Inaugural Tech Square Innovation Week a success

Arrested Development

Arrested Development, the Grammy Award winning band with Atlanta roots, capped off Tech Square Innovation Week with a performance in the Centergy Courtyard.

Hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors and technology enthusiasts descended upon Midtown the week of May 7, 2018 for the inaugural Tech Square Innovation Week.

 

The week, which featured more than a dozen events, including the Advanced Technology Development Center’s 2018 ATDC Startup Showcase, was designed to highlight the innovation and collaboration occurring in and around Tech Square.

 

Hosted by Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) and ATDC, Tech Square Innovation Week brought the spotlight to the different programs and resources that have converged to make Tech Square a national model of an ecosystem where business and industry, startup entrepreneurs, students, and the investment communities grow, succeed, and thrive.

 

The week included more than a dozen events ranging from FinTech South and the Atlanta Startup Battle, to the Georgia Tech Innovation Showcase and the ATDC Startup Showcase. It also included a visit from Ga. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to ATDC to mark a milestone in the incubator’s expansion and reach.

 

“Tech Square has come a long way in the past 15 years, but in many ways I think we are just getting started,” said Chris Downing, vice president and director of EI2, noting the Tech Square concept was launched in 2003.

 

“Technology is all about momentum and change and innovation and Tech Square embodies that because today, it is home to more than 100 startup companies, 22 corporate innovation centers representing Fortune 500 companies,” he said. “We have several flagship entrepreneur-focused programs including ATDC and Venturelab, as well as Engage, our newest accelerator program, and we are building the second phase of Tech Square right now with the new CODA building.”

 

See photos from the 2018 ATDC Startup Showcase and the Georgia Tech Innovation Showcase at our Facebook photo gallery.

 

ATDC’s Jen Bonnett accepts position with Savannah Economic Development Authority

Jen Bonnett headshot

Jen Bonnett is general manager of the Advanced Technology Development Center.

Jen Bonnett, general manager of Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), has been named vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship for the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA).

 

Bonnett was also named executive director of The Creative Coast, which is partly funded by SEDA, the city of Savannah, and ATDC. She will leave Georgia Tech effective June 2, said Chris Downing, vice president and director of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), Tech’s economic development unit that includes ATDC.

 

Downing said EI2 will launch a national search for new general manager and that Jane McCracken, ATDC’s assistant director, will serve as interim general manager until a permanent replacement is found.

 

“Jen has done an exceptional job for Georgia Tech and ATDC over the past six years and her leadership of ATDC during the past two years has put us in an excellent position with a very strong bench,” Downing said. “The vision she had to accelerate ATDC’s scope and impact here in metro Atlanta and across the state will continue. I am extremely pleased her new position with SEDA will allow her to help us continue to build the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Savannah.”

 

A technology entrepreneur with more than 25 years’ experience in the information technology and software development fields with a specialty in Web and mobile technologies, Bonnett joined ATDC as a community catalyst in October 2011.

 

She held that role for three years before being named assistant director of education and curriculum in October 2014. She was named acting general manager in October 2015 and named general manager in July 2016.

 

“It has been an honor to serve the state of Georgia, the Institute and our Entrepreneurs for the last six plus years,” Bonnett said. “The ATDC team is amazing and I have full confidence that they will continue to create innovative, impactful programs and meaningful connections for our companies across the state to ensure ATDC’s future success.”

 

Among her many accomplishments, Bonnett helped ATDC secure two $1 million gifts to Georgia Tech that funded the creation of a financial technology and retail technology initiatives to identify and help entrepreneurs build viable Georgia-based companies in those sectors. In 2017, the incubator served more than 2,700 entrepreneurs across the state and she more than doubled the number of companies in ATDC’s top tier portfolios to 180.

 

She played a critical role in developing the Entrepreneurs Education Series, a curriculum designed to move “concept stage” entrepreneurs from idea through to angel funding. She also is the architect of the “ATDC @” program which delivers coaching and curriculum to ATDC Entrepreneurs across the state.

