Georgia Tech EDA University Center Study Leads to Federal Grant for Valdosta Business Incubator

Downtown Valdosta

Valdosta, Georgia.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded a $2.5 million grant to the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce to fund the construction of a new business incubator in that South Georgia community. The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $1.7 million in local funds.

 

It is expected to help create up to 81 jobs and generate $9.7 million in private investment.

 

“The Trump Administration is committed to the resilience of local economies by encouraging companies to grow in designated opportunity zones,” Ross said in a statement. “I look forward to seeing how the new Valdosta Area Business Incubator will help a wide variety of businesses prosper in the region.”

 

The announcement follows a four-month analysis conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center in 2015 and 2016.

 

Funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, these university centers marshal the resources found in colleges and universities to support regional economic development strategies in areas facing chronic and acute economic distress.

 

The Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce contracted with Tech’s EDA University Center to conduct a community readiness assessment as the first step in pursuing its goal of a sustainable business incubation program. The chamber paid for a portion of the analysis and the Georgia Tech EDA University Center covered the remainder.

 

Business incubation provides entrepreneurs with an array of targeted business support resources and services in an effort to accelerate the successful development of startup companies.

 

But the development of a business incubation program requires a detailed plan of action that identifies the critical resources needed for success, provides a blueprint for its management, staffing, and how it will be funded and operated.

 

During the October 2015 – January 2016 timeframe, the Georgia Tech team conducted primary and secondary research to address three core areas of incubation strategy development: entrepreneurship and innovation, community and stakeholder support and resources and capabilities.

 

“We concluded that there was a demand and justification for a business incubation program and that the community should move forward with plans to develop it,” said Juli Golemi, senior project manager with Tech’s EDA University Center. “We provided the chamber with an analysis of the state of the ecosystem and identified several strategic initiatives for the organization to pursue to develop it.”

 

Golemi and her team identified 19 components, including strong and increasing entrepreneurial activity, existing infrastructure, academic institutions, and Moody Air Force Base, that made the idea a viable one.

 

The U.S. Commerce Department’s funding announcement covers a designated Opportunity Zone, as designated by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically-distressed communities nationwide.

 

The project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC). EDA funds the SGRC to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.

 

Georgia Tech has been an EDA award recipient since the program’s inception in the 1980s — the only institute of higher learning with that distinction.

 

Tech’s EDA University Center’s mission is to support and lead activities designed to promote job creation, the development of high-skilled regional talent pools, business expansion in innovation clusters, and to create and nurture regional economic ecosystems in Georgia. In addition, the center conducts technology-related economic and policy research that will enhance Georgia’s competitive position.

 

In fiscal year 2019, Tech’s EDA University Center’s work helped save or create 38 jobs and led to private sector investment of $5.8 million in Georgia.

 

The Georgia Tech EDA University Center is a program of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), which is Tech’s economic development and outreach arm.

Gov. Kemp taps Center for Economic Development Research director for coronavirus task force

Alfie Meek is an economist and director of the Center for Economic Development Research at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. (Photo: Jennifer Stalcup)

Looking to anticipate and blunt the effects of the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic on Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp has convened a coronavirus task force that looks at the economic, health, emergency response and preparedness, and housing implications of the deadly disease.

 

The 66-member task force is comprised of four subcommittees, including one focused on economic impact. That subcommittee includes Alfie Meek, economist and director of the Enterprise Innovation Institute’s Center for Economic Development Research (CEDR) at Georgia Tech.

 

“The role of the Economic Impact Subcommittee is to help predict the economic effects on the state of Georgia from COVID19 and make recommendations,” Meek said. “We‘re also being asked to brainstorm policies that might be implemented to help ease the economic pain from this event.”

 

Meek has more than 25 years of experience in economic/fiscal impact analysis and community-based research. He leads the five-member CEDR staff, which works with its clients — economic developers, community leaders, and industry — to help them understand the opportunities and challenges in fostering local and regional economic development.

 

Meek is one of three economists selected to serve on the governor’s task force subcommittee. The others are Jeffrey Dorfman, the state fiscal economist who is the subcommittee chairman, and Thomas Cunningham the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s chief economist.

