By Péralte C. Paul
Following a year of planning, brainstorming, design reviews, and construction, the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) unveiled its redesigned space March 23 with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
ATDC is Georgia Tech’s statewide incubator and works with entrepreneurs in the technology space who want to build successful startups in the Peach State. Launched in 1980, ATDC is one of the longest-running and largest university-based startup incubators in the country. Though headquartered at the Century Building in Midtown Atlanta’s Technology Square, ATDC operates programs across the state, including in Savannah, Augusta, and Athens.
“We had a lot of discussions at ATDC about how best to meet our startups’ needs and make this floor more conducive to the innovation and collaboration atmosphere we have here in the Tech Square community,” said Christopher Downing, interim vice president of Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), the Georgia Tech unit that includes its core economic development initiatives, including ATDC.
“The changes you see around you are a result of those discussions and are designed not only to enhance what we do every day, but also to keep to our mission of working with entrepreneurs to help them build and launch successful technology companies right here in Georgia.”
Several members of the Georgia House of Representatives’ Small Business Development Committee, including Reps. Dar’shun Kendrick and Doreen Carter, attended the ceremony, as well as Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who said ATDC is a key part of the city’s efforts to let those in the technology space know that Atlanta is a city of innovation and the place to launch transformative companies.
“I’m here to congratulate you and let you know that you have a partner in the city,” Reed said.
The renovations — which were done through a refinancing of bonds and at no cost to taxpayers — address growing demands for ATDC’S services from its companies and the greater entrepreneurial community. Key highlights include a new lobby, additional seed space and meeting offices, and a new classroom for ATDC classes that also is open and available for free in the evenings to technology entrepreneurs and organizations related to tech startups. Additional changes include a reconfigured library for entrepreneurs’ use as a communal space in which to collaborate and brainstorm.
“Since its opening in 2003, Tech Square has become the hub of innovation and new ideas in metro Atlanta and in the greater Southeast. With that being the case, there is no more fitting home for ATDC’s home base than right here in Tech Square,” said Stephen E. Cross, executive vice president for research. “ATDC’s presence here and its ongoing impact for entrepreneurs across the state are critical success factors for the innovation ecosystem as a whole and to Georgia Tech as an institution.”