Elavon Invests in FinTech Innovation with Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center

Investment will create valuable partnerships to spur greater innovation in payments.

Wally Mlynarski is Elavon's chief product officer.

Wally Mlynarski is Elavon’s chief product officer.

 

Elavon, a global payments provider and subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), announced a new and significant, three-year financial commitment at the Georgia Institute of Technology to further accelerate innovation across financial and payments technologies (FinTech).

 

The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at Georgia Tech is Georgia’s technology incubator. It focuses on building and growing FinTech companies in the state of Georgia. Elavon’s financial sponsorship will allow for further growth and startup support for entrepreneurs in the program.

 

As part of the sponsorship, Elavon executives will mentor program participants on topics such as software and applications integration as well as consultation on effective go-to-market strategies. As the FinTech space continues to evolve, partnerships with incumbents have become more important for an early-stage company’s customer acquisition and business model development.

 

“Our investment in this program and local FinTech companies brings us closer to the growing technology community in Atlanta and across the entire payments ecosystem, and is part of Elavon’s continued focus on integrated payments and eCommerce,” said Wally Mlynarski, Elavon’s chief product officer. “With this partnership, we are able to directly impact and shape the future of payments as technology and business models continue to rapidly evolve.”

 

In addition to receiving the benefits of being an ATDC program participant, startups in the incubator’s FinTech Program are integrated into Georgia’s FinTech ecosystem. This statewide ecosystem consists of strong public-private partnerships dedicated to the continued success of Georgia FinTech companies. ATDC FinTech provides access to industry, investors, and Georgia Tech’s resources to help these startups flourish as well as coordinating support from the Technology Association of Georgia, FinTech Atlanta, and the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

 

“We’re extremely excited to welcome Elavon as our partner in further developing Georgia’s early-stage FinTech startup community,” said Jeff Gapusan, who is ATDC’s FinTech executive-in-residence and secured the sponsorship. “Elavon is a world-class financial technology company. Its resources, mentorship, and insight will enable startup founders to also succeed in this highly complex space.”

 

The ATDC FinTech program currently hosts 35 early-stage FinTech startups. Since the program’s inception in 2015, ATDC FinTech startups and recent graduates have raised more than $65 million in angel and institutional venture capital.

 

About Elavon (www.elavon.com)

Elavon is wholly owned by U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest bank in the United States, and provides end-to-end payment processing solutions and services to more than 1.3 million customers in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. As the leading provider for airlines and a top five provider in hospitality, healthcare, retail, and public sector/education, Elavon’s innovative payment solutions are designed to solve pain points for businesses from small to enterprise-sized.

 

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 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.

Georgia Tech’s ATDC hosts federal health technology summit, mental health panel discussion

Kirk Barnes, health technology catalyst at Georgia Tech's ATDC, welcomes a HealthTech entrepreneurs to the Federal Healthcare Innovation Summit co-hosted by NASCO Sept. 12, 2018. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Kirk Barnes, health technology catalyst at Georgia Tech’s ATDC, welcomes a HealthTech entrepreneurs to the Federal Healthcare Innovation Summit co-hosted by NASCO Sept. 12, 2018. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

A core tenet of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) mission is the use of innovation and ideation not only to drive economic development in Georgia and beyond, but to improve and advance the human condition.

 

On Sept. 13, 2018, EI2’s ATDC incubator — led by its health technology catalyst, Kirk L. Barnes, hosted two important events, the first with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to connect federal health agencies with HealthTech startups’ solutions and technologies.

 

HHS, which runs the largest balance sheet of any time of organization in the world at nearly $1.3 trillion a year, wants to better connect with HealthTech entrepreneurs and the solutions they have for the healthcare sector and related fields.  The ATDC Federal Healthcare Innovation Summit was co-hosted by NASCO, a leading provider of information technology products and services designed help U.S. healthcare payers, and sponsor of the ATDC HealthTech Program.

 

“The main goal of what we’re doing here today is total a very inward facing organization and turn it outward, and give everybody an opportunity to interact with us,” said Ed Simcox, HHS’ chief technology officer.

 

The second event was ATDC’s Silence The Shame for mental health awareness, which was sponsored by Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises and coincided with September being designated as National Suicide Awareness Prevention Month. That effort, which was an interactive panel discussion with hip-hop music industry executive Shanti Das and other leading experts in mental health and wellness, sought to highlight the role technology can play in mental health and in reducing the stigma of discussing depression and suicide as part of Das’ Silence The Shame initiative.

 

 

Ed Simcox, chief technology officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, addresses attendees of the Federal Healthcare Innovation Summit co-hosted by ATDC and NASCO Sept. 12, 2018. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Ed Simcox, chief technology officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, addresses attendees of the Federal Healthcare Innovation Summit co-hosted by ATDC and NASCO Sept. 12, 2018. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

 

From left, Dr. Richard Wild, chief medical officer for the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Atlanta Region, Chaouki T. Abdallah, Georgia Tech's executive vice president for research, and Kirk Barnes, health technology catalyst at ATDC. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

From left: Dr. Richard Wild, chief medical officer for the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Atlanta Region; Chaouki T. Abdallah, Georgia Tech’s executive vice president for research, and Kirk Barnes, ATDC’s health technology startup catalyst at the Federal Healthcare Innovation Summit co-hosted by ATDC and NASCO Sept. 12, 2018. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

 

Panelists address issues related to mental health and how to move away from the stigma of discussing mental health, depression and warning signs of suicide at the ATDC and Cox Enterprises-sponsored Silence The Shame Panel Sept. 12, 2018. (Photo: Ben Andrews)

Panelists address issues related to mental health and how to move away from the stigma of discussing mental health, depression and warning signs of suicide at the ATDC and Cox Enterprises-sponsored Silence The Shame Panel Sept. 12, 2018. (Photo: Ben Andrews)

Tech Square’s corporate innovation research centers reflect growing trend

tech-square-1It used to be corporate research and development was always done in-house and inside labs bunkered away from other units within a company and far away from competitors.

 

Now, that approach is no longer ideal.

 

The new model, according to a report in the Harvard Business Review, is what the Georgia Institute of Technology, along with its partners, has created with Technology Square, home to 12 corporate innovation centers, including Home Depot, Coca-Cola Enterprises, and Delta Air Lines.

 

“What’s driving companies to relocate near urban universities is the changing role of innovation within the private sector as firms are increasingly relying on external sources to support technology development,” the report’s authors, Scott Andes and Bruce J. Katz, conclude.

 

Andes is senior policy analyst and associate fellow of the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based, non-profit public policy think tank. Katz is the Brookings Institution’s inaugural centennial scholar.

 

Tech Square and the surrounding Midtown neighborhood offer what major corporations seek: proximity to a major research university and various cultural among social amenities, as well as an atmosphere that fosters collaboration, and making connections between startups clustered in the are and the large corporate firms.

 

The authors also note that Georgia Tech is particularly successful in drawing corporate innovation centers because the Institute also focuses on bringing research to market and commercializing ideas into actual companies.

 

“Georgia Tech is a national leader at spinning off startups: VentureLab, a university-run business accelerator, is ranked second in the world,” Andes and Katz write. “Georgia Tech’s incubator, the Advanced Technology Development Center, helps create successful startups by connecting entrepreneurs to mentors, capital, and customers.”

 

Read the full report at this link.