Changing the World: Forbes Lists ATDC Among the World’s Top Incubators


Forbes Magazine has named Georgia Tech’s science and technology startup accelerator, the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), to its new list of the “ten technology incubators that are changing the world.”  ATDC is the only incubator in the Southeast to be included on the Forbes list.

In its brief description of ATDC, Forbes noted that the program has graduated more than 120 companies since 1980 and that companies associated with ATDC have collectively raised more than $1 billion in outside financing.  “The companies are heavy with Georgia Tech alumni,” the magazine noted, “but that’s not a requirement.”

According to Forbes, the United States has more than 300 incubators that host approximately 6,000 companies.  Many of them associated with universities, the incubators provide a broad range of support, from shared laboratory equipment to accounting and secretarial support, the magazine said.

Incubators like the ATDC, Forbes added, “are increasingly drawing intellectual capital from around the world.”  The magazine said it worked with CB Insights, a New York firm that tracks private-company funding trends – including venture capital private equity and government-backed deals – to select 10 “especially crackling innovation hubs.”

Forbes is the third leading U.S business publication to cite ATDC’s record of success in helping Georgia entrepreneurs.  Inc. Magazine and BusinessWeek had earlier included ATDC on their lists of leading incubators.

Part of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, the ATDC now has more than 300 companies in its program.  ATDC helps Georgia technology entrepreneurs launch and build successful companies.  As part of its incubation and acceleration services, ATDC helps Georgia Tech faculty members and researchers form new companies based on intellectual property developed in the Institute’s $500 million-per-year research program.  ATDC also helps companies compete for and win federal grants through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

“Startups play an essential role in creating new jobs and growing the economy,” noted Stephen Fleming, Georgia Tech vice provost and executive director of the Enterprise Innovation Institute.  “We are proud of the many companies that have emerged from ATDC – and those currently in our program that are Georgia’s technology leaders of the future.”

On May 24th, ATDC will celebrate its 30th anniversary at its annual startup showcase and celebration.  That makes the Forbes honor especially timely, Fleming noted.

“As ATDC prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary, this recognition demonstrates that it remains relevant and important to the entrepreneur community in Georgia,” he said.  “As we enjoy this attention, we thank those who have supported ATDC over many years: the Georgia General Assembly, the Georgia Research Alliance, the Georgia Tech administration and all of the volunteers who have shared their time and expertise with companies.  Becoming one of the top programs in the world required long-term investment by many people and organizations.”

Other incubator programs cited in the Forbes list were:

  • The Environmental Business Cluster (San Jose, CA)
  • Houston Technology Center (Houston, TX)
  • The IceHouse (Auckland, New Zealand)
  • Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (Worcester, MA)
  • Palo Alto Research Center (Palo Alto, CA)
  • The Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (Champaign, IL)
  • The Technology Innovation Center (Evanston, IL)
  • University Research Park & MGE Innovation Center at the University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI)
  • Y Combinator (Mountain View, CA)