 

The full subcommittee met for the first time on March 19 in a virtual conference call.

 

“One clear goal is to represent the many different facets of Georgia’s economy that we think will be economically vulnerable at this time,” Meek said.

 

In addition to Dorfman, Cunningham, and Meek, the Economic Impact Subcommittee members include:

  • Allan Adams, State Director UGA Small Business Development Center
  • Nick Ayers, Managing Partner AFH Capital
  • Will Bentley, Georgia Agribusiness Council
  • Donna Bowman, Office of the State Treasurer
  • Labor Commissioner Mark Butler
  • Peter Carter, Delta Air Lines Chief Legal Officer (and Chair, Metro Chamber)
  • Bill Douglas, Athens First Bank & Trust
  • Georgia State Sen. Frank Ginn
  • Walter Kemmsies, economic consultant to Georgia Ports Authority
  • Steve McCoy, Chief Investment Officer, Office of the State Treasurer
  • Richard McPhail, Chief Financial Officer, Home Depot
  • Georgia House Rep. Clay Pirkle
  • Joe W. Rogers, III, Waffle House
  • Jessica Simmons, Department of Revenue Deputy Commissioner
  • Jim Sprouse, Executive Director Georgia Hotel and Lodging Association
  • Will Wade, Georgia Student Finance Commission

Delegates from Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership at Georgia Tech Meet with Congressional Leaders on Capitol Hill

Tim Israel, director of the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, in Washington, D.C. for the 2020 “Hill Day” at the U.S. Capitol.

The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) convened with members of the American Small Manufacturers Coalition (ASMC) during its annual “Hill Day” in Washington, D.C.

 

The two-day event, held on March 3 and 4, was an opportunity for ASMC members and their manufacturing clients to meet with their respective Congressional delegation and educate them about the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program during the annual appropriations process.

 

The MEP National Network works with small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers through designated MEP Centers, including the GaMEP at Georgia Tech. They are charged with assisting manufacturing clients to help them, to help create and retain jobs, increase profits, and promote innovation and growth for the future.

 

The intent behind Hill Day is to call attention to the importance of small and medium-sized manufacturers’ effect on rebuilding the economy.  By showcasing the achievements of this sector to elected officials, ASMC members are able to demonstrate a return on investment of the federal funding generated through the MEP program.

 

“As a part of the MEP National Network, the GaMEP works with manufacturers throughout the state offering solution-based approaches to increase top-line growth and reduce bottom-line cost,” said GaMEP Director Tim Israel. “We have a unique responsibility to boost Georgia’s economy by enhancing our clients’ competitiveness. I was excited to share these results with our congressional leaders so they can see our key successes this past year.”

 

In Georgia, the GaMEP worked with more than 700 manufacturers across the state to increase manufacturing sales by $317 million, reduce clients’ operating costs by $121 million, invest more than $159 million back into their plants, and create or retain 2,074 jobs.

 

As a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the MEP offers its clients resources centered on five critical areas: technology acceleration, supplier development, sustainability, workforce, and continuous improvement. In 2019, MEP generated a 14.4:1 return on investment, according to an Upjohn Institute for Employment Research study.

 

Nationally, in 2019, MEP clients reported $15.7 billion new and retained sales and the creation or retention of 114,650 jobs. Considering that the average U.S. manufacturing worker earns more than $87,185 in wages and benefits per year, MEP clients are economic drivers in their communities. MEP clients are also increasing their capacity for the production of goods. MEP clients reported $4.5 billion in new investments directly attributed to their work with MEP.

 

“The MEP National Network continues to significantly improve the productivity and competitiveness of America’s small and mid-sized manufacturers,” said Dave Boulay, ASMC board chairman and president of the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center.  “Hill Day provides us an opportunity to showcase those impacts to our congressional representatives and allow our clients to share their stories directly.”

 

About the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP)
The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) is an economic development program of the Enterprise Innovation Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The GaMEP is a member of the National MEP network supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. With offices in nine regions across the state, the GaMEP has been serving Georgia manufacturers since 1960. It offers a solution-based approach to manufacturers through coaching and education designed to increase top line growth and reduce bottom line cost. For more information, visit: gamep.org.