 

Bonnett has served as founder or chief technology officer of a number of venture- and angel-backed firms, acting as both lead architect and growing or managing their technology teams. She and her co-founders raised more than $46 million to fund three companies.

 

An ardent supporter of diversity in technology, she also is the founder of StartupChicks, a 501c3 focused on empowering women entrepreneurs through education, community, coaching, connections, and investment. StartupChicks has touched more than 10,000 women globally through its content and events.

 

Founded in 1980 by the Georgia General Assembly, which funds it each year, ATDC is one of the longest-running and largest research university-affiliated incubators in the United States. Since its inception, ATDC has fostered innovation and economic development and has graduated more than 170 companies, which, collectively, have raised more than $3 billion in outside financing n investment financing and generating more than $12 billion in revenue in the state of Georgia.

Georgia Tech marks startup expansion milestone with visit from Lt. Governor Casey Cagle

Chris Downing (left), vice president of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, shows a new suite of offices to (from left) ATDC Assistant Director Jane McCracken, Ga. Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, and Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson. The office expansion is designed to meet growing service needs of Tech’s startup programs, ATDC, VentureLab, and CREATE-X. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

In a 2016 visit to the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle challenged the state’s tech startup incubator to double the number of resident startups it served in Atlanta and the rest of the state.

 

Two years later, ATDC — a program of the Georgia Institute of Technology — not only met the challenge, but has exceeded initial expectations, with more than 180 companies now in its Signature and Accelerate portfolios across the state.

 

The growth has led to an expansion of ATDC’s offices in Technology Square to accommodate that demand. The creation of new suites at ATDC’s second floor offices in the Centergy Building — and expansion onto the third floor — allows for the incubator to house an additional 25 resident startups.

 

Cagle was on the Tech campus in a May 8 reception to mark the milestone, visit with some ATDC startup company CEOs, get an update on the Engage venture fund and growth accelerator, and to learn more about the innovation ecosystem that also includes the Institute’s VentureLab, CREATE-X, and Flashpoint programs.

 

His visit was part of a weeklong series of events taking place during Tech Square Innovation Week, which celebrated Tech Square as a hub of ideation.

 

Ga. Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, during a visit to Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Develpment Center, discusses how technology startup entrepreneurship programs such as ATDC and VentureLab incubators are to giving new economic development opportunities to communities across Georgia. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

“Entrepreneurship is critically important to what the new economy is going to look like,” Cagle said during his visit. “I am thrilled to be with you here today and I can’t tell you how proud I am of each and every single person here. We’re just getting started and we’re going to take Georgia to even higher levels than we ever imagined, and you are the very reason for that.”

 

The expansion underscores the explosion of demand for ATDC’s services not only in Atlanta, but across the state, including Athens, Augusta, and Savannah.

 

“We were able to meet that demand in part because we received an increase in state funding — thanks to Lt. Governor Cagle’s leadership — that allowed us to increase our services and statewide reach,” said Chris Downing, vice president of the Enterprise Innovation Institute, Tech’s economic development arm whose programs include ATDC.

 

In 2017, ATDC’s portfolio companies raised $130 million in investment capital and in the in the first quarter of 2018, they attracted more than $33 million in investment dollars to the state.

 

Jane McCracken, ATDC’s assistant director, explains how the incubator’s portfolio companies raised $130 million in investment dollars in 2017 and about $33 million in the first quarter of 2018. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

“All of the ATDC’s work — the coaching, connections and community building — further establishes Georgia’s reputation a leading place for entrepreneurs and technology companies to flourish,” said Jane McCracken, ATDC’s assistant director. “That means jobs, additional funding and increased revenues, which benefit all of Georgia’s citizens.”

 

Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, who welcomed Cagle to campus, said ATDC’s success is just one of the many successful components in the Institute’s technology startup support.

 

Other programs include CREATE-X, a faculty-led initiative that helps students pursue entrepreneurial opportunities.

