Georgia Tech Wins Cooperative Agreement to Operate MBDA Business Center

Mark Wilson, MBDA entrepreneur-in-residenceThe Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) was recently awarded a U.S. Department of Commerce cooperative agreement to operate the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center. Formerly known as the Georgia Minority Business Enterprise Center (GMBEC), the MBDA Business Center will expand its focus to help minority business enterprises expand their global footprint, scale up through acquisition, and develop more teaming and strategic alliances to secure larger contracts.

The MBDA Business Center will also be launching an entrepreneur-in-residence program with Mark Wilson, an entrepreneur, investor and business leader focused on nurturing business innovation and applying his expertise to help guide others. He is the founder and former CEO of Ryla, Inc., a nationally-recognized customer support and contact center with more than 5,000 employees and revenues in excess of $100 million. Wilson was named Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award® for 2010 and TiE Atlanta’s 2010 Entrepreneur of Year.

“The Georgia Minority Business Enterprise Center – now the MBDA Business Center – will continue to play a vital role in facilitating the growth of both emerging and established minority businesses in Georgia,” noted Stephen Fleming, Georgia Tech vice president and executive director of EI2. “Minority business owners in Georgia will now have even more resources at their fingertips to innovate and improve their competitiveness.”

The MBDA Business Center provides business and technical assistance that helps emerging and existing minority business enterprises (MBEs) experience significant growth and sustainability, and have long-term economic impact through the creation of jobs and revenue. Part of a national network of centers established to increase the number of MBEs and strengthen existing ones, MBDA provides services in business assessment, access to capital and finance management, access to markets, strategic business consulting and business process improvement.

Georgia Tech has operated the Minority Business Enterprise Center (MBEC) since 2004 when it won the first cooperative agreement. The second award was in 2007 and the April 2011 cooperative agreement will make the third time Georgia Tech has competed for and won this award. Since its establishment, the Center has helped minority businesses in Georgia create more than 3,200 jobs and generate more than $400 million in finance, contracts and sales.

For more information on MBDA services offered by Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, contact Donna Ennis (404-894-2096); E-mail: (; Web site: (

About Enterprise Innovation Institute:

The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.


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Writer: Nancy Fullbright