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    Daley Ervin joins Engage Ventures as Entrepreneur-in-Residence

    Veteran entrepreneur and ultramarathoner spent more than a decade leading venture capital-backed startups around the world.

     

     

    Daley Ervin

    Daley Ervin has joined Engage as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. (Photo: Allie Schonberg)

    Engage, the strategic grouping of 11 major corporations in an independent venture fund and platform,announced today that Daley Ervin, a seasoned entrepreneur and executive, has joined as an entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR).

     

    Ervin, who is Engage’s first named EIR, will focus on deepening corporate partner relationships and assisting portfolio founders in partnership development, go-to-market refinement, and the issues surrounding high-growth and scale.

     

    “Engage’s mission is to leverage our platform to give entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain access to customers, distribution channels, and Fortune 500 scale,” said Engage Managing Director, Thiago Olson “Daley will bring immediate value to Engage, our portfolio founders, and our corporate partners, we’re excited to have him on board.”

     

    Ervin has more than 10 years leading four venture capital-backed startups on three continents that raised a collective $4.6 billion. Most recently, he was Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for Amazon-backed Nucleus in New York. Prior to that, he was the General Manager and Head of North American Operations for Student.com, launched international offices for YPlan, and was part of the International Expansion Team at Airbnb.

     

    “My belief in the Engage mission and seeing howcommitted the corporate partners are - from the CEOs down to operating teams - is what drew me to Engage. The partner appetite for more engagement seems to be growing rapidly. They want to build out an even more comprehensive platform,” Ervin said. “I am excited to help create opportunities for the Engage partners to connect and learn from each other by building out that platform.”

     

    As a competitive ultramarathoner and extreme endurance athlete, Ervin set the United States’ pairs record having rowed 3,000 miles over 45-days across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain to the Caribbean in the "World's Toughest Rowing Race."

     

    He earned his bachelor’s degree in business and communication from Arizona State University.

     

    About Engage

    Engage is a venture fund and growth platformthat gives entrepreneurs what they need most — customers and market access. Engage corporate partners contributing capital, expertise, time, and resources include AT&T, Chick-fil-A, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Georgia Tech, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power Foundation, Inc., The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Invesco Ltd., Tech Square Ventures, The Home Depot and UPS. These corporate partners, along with the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) and Tech Square Ventures, provide tools, hands-on support and resources.Engage is headquartered in Georgia Tech’s Technology Square. For more information, visit engage.vc.

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    Advanced Technology Development Center and Georgia Tech Research Corporation to host first-ever “How to License Georgia Tech IP”

    Entrepreneurs invited to attend panel discussion and learn how to find, commercialize Georgia Tech research.

    ATDC logo

    Do you have a great concept that addresses a market need or solves a business challenge, but don’t know how to find the technology to power your idea? Or are you an entrepreneur who wants to find a commercial strategy for an exciting technology coming out of a research lab?

     

    The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) and the Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC) are co-hosting a panel discussion, “How to License Georgia Tech IP,” on August 22 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event, which will be held in ATDC’s Community Room at 75 5thSt. NW in Atlanta, is designed to help entrepreneurs learn how to access the Institute’s research findings and commercialize them into viable technology companies. (Register here.)

     

    ATDC is the state of Georgia’s technology incubator helping entrepreneurs launch and scale technology companies. GTRC is the contracting unit for all of Tech’s sponsored research activities. It also licenses intellectual property (IP) developed by Institute faculty and students — including patents, software, and copyrights, among other components.

     

    Georgia Tech Research Corporation“We often hear from entrepreneurs that they have an idea or have identified a problem their idea solves, but they don’t know how to go about finding the technology around which to build their company,” said ATDC Interim Director Jane McCracken. “Or, if they know they can tap into Georgia Tech’s vast research expertise, they don’t know exactly where to go or how to start that process.

     

    “So, with this event, we’re giving entrepreneurs and the public at large an opportunity to better understand how to do that and how we at ATDC and GTRC can be resources to help them access Georgia Tech intellectual property.”

     

    The panelists — which include the founders of three companies that have licensed technology developed at the Institute — will share their respective journeys and insights into building their companies using Tech IP.

     

    McCracken will moderate the panel, which is comprised of (from left to right):

    “This panel illustrates the myriad of ways entrepreneurs can license and leverage Georgia Tech-created IP to form new companies,” Bray said. “Musheer is a Tech Ph.D who created his company from the research he conducted, while Finn, who has no Tech affiliation, licensed technology from GTRC for his startup, and Jim is a serial entrepreneur.”

     

    Many entrepreneurs have questions regarding IP law and standards governing licensing, Bray said. Panelist Scott Bryant, an attorney who regularly counsels clients on commercializing university IP, will address that aspect of licensing technology.