About the American Small Manufacturers Coalition (ASMC)
The American Small Manufacturers Coalition (ASMC) is a trade association of manufacturing extension centers that work to improve the innovation and productivity of America’s manufacturing community. ASMC advocates for legislative and programmatic resources that allow our small manufacturing clients to better compete in the global marketplace. The Coalition and its members do this by increasing awareness of the importance of American small manufacturers, the challenges which they face, and the federal legislation and programs that affect them. Learn more by visiting smallmanufacturers.org.

Karen Fite to Lead Enterprise Innovation Institute as Interim Vice President

Karen Fite.

The Georgia Institute of Technology has named Karen Fite interim vice president of its economic development unit, the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2).

 

Fite, who is EI²’s associate vice president, will lead the 12-program organization while Georgia Tech conducts a national search for a permanent vice president to succeed Chris Downing, who retired in June after 31 years of service.

 

EI2is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based program of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization, and economic development.

 

Fite, who also is director of EI2’s Business & Industry Services group of programs, has more than 26 years of economic development experience at Tech.

 

The Business & Industry Services group includes the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP), EI2’s largest economic development offering.

 

It also includes:

 

“As director of business and industry services, Karen has successfully provided leadership in critical areas of economic development. We have full confidence that she will continue EI2’s momentum and reach in Georgia and beyond as we conduct the search for a permanent vice president,” said Chaouki Abdallah, Georgia Tech’s executive vice president for research.

 

“She brings an enormous wealth of expertise and critical understanding to economic development and how to connect businesses, manufacturers, and communities to Georgia Tech’s vast innovation and technology resources to elevate their competitive position and economic impact.”

 

With state and federal support, for example, EI2’s 160-member staff operate a statewide network of assistance to Georgia manufacturers through the GaMEP and supports commercialization of Georgia Tech faculty research via its VentureLab offering.

 

A globally recognized model for university-based economic development, EI2— through its Economic Development Lab program — is tapped across the state, nationally, and internationally to help communities and organization innovate in business incubation and commercialization, strategic planning, and economic sustainability.

 

Other programs include assisting in the growth and development of technology startups through the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), serving minority-owned businesses, and advising companies across the Southeast that have been affected by foreign trade.

 

Previously, Fite was GaMEP’s state regional network manager and led a team of 10 regional managers in their outreach efforts.

 

She was an RAB-certified Quality Management Systems Lead Auditor, and as a member of the Center for International Standards and Quality (CISQ), she provided implementation assistance and training to companies pursuing ISO 9001. She has expertise in assisting companies in the implementation of Lean Principles in manufacturing, government and healthcare entities.

Her earlier experience includes the application of industrial and management engineering, employee involvement, and business principles.

 

Fite has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Miami and a bachelor’s in health systems from Georgia Tech.In 2018, she achieved the faculty rank of principal extension professional, the Georgia Tech’s highest professional extension faculty rank.

Chris Downing, vice president and director of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, announces retirement

Chris Downing, vice president and director of Georgia Tech's Enterprise Innovation Institute. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Chris Downing is vice president and director of the Enterprise Innovation Institute at Georgia Tech. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Chris Downing, who has led the Georgia Institute of Technology’s economic development efforts as vice president and director of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), is retiring after 31 years of service.

 

Downing, who has led EI2 since 2016, leaves behind a decades-long legacy of leadership experience at Georgia Tech in technology-based economic development, university outreach and technical assistance, entrepreneurship and start-up support, and program management.

 

His retirement is effective June 1, 2019.

 

“I feel very fortunate for such a diverse and challenging career and to have shared so many good years with the Georgia Tech family, and I am very appreciative of the many faculty, staff, and students who have made my time at Georgia Tech so interesting and inspiring,” Downing said. “Although I am leaving my full-time duties, I look forward to staying connected to Georgia Tech and supporting its mission of progress and service.”

 

After leaving IBM where he was a mechanical facilities engineer, Downing joined Georgia Tech in 1988 as a senior research engineer with the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

 

In 1996, he joined EI2 — then called the Economic Development Institute (EDI) — as the Griffin regional office manager and provided industrial extension and economic development services to the south metro Atlanta region.