 

VentureLab collaborates with Institute faculty and students to create startups based on Tech research. Flashpoint is a startup accelerator, and Engage is an independent, early-stage venture fund and growth program.

 

The additional office spaces will allow for greater collaboration and partnership between ATDC, VentureLab and CREATE-X.

 

Keith McGreggor (left), director of Georgia Tech’s VentureLab program, gives Ga. Lt. Governor Casey Cagle an overview of the incubator and explains how its companies raised $125 million in investment dollars in 2017. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

 

“This success all around Tech Square has been possible largely due to state support, and the lieutenant governor’s vision for fostering innovation in the state,” Peterson said.

 

“Thanks to increased state funding to ATDC and establishment of the Invest Georgia fund, we can continue to foster home-grown innovation. We are dedicated to helping keep these entrepreneurs in Georgia.”

Tech Square Innovation Week Coming to Midtown Atlanta in May

Weeklong events from May 7-10 to shine spotlight on innovation ecosystem and feature open houses, tech summits, block party and 32nd annual ATDC Startup Showcase.

 

Tech Square

The area around the intersection of Spring and 5th streets is a hotbed of technology startups, research, and economic development.

Technology Square is abuzz with the activity of startups, corporate innovation, and disruptive research, as well as outstanding student talent from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

 

For one week in spring 2018 — May 7-10 — the Tech Square neighborhood and the components that make it one of the nation’s most successful ecosystems of ideation and disruption will be on display as part of Tech Square Innovation Week.

 

The Georgia Institute of Technology’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) and its Enterprise Innovation Institute are the hosts of Tech Square Innovation Week.

 

“With this week, we and our partners really wanted to show all the various components that make Tech Square the vibrant innovation ecosystem that it is,” said Jen Bonnett, ATDC general manager.

 

“Tech Square is a national model of economic development, ideation, and technology disruption. With Tech Square Innovation Week, this is the opportunity for visitors and event attendees to see how and why we’re succeeding and possibly join to continue that momentum.”

 

The week’s events include a “portfolio night” at Engage, the private startup accelerator and venture fund owned and operated by its 10 founding companies, the Georgia Tech Innovation Showcase of up-and-coming research ideas Georgia Tech students and faculty have developed, and the Atlanta Startup Battle at Tech Square Labs, with $100,000 at stake.

 

Tech Square Innovation Week also includes the Technology Association of Georgia’s FinTech South 2018, a two-day summit focused on the latest trends in the financial technology sector, and the ATDC RetailTech Summit, which will explore technological disruptions and opportunities in that sector.

 

Tech Square Innovation Week will culminate with the 2018 ATDC Startup Showcase on May 10 at the Georgia Tech Academy of Medicine and the Renaissance Atlanta Midtown Hotel.

 

Now in its 32nd year, the ATDC Startup Showcase is Georgia’s largest spring startup confab. The event, which draws nearly 1,000 attendees, features more than 80 of disruptive technology companies from the state of Georgia.

 

About Tech Square Innovation Week:

Tech Square Innovation Week — May 7 through May 10, 2018 — is a weeklong celebration that highlights and celebrates different components that combined, make Technology Square in Atlanta’s Midtown neighborhood, a national economic development model that entrepreneurship, disruption, research, corporate partnerships and investment. For more information, please visit techsquareinnovates.com.

 

About the Advanced Technology Development Center:

The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), a program of the Georgia Institute of Technology, is the state of Georgia’s technology startup incubator. Founded in 1980 by the Georgia General Assembly which funds it each year, ATDC’s mission is to work with entrepreneurs in Georgia to help them learn, launch, scale, and succeed in the creation of viable, disruptive technology companies. Since its founding, ATDC has grown to become one of the longest running and most successful university-affiliated incubators in the United States, with its graduate startup companies raising $3 billion in investment financing and generating more than $12 billion in revenue in the state of Georgia. To learn more, visit atdc.org.