     

    “ATDC and GTRC want attendees to have a comprehensive understanding of how they can plug into Georgia Tech and how we can help them create strong companies,” Bray said. “Licensing technology and navigating the university IP landscape can be daunting, but we want this to serve as a blueprint for entrepreneurs.”

     

    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.

     

    About the Georgia Tech Research Corporation

    The Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC) is a state chartered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation serving the Georgia Institute of Technology. GTRC serves as the contracting entity for all sponsored research activities at Georgia Tech. It also protects and licenses intellectual property (patents, software, copyrights, etc.) created at Georgia Tech. Through technology transfer, GTRC enables the Institute to maintain strong partnerships with the public and private sectors to assure the benefits of discovery are widely disseminated. For more information, visit industry.gatech.edu.

    To view intellectual property currently available for licensing, visit technologies.gtrc.gatech.edu.

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    Dalton machine shop expands to serve aerospace industry

    Precision Products Inc. increased its annual sales by more than $3.5 million

    after working with Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

     

    manufacturing, parts making

    Precision Products Inc. is a high precision parts manufacturing company based in Dalton, Georgia.

    DALTON, Ga. Precision Products Inc. obtained a new quality management certification that has allowed the Northwest Georgia-based company to serve the aerospace industry, invest in its plant, and create jobs.

     

    The certification — AS9100C — followed Precision Products’ work with the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP), which helped the company create and continuously improve its quality management system.

     

    A program of the Georgia Institute of Technology, GaMEP works with manufacturers across the state to help them reduce costs and increase growth.

     

    AS9100C certification is part of a widely adopted and standardized quality management system for the aerospace sector.

     

    Since the AS9100C certification, the company has increased annual sales by more than $3.5 million, invested in excess of $1.5 million in new equipment, and hired several new employees specific to the aerospace market to help meet the increased demand.

     

    “The quality management system implementation process allowed us to work with Precision Products to help analyze and problem solve their daily operations, communication systems, and documentation efforts,” said Craig Cochran, a project manager at GaMEP, which has worked with Precision Products for the past 10 years.

     

    The GaMEP was instrumental in Precision Products obtaining an earlier certification — ISO 9001 — which allowed the company to then pursue the AS9100C designation.

     

    ISO 9001 is the international standard for quality management systems that helps organizations ensure they are in compliance with the needs of their customers while simultaneously adhering to statutory and regulatory requirements related to a given product or service.

     

    That certification led to more opportunities for new customers in several different industries, including the aerospace sector for Precision Products.

     

    The aerospace sector was a perfect business expansion target for Precision Products because the company’s core competencies of tight tolerances and exacting specifications are critical in aerospace.

     

    However, the company soon realized some aerospace manufacturers require even more stringent controls depending on the types of parts being supplied. So, the company worked with GaMEP to pursue and obtain AS9100C certification.

     

    “This additional certification opened up an entirely new market for us,” said E. Don Smith, Precision Products’ senior sales engineer. “It has increased our business substantially because it has allowed us to attend trade shows and get new customers we would not have been able to serve prior to the certification.”

     

    Since the company had already adopted a mindset of continual improvement and employee involvement, “the aerospace certification was remarkably easy,” Cochran said. “Precision Products holds itself to much higher standards than any auditor would.”

     

    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 10 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, please visit gamep.org.

     

    About Precision Parts Inc.

    Founded in 1993, as a family/woman-owned business in Dalton, Georgia, Precision Products Inc., is a high precision parts manufacturing company. They make parts to order, either based on provided specifications or through reverse engineering, to support manufacturing operations in a variety of industries. For more information, please visit ppiparts.com.

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    Advanced Technology Development Center portfolio companies raise more than $56 million in investment capital in first half of 2018

    ATDC startups completed 63 deals in first six months of the year.

     

    ATDC logoStartups in the Advanced Technology Development Center’s (ATDC) current portfolio raised $56 million in investment capital in the first half of 2018. The figure also includes $4.9 million in non-dilutive funds companies received — with assistance from ATDC — through federal grants and awards.

     

    The funds raised — mostly seed and Series A funding — tracks with ATDC’s record-setting year in 2017 and is more than three times the amount portfolio companies recorded at mid-year in 2016.

     

    ATDC’s graduate companies raised an additional $229 million in the first half of 2018, and that, combined with the incubator’s current member companies’ results, brings the total investments in the first half of 2018 to $285 million.

     

    Companies that raised funds in the period included Greenlight Financial Technology, which completed a $20 million Series A round; Rimidi, which closed a $6.57 million Series A round; Cypress, which raised $4 million; Volantio, which secured $2.6 million, and RoadSync, which completed a $2.5 million round.

     

    “In addition to the sizeable amount of funds raised, it is important to note that companies in their earlier stages of development, those that participate in our Accelerate program activities, closed 23 investment deals,” said Michael A. Maziar, ATDC’s investor relations manager.

