensure room for the smaller firms.
- Ongoing Metrics Tracking – Individual startup progress isn’t measured, so there would need to be more focus on metrics and results to ensure that startups not meeting expectations are moved out to make room for new startups to come in.
- Longer Waiting List – With no cost, demand would grow and a longer list of startups would want to be in the community.
If the Village were free, it would fundamentally change the dynamics and require more focus on results. While the Village isn’t free, we’re continuing to work hard to make it the best place for entrepreneurs to succeed.
What else? What are some other changes that would happen if the Atlanta Tech Village was free for startups?