More startups join Engage

Kell Canty headshot verady

Kell Canty is CEO and co-founder of Verady, one of eight startups in Engage’s spring 2018 cohort. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Eight additional technology startups will go through an early stage venture fund created by Georgia Tech and 10 leading global corporations.

 

The Engage Ventures growth program differs from other accelerators in that it targets later stage companies and helps them develop and execute go-to-market strategies.

 

“Bringing top executives from our corporate partners together with founders of high-growth companies to focus on go-to-market has unlocked immense value,” said Thiago Olson, managing director of Engage Ventures. “We’re humbled by the talent pulled together this spring.”

 

The three-month program brings the startups to Georgia Tech’s Technology Square.

 

Sean Henry speaking

Sean Henry is CEO and co-founder of STORD, a startup in Engage’s spring 2018 cohort. Inc.com named him one of the Global Top 50 Emerging Entrepreneurs of 2017 and America’s Top 30 Emerging Startups of 2017. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Companies in the spring cohort are pioneering technologies spanning from autonomous flight to artificial intelligence to blockchain, Olson said. To date, this group of companies join Engage with average annual revenue of $1 million and an average of more than $3.5 million in venture funding.

 

Half of the startups have Georgia Tech connections. Three are current portfolio companies in Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) and a fourth participated in CREATE-X, a series of entrepreneurship programs for undergraduate students.

 

Meet the companies (one is in stealth mode):

  • Dev/Con: The cyber security company works with media and agencies to detect and prevent advertising fraud. The company is part of the ATDC Signature portfolio.
  • Homee: The company offers an on-demand, home servicing app that provides instant access to handymen, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing providers.
  • Intriono: A FinTech marketplace with access to more than 200 financial data feeds that cover 350,000 global securities.
  • PRYON: This company developed an AI platform with the accuracy and security features necessary for enterprise applications.
  • STORD: A real-time global warehousing network that connects independent, third-party warehouses via an enterprise software platform to drive inventory efficiency. This company participated in Georgia Tech’s CREATE-X.
  • ThingTech: An IoT service platform that connect assets, fleets, heavy equipment, sensors, machines and mobile workforces in real-time. The company is part of the ATDC Signature portfolio.
  • Verady: This company combines blockchain and industry thought leadership to bring accounting and audit technology to cryptocurrencies. The company is part of the ATDC Accelerate portfolio.

 

Josh Summit

Josh Summit is chief technology officer of Dev/Con. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

The startups are the second cohort to go through the program. The first group completed the program in the fall.

 

This current portfolio builds on the success of Engage’s fall 2017 program. “Investing with Engage has allowed us to tap the latest in disruptive technologies and look for potential collaborations with our own digital transformation efforts,” said Christian Fischer, president and CEO of Georgia-Pacific. “This program model is working – the caliber of innovation that these companies have brought to the table has been impressive.”

 

The cohort builds on the success of Engage’s fall 2017 efforts, which are intended to provide a world-class program for high-potential startups, said Martin L. Flanagan, president and CEO of Invesco and chairman of Engage.  “In a short period of time, the fall cohort’s activity led to 24 signed contracts between the startups and our corporate partners and $18 million in closed financings. On average, the program’s startups from the fall cohort are projected to add an additional $400,000 in revenue in 2018.

 

Tim Quinn

Tim Quinn is CEO and co-founder of ThingTech. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Engage Ventures is the largest-ever strategic grouping of major corporations in an independent venture firm. The 10 founding companies contributing capital, expertise, time and resources in support of Engage include AT&T, Chick-fil-A, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power Foundation Inc., Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Invesco Ltd., The Home Depot and UPS. Executives from these firms mentor companies receiving financial support from the venture fund. The fund is managed by Tech Square Ventures, which is led by managing partner Blake Patton.

 

Engage offers programming and other services through a contract with ATDC, which was established at Georgia Tech by Georgia lawmakers in 1980 to launch and build technology companies.