    This is the same number of deals that companies further along in their maturity, those in ATDC’s Signature program, achieved.

     

    “This level of activity is significant because national trends keep pointing to larger and later stage investments, making earlier stage funding even harder to raise. We are proud to buck this trend which is a testament to the coaching and program activities that we provide.” Maziar said.

     

    “ATDC has been key in helping us build our momentum at a critical part of our growth stage,” said Robin Gregg, CEO of RoadSync, a digital payments platform for the transportation industry. “Michael was instrumental in this funding round because he made the introduction our lead investor.”

     

    Pro-actively connecting companies with sources of funding is among the key program activities that ATDC provides, Maziar said.

     

    “Our investor connections are not only locally based but we continue to increase the number of investor relationships through the ATDC Venture Showcase events we host in New York City, on the West Coast, and now, Boston, where we’ll be taking 12 companies in September to meet investors based there,” he said.

     

    Thegoal of the ATDC Venture Showcases is to give out-of-state investors who may not be as intimately familiar with Atlanta’s technology ecosystem, a sense of the innovative, investable startups that are here.

     

    “Not only do we want to foster and deepen the relationships in other cities and impress them with a sample of the investor-ready startups we have in Atlanta, but we also see the results when they visit in-person to see all the potential opportunities we have here,”

     

    At the April 2018 Venture Showcase in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, ATDC presented 10 Georgia companies to 44 venture capitalists from 40 area firms, including San Mateo, Calif.-based Sierra Ventures, which has more than $1.9 billion in investments under management.

     

    “ATDC brought carefully selected, early-stage startups to Silicon Valley and allowed us to meet with them in an informal setting,” said Jim Doehrman, Sierra Ventures’ operating partner.

     

    “We are impressed with the quality of the companies and I don’t feel that we could have identified these companies as potential investment opportunities through our standard network,” Doehrman said. “We would like to increase our investment presence in Georgia and the Venture Showcase was a great step for us.”

      

    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.

     

    About ATDC Investor Connect:

    ATDC strategically matches its portfolio companies to capital through curated investor interactions. The Investor Relations manager is available for consultations to help companies develop a focused funding strategy. In addition, the manager works with the incubator’s coaching staff for funding preparation. The outcome creates exceptionally engineered investor readiness, resulting in high value deal flow for investors. For more information, visit atdc.org/how-we-help/capital.

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    I-Corps South hosts group from Mexico for entrepreneurship training academy
    I-Corps South I-Corps Mexico

    Georgia Tech's I-Corps South program hosted team of instructors from Mexico for two days of training and education to learn about entrepreneurship processes in commercializing their research. (Photo: Miriam Huppert)

    The Georgia Institute of Technology’s I-Corps South program recently hosted 17 university-based instructors from Mexico for a two-day training session to teach them the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and how to build and maintain such programs at their schools.

     

    “This is the I-Corps South Instructor Academy, which prepares instructors on how to teach the I-Corps methodology,” said Melissa Heffner, an I-Corps program manager.

     

    The instructors came under the sponsorship of the National Council on Science and Technology (CONACYT), which is charged with coordinating and promoting Mexico’s scientific and technologic development, she said.

     

    I-Corps South is a partnership of Georgia Tech, the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business.

     

    Keith McGreggor I-Corps South

    Keith McGreggor (standing), executive director of I-Corps South at Georgia Tech, leads an education session on entrepreneurship. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

    Its main objective is to provide entrepreneurs in the Southeast and Puerto Rico with consistent instruction on the principles of evidence-based entrepreneurship, said Keith McGreggor, I-Corps South’s executive director.

     

    With universities, I-Corps South offers the tools, support, and resources required to launch and maintain high-quality evidence-based entrepreneurship programs across the Southeast and Puerto Rico.

     

    While university researchers often develop great ideas, they don’t always know how to take their findings from the lab to the marketplace, McGreggor said.

     

    I-Corps Mexico — created in 2012 and based on the U.S.’s  National Science Foundation’s model — aims to ensure that research developed by scientists in Mexico lead to greater societal impact. The I-Corps Mexico program was the first time that the training model was applied outside the United States.

     

    “Mexico’s I-Corps program recently expanded to 8 nodes from 5 and CONACYT wanted a more formal program for this expansion,” Heffner said, explaining why the organization selected Georgia Tech’s program to conduct the training for the Mexican instructors.

     

    “I-Corps South first offered a training course in 2016, and since then we’ve built out and augmented the program,” Heffner said. “To date, we’ve offered the program six times and have trained 25 instructors from 11 different universities.”

     

    Additionally, I-Corps South has been asked to submit a proposal to the NSF to develop and conduct training courses for NSF I-Corps Sites instructors across the United States, at more than 80 sites.

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