 

Two years later, he was named group manager of technology services for the Economic Development Institute, where he was charged with overall management of technology deployment and information technology services to more than 200 EDI staff and associates located both on campus and in 12 regional offices across the state. In addition, this group provided technical research services for EDI clients in industry, business, and community economic development organizations.

 

In 2005, he was tapped to lead EI2’s Industry Services group, which included several key outreach programs: the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP), the Energy and Environmental Management Center, the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC), the Southeast Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (SETAAC), and the Georgia Tech Regional Office Network.

 

Downing was named EI2’s associate vice president in 2013 and vice president in 2016.

 

In that time, he spearheaded the three-fold expansion of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) and created the Venture Center space that has helped to attract several Fortune 100 corporate innovation centers to Technology Square.

 

His technology-based economic development efforts helped Georgia Tech and the EI2 win the prestigious “2014 Innovation Award” from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and the “2014 Outstanding Research Park Award” from the Association of Research Parks.

 

Most recently, Downing led the feasibility study for the expansion of Georgia Tech’s second research park, Technology Enterprise Park, into a broader life sciences and technology innovation district.

 

“Chris has been a tireless champion and supporter of our economic development initiatives, working to maintain strong partnerships across the state while creating new collaborations,” said Georgia Tech President G. P. “Bud” Peterson. “We appreciate his leadership role as Georgia Tech partners with the state to strengthen Georgia’s economy.”

 

Downing is a graduate of the University of Florida, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering.

Georgia Tech Hosts State Legislative Leaders at ATDC HealthTech Summit

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan ATDC

ATDC Assistant Director Jane McCracken (far left), explains how entrepreneurs use the incubator’s design studio to make and refine product prototypes, as Georgia state Sens. Greg Kirk and Dean Burke and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan listen. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

With health care a major focus at the state and national levels, the Georgia Institute of Technology welcomed Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and other state legislative leaders to campus for a health summit focused on how technology drives innovation, leads to better patient outcomes, and reduces costs.

 

Duncan, joined by Georgia state Sens. Dean Burke, Greg Kirk, and Ben Watson, toured the Institute’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) to learn more about the incubator’s efforts to support health technology (HealthTech) innovation and meet startup leaders in its portfolio.

 

Burke spearheaded the visit from the state government delegation.

 

A program of the Enterprise Innovation Institute, Tech’s economic development arm, ATDC is the state of Georgia’s technology startup incubator. Created in 1980, ATDC has helped its companies generate more than $12 billion in revenue and raise in excess of $3 billion in investment capital.

 

“One of my most ambitious goals is for Georgia to become the technology capital of the East Coast. Incubators like ATDC are critical to that vision,” Duncan, a Tech alum, said. “Georgia boasts the top talent coming out of our world-class university system, business-friendly environment, low cost of living, high quality of life, and emerging venture capital presence necessary to grow from the Silicon Valley of the South to the Tech Capital of the East Coast.”

 

The delegation received an overview of ATDC’s focused efforts to support HealthTech innovation and startups, including the July 2018 launch of the ATDC HealthTech Program.

 

Supported with a financial gift from NASCO, the ATDC HealthTech Program is focused on helping entrepreneurs launch viable companies in that sector, Kirk Barnes, ATDC’s HealthTech catalyst explained to the delegation.

 

Separately, ATDC entered into a collaborative partnership with Navicent Health’s Center for Disruption & Innovation (CfDI) to support the development of new technologies, treatments, and care created by healthcare technology-oriented companies based in the state. The goal: to improve the health and lives of patients in central and south Georgia.

 

It’s a goal that resonated with Duncan.

 

“It’s encouraging to see the system built around these ideas and to see these ideas commercialized,” the lieutenant governor said. “It’s not just about cutting costs, it’s about improving service and quality of care.

 

“I’m appreciative of the impressive work being done at Georgia Tech and ATDC, and I look forward to working alongside them as Lt. Governor.”

 

Since its launch, the ATDC HealthTech Program’s portfolio of companies has grown to 48 and includes a host of technologies ranging from digital health and medical devices to drug discovery tools and healthcare robotics.