 

“This initiative is producing stellar results by leveraging Georgia Tech’s startup expertise through programs such as ATDC,” said Chris Downing, vice president and director of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2). The unit is Tech’s economic development arm and is comprised of a dozen programs, including ATDC and Engage.

 

“Tapping into ATDC and having access to the talent, resources, and collaborative opportunities with some of the world’s largest corporations has helped us create what we see as a world class model for such public-private partnerships.”

Georgia Tech launches $1 million retail technology initiative at ATDC

Georgia Tech  Tech TowerThe Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Georgia’s technology incubator, is launching a new initiative for entrepreneurs focused on retail-related technology.

The new program — which comes as the retailing sector faces a torrent of change in consumer behavior — is being funded by a $1 million gift from the Mookerji Foundation to the Georgia Tech Foundation. The new initiative was announced at the 2017 ATDC Startup Showcase.

The Georgia Tech Foundation, in turn, has earmarked the new funds for the formation of the ATDC Retail Program. Founded in 1980, ATDC is a program of the Enterprise Innovation Institute, the Georgia Institute of Technology’s chief economic development arm. ATDC is one of the longest running university-affiliated incubators in the United States.

“We chose Georgia Tech because of its commitment to economic development in Georgia and beyond, its focus on incorporating innovation in economic development, and its legacy of success,” the Mookerji Foundation said in a statement. “ATDC is a world-class technology incubator and is at the forefront of helping entrepreneurs not only build companies, but gives them the tools for long term success.”

The Atlanta-based Mookerji Foundation is dedicated to nurturing and enabling entrepreneurs in metro Atlanta.

The gift will fully fund the retail technology startup initiative for the next five years and support a retail technology expert who will serve as an entrepreneur-in-residence to mentor the startups and offer expertise relating to the field of entrepreneurship.

“The retail landscape has undergone a tumultuous shift in the last few years and retailers — from the national chains and department stores to the mom and pop shops on Main Street — are all looking for innovative technologies that help them remain competitive, stay engaged with their customers, and improve the bottom line,” said Jennifer Bonnett, ATDC’s general manager. “This new focus on retail complements some of our other related focus areas, such as financial technology (FinTech).”

The U.S. retail sector, which is comprised of more than 3.7 million establishments, supports some 42 million jobs with a $2.6 trillion impact on the economy, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the industry’s chief trade group.

In Georgia, the retail industry supports 1.2 million jobs, includes more than 120,000 establishments, and adds $75.6 billion a year to the Peach State’s economy, NRF data show.

“This is a very important segment of the Georgia and national economies and an exciting opportunity for Georgia Tech to make an impact and keep to its economic development mission,” said Maryam Alavi, dean and Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Chair of Georgia Tech’s Ernest Scheller Jr. College of Business.

Alavi and other Scheller officials, as well as representatives of Tech’s Office of Development, collaborated on the effort that led to the Mookerji Foundation’s gift.

The initiative is the second of its kind for ATDC. In March 2015, Worldpay US, a global payments technology and services company, made a $1 million gift to Georgia Tech, which used the funds to launch a FinTech program at ATDC. Since its launch, that effort has reached more than 350 entrepreneurs across the state of Georgia, including 17 FinTech startups in the ATDC Signature and ATDC Accelerate portfolios. To date, those companies in both Signature and Accelerate have raised more than $34 million in outside funding.

About Georgia Tech

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world’s premier research universities. Georgia Tech is a national and international leader in scientific and technological research and education and is the nation’s leading producer of engineers as well as a leading producer of female and minority engineering Ph.D. graduates. Ranked among the top public universities by U.S. News & World Report, the Institute enrolls more than 23,000 students within its six colleges. For additional information, visit gatech.edu.

About the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC)

The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), a program of the Georgia Institute of Technology, is the state of Georgia’s technology startup incubator. Founded in 1980 by the Georgia General Assembly, which funds it each year, ATDC’s mission is to work with entrepreneurs in Georgia to help them learn, launch, scale, and succeed in the creation of viable, disruptive technology companies. Since its founding, ATDC has grown to become one of the longest running and most successful university-affiliated incubators in the United States, with its graduate startup companies raising nearly $3 billion in investment financing and generating more than $12 billion in revenue in the state of Georgia. For more information, visit atdc.org.

