Ga. Tech launches world-class technology incubator


The next Facebook, Amazon or mobile device phenomenon like the iPhone could start in Atlanta thanks to a new venture capital collaboration between the city, Georgia Tech and 10 of the metro area’s largest corporations.

To get more tech investment in Atlanta and to continue the city’s recent rise as a technology leader, the group launched a venture fund Thursday dubbed Engage. It’s purpose is to lure start ups looking for a place to incubate the Twitter or Instagram of tomorrow.

It’s a big deal for the city because investors who throw millions at the next big thing haven’t dumped a lot of that money in Atlanta, boosters say. Seeing compnaies like Delta Air Lines and The Home Depot putting in $1.5 million each to help back start ups will change the conversation.

“Venture capital is a challenge that we have,” said Georga Tech President G. P. “Bud” Peterson. “But we have 10 companies that are very interested in the opportunities and innovations that can be incorporated into their businesses or that they can help grow. Showing that kind of engagement from the Fortune 500 will attract the venture capital community.”

Thursday’s announcement is a jewel in Georgia Tech’s crown and also bolsters Atlanta and Georgia’s position in the national tech stratosphere.

In the past year, Anthem, Honeywell, NCR and GE Digital have announced major tech hubs in the city of Atlanta that will bring thousands of high-paying jobs in the coming years.

In particular, Midtown has emerged since the Great Recession as the Atlanta region’s technology boomtown. NCR in recent years announced it would relocate from Gwinnett County to a new headquarters at Technology Square.

The company then doubled down on that move last year when it announced its tech hub and second phase of development. The company will ultimately have more than 5,000 workers in Midtown.

Other prominent names that have built new innovation labs or made corporate expansions near Georgia Tech include Equifax, Southern Company, Panasonic, Sage Software and AT&T. Coca-Cola and Turner Broadcasting teamed up in late

2015 to back start ups that could bring potential innovations to both companies.

Calling Atlanta the “southeast’s technology, innovation and entrepreneurship capital,” Mayor Kasim Reed said in a statement, ““We must take advantage of these unique assets to further stimulate our growing ecosystem of start-ups and growth-stage companies, connecting them to capital, talent and mentorship.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

THE LATEST: Woman found dead in Atlanta street had been shot multiple times
THE LATEST: Woman found dead in Atlanta street had been shot multiple times

A 20-year-old woman was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds in the middle of a northwest Atlanta street, police said. The body of the unidentified woman was discovered Thursday morning in the 1700 block of Hortense Place, Atlanta police Capt. Reginald Moorman said. Officers responded about 7:15 a.m. to a report of a person being down and shots...
On the last day of summer, a code orange smog alert
On the last day of summer, a code orange smog alert

Today: A few showers. High: 89 Tonight: Partly cloudy. Low: 69 Tomorrow: Showers possible. High: 85 Never mind that fall starts Friday. Metro Atlanta is expected to see the kind of heat Thursday that can trigger air quality issues. A code orange smog alert has already been issued, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.  The designation...
Hotel guest refuses to leave, prompts 12-hour SWAT standoff, cops say 
Hotel guest refuses to leave, prompts 12-hour SWAT standoff, cops say 

A guest’s refusal to leave triggered a 12-hour SWAT standoff at a Gwinnett County extended stay hotel, police said. The incident started Wednesday afternoon at the Araamda Inn in the 5900 block of Oakbrook Parkway. Marvin Fernandez, 39, asked to return to his room to retrieve his belongings after the staff told him he was trespassing, police...
AJC Watchdog: Keep a close eye on Irma disaster aid
AJC Watchdog: Keep a close eye on Irma disaster aid

Disasters assistance experts have fanned out across Georgia to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Irma, the next step in freeing up millions of dollars in federal aid. Some of the heaviest damage is in Glynn County , where last week Irma flooded the streets of Brunswick and St. Simons Island, leaving a huge mess in its...
6 cars involved in crash on I-20 West in DeKalb
6 cars involved in crash on I-20 West in DeKalb

Six cars were involved in a crash on I-20 West in DeKalb County early Thursday, police said. No one was killed in the incident, DeKalb police Lt. Lonzy Robertson said. Westbound lanes at Panola Road were temporarily closed. Though the interstate reopened just before 7 a.m., there were big delays for hours, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic...
More Stories