 

One of those companies, Rimidi Inc., a provider of software and clinical analytics for chronic disease management,raised more than $6.5 millionin its Series A-1 financing, which included an investment from Eli Lilly and Co.

 

Tee Faircloth, who helped spearhead the summit, is founder of Coordinated Care Inc. (CCI), an ATDC HealthTech company. CCI, one of the companies the delegation met, works with urban and rural hospitals to move patients back to their local hospitals for rehabilitation.

 

Faircloth said such summits give state leaders valuable insight into how public support of programs such as ATDC and public-private partnerships such as the one with NASCO work.

 

“With the incoming administration’s focus on rural healthcare, it’s great to see them embrace innovation as an agent of change so early on. This summit continues the dialogue of how we, as technology companies focused on bringing solutions and innovation to healthcare, can work with state and local leaders,” Faircloth said.

 

“We want to find areas where we can work together in these public-private partnerships to leverage the resources of the Atlanta and Georgia ecosystems so that we really improve healthcare for all Georgians.”

Georgia Tech taps John Avery to lead Advanced Technology Development Center

Technology veteran brings record of success in startups and corporate innovation.

Headshot: John Avery is director of the Advanced Technology Development Center.

John Avery is director of the Advanced Technology Development Center.

The Georgia Institute of Technology has named John Avery as its next director of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC).

 

Avery, a serial entrepreneur who was involved in four startups, assumes his position Nov. 6. Most recently, he was engineering group manager of Panasonic Automotive Systems’ Panasonic Innovation Center at the Georgia Tech campus.

 

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

 

The announcement follows a comprehensive, four-month national search for a new leader at ATDC following the departure of Jen Bonnett, who left in June 2018 to become the Savannah Economic Development Authority’s vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship.

 

In taking the permanent appointment, Avery will lead a team of 26 full- and part-time staff and advisors who run ATDC’s various initiatives, including its financial, health, and retail technology verticals, support statewide activities such as the ATDC @ program, and coach technology entrepreneurs in Georgia.

 

Avery will report to Chris Downing, EI2vice president and director.

 

“John is an outstanding leader and successful entrepreneur who understands the startup journey and commercialization process, with vast relationships in the startup and business communities,” Downing said. “We’re pleased to welcome him to EI2and see him bring ATDC, one of the nation’s premiere technology incubators, to even greater success in its mission of helping entrepreneurs build great companies here in Georgia.”

 

At Panasonic, Avery oversaw the innovation center’s development projects in next-generation automotive systems including, infotainment, bio-sensing, machine vision, deep learning, and heads-up displays.

 

A tech startup veteran with broad experience in data and wireless voice technologies, Avery was co-founder and chief technology officer of Convergence Corp., a maker of software that connects wireless devices to the Internet. Amazon acquired the company in 1999. Following that acquisition, he joined Amazon as engineering manager.

 

In 2001, Avery became an early employee of Mobliss, a mobile applications and messaging solutions company in the entertainment space. He later became the company’s chief technology officer. Japan’s Index Corp., a developer of mobile phone content and information and other media services such as video on demand,acquired Mobliss in 2004 for $15 million.

 

He holds six patents and owns Onboard Now, a developer of software for embedded devices such as smart phones, Web-enabled cameras, and industrial controls.

 

Avery, who sits on the board of the Midtown Alliance, is a familiar presence at ATDC, having served as a mentor to its startups since July of 2018.

 

“I am deeply honored to join ATDC and lead this amazing team,” Avery said. “ATDC’s work has resulted in the creation of great, disruptive Georgia companies in health, financial services, hardware, and numerous other sectors. I look forward to continuing ATDC’s momentum of success and legacy of impact.”

 

He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

 

About Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2)

Comprised of a dozen programs, including the Advanced Technology Development Center, Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based program of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization, and economic development. Through its philosophy of innovation-led economic development, EI2serves all of Georgia through a variety of services and programs designed to create, accelerate, and growGeorgia’s tech-based economy. For more information, please visit, innovate.gatech.edu.

 

About the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC)
The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), a program of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, 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 more than $3 billion in investment financing and generating more than $12 billion in revenue in the state of Georgia. To learn more, visit atdc.org.