Register for the Advanced Technology Development Center’s 2017 ATDC Startup Showcase

ATDC Startup Showcase Pictures

The annual ATDC Startup Showcase is the premier Atlanta event for technology entrepreneurs.

The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Georgia’s technology incubator, will present more than 60 of the state’s most innovative and market-disrupting technology companies at the 2017 ATDC Startup Showcase.

 

The annual event, which attracts nearly 1,000 attendees, is scheduled for May 11 at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (REGISTER HERE.)

 

Showcase is designed to give technology innovators, investors, corporate partners, entrepreneurs, university researchers and students an in-depth, first-hand look at Georgia’s most successful emerging technology companies.

 

The event, which takes place during Atlanta Startup Week, also celebrates ATDC’s 37-year legacy of helping entrepreneurs learn, launch, scale and succeed in the formation of successful Georgia technology startups. Worldpay US — the global payments technology and services company,  and creator of ATDC’s FinTech program — is the Showcase’s premier sponsor.

 

“Showcase is always an exciting time for us because attendees get to see the dynamic visions of our entrepreneurs from across Georgia,” said Jennifer Bonnett, ATDC’s general manager.

 

“Our presenting companies have created products — from tools to combat fraud to disease management to clean energy — that solve problems, create meaningful impact in a host of industries and strengthen the Georgia economy.

 

“What’s more, these companies also exist thanks to the financial support of the state of Georgia, which funds ATDC,” she said.

 

Startups at ATDC also receive direct support from some of incubator’s partners, such as the Georgia Research Alliance, which provides seed investments. The startup companies also may receive funding from a number of federal sponsors, including the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Department of Defense and National Institutes of Health, among others.

 

Each year, those companies that meet the rigorous growth milestones are selected to graduate from the top-tier ATDC Signature program. Two of those companies have already been acquired.

 

The 2017 graduating companies are:

  • First Performance Global: Provides a market leading card management and customer engagement platform for card issuers worldwide.
  • Partpic (Acquired): Its proprietary solution simplifies the search and purchase of replacement parts using visual recognition technology.
  • StarMobile (Acquired): Its codeless, cloud-based enterprise mobility platform delivers any application to any endpoint, with a native user experience, faster, simpler and at a lower cost than any other approach.
  • UserIQ: Through its Customer Growth Platform, UserIQ empowers software-as-a-service companies to foster growth beyond the traditional funnel.

 

For more information about the Showcase or to RSVP, please visit http://atdcstartupshowcase.com. The cost to attend the event is $25 per person (early bird until April 12); $50 between April 13 and May 11, and $75 at the door. Students and faculty of any Georgia university enter free with valid ID.

 

ABOUT ATDC:

The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), a program of the Georgia Institute of Technology, is the state of Georgia’s technology startup incubator. Founded in 1980 by the Georgia General Assembly, which funds it each year, ATDC’s mission is to work with entrepreneurs in Georgia to help them learn, launch, scale and succeed in the creation of viable, disruptive technology companies. Since its founding, ATDC has grown to become one of the longest running and most successful university-affiliated incubators in the United States, with its graduate startup companies raising $3 billion in investment financing and generating more than $12 billion in revenue in the state of Georgia. To learn more, visit atdc.org.

Tech students to present cybersecurity research for commercialization on April 13

Demo Day FinaleGeorgia Tech students will present their best cybersecurity research before a panel of venture capitalists and business leaders for a chance to win cash in the “Demo Day Finale” on April 13 at the Klaus Advanced Computing Building, KACB #1116 E-W, 266 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, Ga. 30332. (RSVP here: http://cyber.gatech.edu/demo-day ).