Navicent Health Announces Collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology

Navicent Health and the Advanced Technology Development Center to Promote Development of Health Technologies and Startups in central and south Georgia.

 

The Navicent Health Center for Disruption & Innovation (CfDI) team.

The Navicent Health Center for Disruption & Innovation (CfDI) team.

MACON, Ga. (Oct. 29, 2018) —Navicent Health’s Center for Disruption & Innovation (CfDI) is pleased to announce a new collaboration with Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) and its Health Technology (HealthTech) Program. The effort will improve the health and lives of patients in central and south Georgia through the development of new technologies, treatments, and care created by healthcare technology-oriented companies based in the state.

 

ATDC, the state of Georgia’s technology incubator, launched its HealthTech Program in July 2018. At present, ATDC has more than 40 startups in its HealthTech portfolio, each focused on innovative solutions across a broad number of sectors including population health, caregiver support, patient billing, precision medicine, genomics, medical devices, diagnostics, data analytics, and process improvements in drug research. CfDI will work with ATDC to facilitate access to a clinical community for startups that are transforming healthcare.

 

Christopher M. Cornue is Navicent Health's chief strategy officer and chief innovation officer.

Christopher M. Cornue is Navicent Health’s chief strategy officer and chief innovation officer.

“Navicent Health is committed to innovation and creating a wide range of solutions, including high-performing health technologies, to improve patient care not only in central and south Georgia, but industry-wide,” said Christopher M. Cornue, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Innovation Officer for Navicent Health. “Working with ATDC, we enhance our ability to deliver innovative, consumer-focused health services through technology to improve patient satisfaction, healthcare outcomes and therefore be better able to create healthier communities.”

 

Through this collaboration Navicent Health will serve as ATDC’s healthcare facility partner and provide resources for startups in the ATDC HealthTech portfolio. Navicent and ATDC seek positive economic impact in central Georgia. Additionally, they want to contribute to the state economy by supporting the growth and development new startups, with a broader goal of assisting and promoting the acceleration of healthcare startups across the Southeast.

Kirk Barnes headshot

Kirk Barnes is ATDC’s health technology catalyst.

 

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to work with a premier health organization to drive innovation and commercialization of healthcare technologies that will not only help entrepreneurs in Georgia, but help healthcare systems across the United States in their drive to deliver superior and cost-effective patient care, cut waste, increase access, and improve outcomes,” said Kirk Barnes, ATDC’s HealthTech catalyst and who leads this initiative. “We’re looking forward to seeing the successes this relationship with Navicent Health will yield.”

 

Founded in 2015, CfDI has become a proven and valuable testing ground for novel clinical approaches to elevate community health while leveraging disruptive technologies designed to engage consumers in meaningful ways. Specifically, ATDC startups selected to collaborate with CfDI will receive:

  • A standard curriculum for conducting “proof of concept” studies along with support tools to understand how to engage future health systems
  • Direct clinical exposure to discover how customers will engage with their product
  • The co-development and joint commercialization of new products that may be introduced to the market with a well-established health system partner.

 

Those wishing to partner with the Center for Disruption & Innovation may contact Navicent Health. 

 

About Navicent Health
Navicent Health was incorporated on Nov. 17, 1994, as a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is to coordinate The Medical Center, Navicent Health and other affiliated entities in their mission of providing a comprehensive continuum of high quality, reasonably priced healthcare services to the region. Navicent Health has 970 beds for medical, surgical, rehabilitation and hospice purposes. The health system includes The Medical Center, Navicent Health, a nationally recognized tertiary teaching hospital; Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health, the region’s only dedicated pediatric hospital; Navicent Health Baldwin and Medical Center of Peach County, Navicent Health, both rural hospitals; Rehabilitation Hospital, Navicent Health, the region’s oldest and most experienced rehabilitation provider; Pine Pointe, Navicent Health, which provides palliative and hospice care in homes and in its facility; Carlyle Place, Navicent Health, the area’s first continuing care retirement community;  Navicent Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Navicent Health; as well as diagnostic and home care services. For more information, please visit www.navicenthealth.org.

 

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 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students in fields ranging from engineering, computing, and sciences, to business, design, and liberal arts. 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 $3 billion in investment financing and generating more than $12 billion in revenue in the state of Georgia. To learn more, visit atdc.org.