 

Five student teams representing the School of Computer Science and School of Electrical Computing and Engineering are polishing their presentations now to deliver TED-style talks before business leaders with tech investment experience in the southeastern Untied States, Europe, and Middle East. Research with the best chance of commercialization or demonstrating the most impact toward resolving an industry need receives a cash prize – up to $7,000.

 

Demo Day Finale judges include Georgia Tech commercialization catalysts Jeff Garbers and Harold Solomon of VentureLab, and Thiago Olson of the Advanced Technology Development Center.

 

Work to be presented includes new cryptographic search methods, a malware detection method for IoT or embedded devices, protections for industrial control systems, spectral profiling for catching malware activity, and a model for software engineering policy requirements.

 

Musheer Ahmed, (left) founder of FraudScope, which won the 2016 Demo Day Finale.

Musheer Ahmed, (left) founder of FraudScope, which won the 2016 Demo Day Finale.

For last year’s inaugural winner – Musheer Ahmed – the event was a springboard to successfully launch FraudScope, a healthcare fraud detection system based upon algorithms he developed as a Ph.D. student.

 

After winning Demo Day Finale, Ahmed went on to collect more than $400,000 in seed funding in less than three months. He won the Atlanta Start-up Battle, the Technology Association of Georgia’s Biz Launch Competition, and more. The quick success allowed him to invest in a better user interface design, hire staff, and begin marketing his product at health and technology industry tradeshows.

 

The Demo Day Finale is hosted by the Institute for Information Security & Privacy (IISP) and aims to give students an early introduction to potential investors as they continue their research or if they are ready to move it to market.

 

“During the course of research, it can be difficult for entrepreneurial students to know how industry may react to a finished project,” said Wenke Lee, co-director of the IISP and a professor in the School of Computer Science who has successfully transferred research to private corporations. “The Demo Day Finale lets students share ideas underway to active investors so they can receive early stage feedback that will inform research directions, the future application of it, or market considerations. This is one way we think the Institute for Information Security & Privacy can help move solutions to market that will improve the security or privacy of our identities, data, and devices.”

While Ahmed was eager to launch his business as soon as possible, ID for Web, last year’s second place winners, used the experience to get an early “gut” reaction from business investors as they try to create a more secure form of identity validation online. ID for Web’s Demo Day presentation led to an invitation from startup accelerator “CyberLaunch,” where they spent summer 2016 discovering the best application of their technology by talking to both potential customers and potential investors.

“The summer at CyberLaunch put us in touch with business leaders from many different industries, and got us a lot of validation to the relevance of our technology; everybody agrees the current authentication mechanisms are a huge pain to both users and service providers,” said postdoctoral researcher Simon Chung. “Their eyes light up when we say we’re trying to get rid of passwords. Also, since our technology can be used to solve many real-world problems, this process helped us find the best use of our technology and focus on developing our first end-to-end prototype system.”

Judges on April 13 will include investors Jeff Garbers and Harold Solomon of Venture Lab, and Thiago Olson of ATDC.

Georgia Institute of Technology selects Jennifer Bonnett to head the Advanced Technology Development Center

Jennifer Bonnett, ATDC General Manager.

Jennifer Bonnett, ATDC General Manager.

The Georgia Institute of Technology has named Jennifer Bonnett general manager of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), effective immediately.

The announcement follows Bonnett’s tenure as ATDC’s acting general manager since October 2015. In taking the permanent appointment, Bonnett leads a team of 22 full- and part-time employees who run the program’s various initiatives, as well as coach entrepreneurs across the state.

 

A unit of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), Georgia Tech’s chief outreach and economic development arm, ATDC works with more than 800 technology startup entrepreneurs each year across Georgia. Founded in 1981, ATDC has grown to become one of the most successful, longest-running, and largest university-based startup incubators in the country.

 

Bonnett will report directly to Chris Downing, vice president and director of EI2.

 

“Jen has been tireless champion of technology startup development in Georgia and an important voice and advocate for the community,” Downing said. “Under her steady and smart leadership, ATDC continues to grow and expand as Georgia’s technology incubator dedicated to serving the state and its economy by helping entrepreneurs learn, launch, scale, and succeed in their technology startup efforts.”