Georgia Tech welcomes Bahamas delegation

Sidney S. Collie (left), the Bahamas' ambassador to the United States, makes point about the country's Tech Hub efforts during a visit to the Georgia Tech campus, Thursday, Oct. 25. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Sidney S. Collie (left), the Bahamas’ ambassador to the United States, makes point about the country’s Tech Hub efforts during a visit to the Georgia Tech campus, Thursday, Oct. 25. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

The Bahamas is embarking on a plan designed to attract more investment to the country and foster entrepreneurship.

 

A delegation from the Caribbean nation, which included Sidney S. Collie, the Bahamas’ ambassador to the United States, is visiting the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) Oct. 25 and 26 to learn about the Institute’s economic development programming model and components of a successful innovation ecosystem.

 

EI2, comprised of a dozen programs, is the Institute’s economic development arm and its offerings include services in community and business development, entrepreneurship, and commercialization.

 

While on campus, the delegation, which also will meet with President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, met with Chris Downing, EI2vice president and director, who gave the group an overview of Georgia Tech’s economic development mission and how specific programs could help the Bahamian efforts.

 

David Bridges is director of  the Economic Development Lab at Georgia Tech's Enterprise Innovation Institute. (Photo: Péralte C.. Paul)

David Bridges is director of the Economic Development Lab at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. (Photo: Péralte C.. Paul)

David Bridges, director of EI2’s Economic Development Lab (EDL), discussed his group’s work in Puerto Rico. EDL helps communities and organizations adopt innovation-led economic development practices through community strategic planning, fiscal and economic impact analyses, innovation ecosystem development, technology extension services, soft landing programs, and innovation policy research.

 

EDL, which has led 72 projects across 16 countries worldwide, has done extensive work in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. It’s work on the Caribbean island has led to Puerto Rico receiving more than $11 million in investments and initiatives being infused into the ecosystem there.

 

Delegates also toured the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), the Institute’s statewide technology incubator, to learn how it help entrepreneurs across the state.

 

Astra Armbrister-Rolle (left), the Bahamas’ consul general in Atlanta and Sidney S. Collie, the Bahamas’ ambassador to the United States, listen as Georgia Tech economic development leaders discuss how the Institute partners with governments to build innovation ecosystems. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Astra Armbrister-Rolle (left), the Bahamas’ consul general in Atlanta and Sidney S. Collie, the Bahamas’ ambassador to the United States, listen as Georgia Tech economic development leaders discuss how the Institute partners with governments to build innovation ecosystems. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

“Georgia Tech has garnered a reputation for being the big dog in technology, innovation, and accelerator programs,” said Astra Armbrister-Rolle, the Bahamas’ consul general in Atlanta. “You’re the best at it and we want to learn from the people who are on the cutting edge of these types of developments.”

 

Tech Hub, as the Bahamian initiative is called, is focused on the island of Grand Bahama and the plan to make it the country’s innovation center, Armbrister-Rolle said.

 

“It’s truly utilizing the space, the intellectual capital, and all the resources that we have there on that island to attract investors to set up businesses and also create an island that is tech-friendly as far as innovation and drive the government mandate of creating more entrepreneurs of Bahamians,” she said.

 

“The government has done some things to lay the infrastructure of what we believe will be an excellent and long-term program, at the same time, we’re reaching out internationally to partners like Georgia Tech and other universities to make it happen.”

Georgia Tech to offer Hacking for Defense course in 2019

Hacking for Defense trainee Colin Ake, left, a principal at Georgia Tech's VentureLab, poses a question to Hacking for Defense Inc. trainers Max Weintraub, center, and Alex Gallo. (Photo by: Péralte C. Paul)

Hacking for Defense trainee Colin Ake, left, a principal at Georgia Tech’s VentureLab, poses a question to Hacking for Defense Inc. trainers Max Weintraub, center, and Alex Gallo. (Photo by: Péralte C. Paul)

The Georgia Institute of Technology will begin offering a course in 2019 designed to give students opportunities to study — and potentially solve — challenges from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and related intelligence agencies.