 

Bonnett first joined ATDC as a community catalyst in October 2011, a role she held for three years before being named assistant director of education and curriculum in October 2014. She was named acting general manager in October 2015.

 

She played a key role in developing ATDC’s Entrepreneurs Education Series, a curriculum designed to move “concept stage” entrepreneurs from idea through to angel funding. She is also the architect of the “ATDC @” program which delivers coaching and curriculum to entrepreneurs across the state, including Savannah, Athens, and Augusta.

 

“I’m honored to accept this position and build on what we have done at ATDC, with the support of Georgia Tech and our fellow programs at EI2,” Bonnett said. “We’re committed to entrepreneurs and working with startups all over the state to help them build and launch successful and sustainable, job-creating companies.”

 

Bonnett is a technology entrepreneur with more than 25 years experience in the information technology and software development fields with a specialty in web and mobile technologies.

 

She has served as founder or chief technology officer of several venture- and angel-backed firms, where she both served as lead architect and grew and managed the technology team, including eTour.com, which was acquired by Ask.com.

 

She also is founder of StartupChicks, a 501c3 focused on empowering women entrepreneurs through education, community, coaching, connections, and investment. StartupChicks has touched more than 10,000 women globally through its content and events.

Peachtree Corners readies for incubator program launch with ATDC, Startup Ecosystems

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 09.29.44

More than 200 entrepreneurs, business and community leaders and residents in the city of Peachtree Corners converged May 27 to get a preview of Prototype Prime, the new technology incubator set to open in July 2016.

 

The 12,000-square-foot facility in Technology Park — a former office space — is located below Peachtree Corners City Hall and is currently being renovated to accommodate Prototype Prime.

 

The incubator will provide space and access to education, tools, venture capitalists, and other services to help local entrepreneurs launch and scale their startups.

 

“It’s a win-win for communities with a successful incubator,” said Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason. “Not only is the success much greater when there is an incubator program to help support startups in their early years, those new business owners tend to stay in the same community adding jobs as their businesses grow.”

 

The main goal of an incubator is to produce successful firms, which have the potential to create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods and strengthen local economies.

 

The city partnered with the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Startup Ecosystems and Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) programs in its efforts to launch the business incubator.

 

Startup Ecosystems helps governments, communities, foundations, entrepreneurs, and small businesses foster value creation by applying innovative ideas, technology, and policy to initiatives focused on economic growth.

 

ATDC, which is the statewide incubator for technology entrepreneurs in Georgia, offers support by providing expertise and resources launching and maintaining a successful incubator program.

 

Both are part of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), which serves as the core unit for Georgia Tech’s economic development efforts.

 

The Peachtree Corners initiative began in 2015 when Startup Ecosystems conducted a Community Readiness Assessment for a business incubation program in the city. The drive was part of a larger effort to encourage economic development.

 

“Our team, led by Lynne Henkiel and Juli Golemi, engaged leadership, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders to determine if Peachtree Corners not only desired a business incubation program, but could support it, too, “ said David Bridges, Startup Ecosystems’ director. “Our research analysis of the city’s economic and demographic data, along with its innovation characteristics, showed significant support for the development of an incubation program in Peachtree Corners.”

 

The city, working through Wayne Hodges, a cofounder of ATDC and vice provost emeritus of Georgia Tech, drafted an agreement with ATDC, which will run the incubation program at Prototype Prime.

 

“There is a huge need for a business incubator in this area,” said Sanjay Parekh, Prototype Prime’s executive director and associate director of CREATE-X at Georgia Tech. “We are already receiving feedback from many who are interested in being part of the program.”

 

Investing in an incubator service can provide real returns. According to a 2007 study by the Maryland Technology Development Corp., incubators in that state generated approximately $1.2 billion in gross state product and $100 million in state and local tax revenue.