 

The semester-long Hacking for Defense (H4D) course was created and first launched at Stanford University in 2016 by retired U.S. Army Col. Pete Newell, retired Special Forces and Foreign Area Officer Joe Felter; Tom Byers, director of the Stanford Technology Ventures program; and Steve Blank, a retired serial entrepreneur and the creator of the Lean Startup movement.

 

At the Institute, the course will be taught by Keith McGreggor, director of VentureLab, a program in Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute that helps faculty and students create startups based on Tech research. Co-teaching the class with him will be Lawrence Rubin, associate professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.

 

As designed, students will be given a current real problem intelligence or defense agencies face and work on that challenge for the entire semester to validate the problem and work to solve it, Newell said.

 

“Technology is continually changing and by creating this mixing bowl in a university, you’re in an ideal place for bringing government problems to the problem-solvers and energizing young people into doing something that’s impactful,” said Newell, who is managing partner of BMNT.

 

BMNT’s nonprofit arm, Hacking for Defense Inc. (H4Di), oversees the H4D program.

 

H4D addresses four necessary components to help federal agencies be more innovative, said Newell, who is former director of the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force.

 

For the federal sponsors themselves, they get world-class market research to tackle problems at a faster pace than anywhere else and engage with potential employees or future collaborators by creating an innovation network pipeline.

 

Students get to work on a real challenge and learn by creating a case study of a real problem, he said.

 

For private industry, it gives them an early look at the problems government agencies are looking to solve — which often mirror some of the same issues business is trying to address.

 

Finally, universities such as Georgia Tech, are increasingly looking to deliver cutting-edge education to students that gives them experience in building innovative and disruptive solutions beyond basic research.

 

That matches the entrepreneurship experience that Tech wants all of its students to have, McGreggor said.

 

“We’re trying to create an armada of entrepreneurial students and we want every student at Georgia Tech to have that entrepreneurial experience before they graduate,” McGreggor said. “Hacking for Defense is going to be different in that participating students won’t be coming up with a startup idea; these defense and intelligence agencies will meet with us with the problems they want us to figure out. It’s an opportunity for our students to think about solving a different kind of problem.”

 

Keith McGreggor (right foreground), VentureLab director, listens as Michael Hoeschele, trains attendees of the Hacking for Defense forum on Sept. 20. (Photo by: Péralte C. Paul)

Keith McGreggor (right foreground), VentureLab director, listens as Michael Hoeschele, trains attendees of the Hacking for Defense forum on Sept. 20. (Photo by: Péralte C. Paul)

As part of the rollout and expansion of the program to Tech and other organizations, H4Di was on campus Sept. 20 and 21 to train about 60 people from across the country who will be teaching H4D courses on the methodology behind it.

 

“The defense and national security challenges we’re seeing are evolving at a pace we’ve never seen before in our history and to tackle these issues, we have to connect DoD to cultures of innovation and those are largely housed in academia and the venture community,” said Max Weintraub who works to form collaborative relationships between the DoD and universities as the H4D program manager at the MD5 National Security Technology Accelerator, the DoD program office that sponsors H4D at Georgia Tech and other leading universities. “We’re excited that Georgia Tech is on the list.”

 

Tech will join a number of top schools already teaching the class, that, in addition to Stanford, include: Columbia University, the University of Southern California, Georgetown University, the University of Virginia, and the United States Air Force Academy.

 

What makes Tech an attractive choice is Atlanta’s solid base of entrepreneurial activity, Georgia’s manufacturing and industrial capacity, the number of military installations and government labs in the state and its Southeast neighbors, and the federal research dollars the Institute attracts.

 

“It’s easy to draw a circle around Georgia Tech right there in the Southeast as being in the epicenter of a great entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Newell said.

 

Since the original launch, H4D has led to nine startup companies being formed, including Capella Space, a company that makes low-orbit satellites with a synthetic aperture radar technology that takes quality images regardless of clouds, light or other atmospheric conditions.

 

But while some students may ultimately form their own companies, Newell stressed that is not the core goal.

 

“We’re giving them the ability to engage with the government to work on a real problem to gain real-world experience,” Newell said. “They get to develop the critical problem-solving skillsets that will be most in demand in the future.”