U.S. Commerce Department awards 5-year grant to MBDA Business Center-Atlanta

Georgia Tech President G.P. "Bud" Peterson, left, and Donna Ennis, director of the Minority Business Development Agency Business Center-Atlanta.

Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, left, and Donna Ennis, director of the Minority Business Development Agency Business Center-Atlanta.

The U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) named Georgia Tech Research Corp. as a grant recipient to continue to operate an MBDA Business Center in Atlanta.

The federal funding will be distributed during a five-year period that ends in 2021. The funding amount per year is $298,255 for a total of $1.49 million.

The grant program is designed to help minority-owned firms across the nation create jobs, develop their business, and compete in the global economy.

“We are extremely pleased and honored the U.S. Department of Commerce has renewed our funding for another five-year term,” said Donna Ennis, director of the MBDA Business Center-Atlanta. “Our team has been busy working with businesses across Georgia and the Southeast helping to build not only the strength of minority-owned businesses, but the state’s and region’s economy as a whole.”

A key component of MBDA’s Business Center Network is providing minority firms with access to technical expertise and resources to grow their businesses.

In the five-year period ending in 2015, MBDA Business Center-Atlanta helped 462 minority-owned businesses:

  • secure more than $577 million in contracts and procurement
  • access $177 million in capital
  • create or save 4,987 jobs

Ennis leads the MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Working Group, which is building a nationwide community of Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) manufacturers through its national network of 44 MBDA Business Centers. As part of that initiative, she launched the Connecting Advanced Manufacturing Program (CAMP) focused on providing contracting opportunities; assistance with launching new technologies, and building a nationwide ecosystem of MBE manufacturers. That led to the National MBE Manufacturers Summit 2016 at Georgia Tech this past March 24.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners, minority-owned firms in the United States increased to 8 million in 2012 from 5.8 million in 2007. Those 8 million businesses employed 7.2 million Americans.

In Georgia, there are 371,588 minority-owned firms that contribute more than $38.4 billion annually in economic output. These firms employ more than 202,000 Georgians.

Since 2009, MBDA Business Centers have assisted minority firms with gaining access to more than $31 billion in capital and contracts, while creating and retaining nearly 142,000 jobs.

About the MBDA Business Center-Atlanta

Established in 2004 and part of the Georgia Institute of Technology, the MBDA Business Center-Atlanta is a member of the national network of the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency. The MBDA Business Center-Atlanta provides business and technical assistance to help emerging and existing minority business enterprises achieve significant growth and sustainability and create long-term economic impact through increased jobs and revenue.

Advanced Technology Development Center unveils redesigned space

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, center, cuts the ceremonial ribbon following a redesign of the space at Georgia Tech's Advanced Technology Development Center on March 23. From left: House Reps. Doreen Carter and Dar'shun Kendrick; Reed; Chris Downing, interim vice president, Enterprise Innovation Institute; Stephen E. Cross, executive vice president for research, Georgia Tech; and Jennifer Bonnett, acting general manager, ATDC.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, center, cuts the ceremonial ribbon March 23, 2016, following a redesign of the space at Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center. From left: Georgia House Reps. Doreen Carter and Dar’shun Kendrick; Reed; Chris Downing, interim vice president, Enterprise Innovation Institute; Stephen E. Cross, executive vice president for research, Georgia Tech; and Jennifer Bonnett, ATDC’s acting general manager. (PHOTOS by Shane Matthews)

By Péralte C. Paul

 

Following a year of planning, brainstorming, design reviews, and construction, the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) unveiled its redesigned space March 23 with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

 

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed addresses media and the ATDC community on the incubator's importance in attracting and retaining technology talent in Atlanta and the state.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed addresses media and the ATDC community on the incubator’s importance in attracting and retaining technology talent in Atlanta and the state at a March 23, 2016 ribbon cutting ceremony of the incubator’s redesigned space.

ATDC is Georgia Tech’s statewide incubator and works with entrepreneurs in the technology space who want to build successful startups in the Peach State. Launched in 1980, ATDC is one of the longest-running and largest university-based startup incubators in the country. Though headquartered at the Century Building in Midtown Atlanta’s Technology Square, ATDC operates programs across the state, including in Savannah, Augusta, and Athens.

 

“We had a lot of discussions at ATDC about how best to meet our startups’ needs and make this floor more conducive to the innovation and collaboration atmosphere we have here in the Tech Square community,” said Christopher Downing, interim vice president of Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), the Georgia Tech unit that includes its core economic development initiatives, including ATDC.

 

Stephen E. Cross, executive vice president for research at Georgia Tech, describes how ATDC is an important part of the innovation ecosystem not only for Atlanta, but for all of Georgia.

Stephen E. Cross, executive vice president for research at Georgia Tech, describes how ATDC is an important part of the innovation ecosystem not only for Atlanta, but for all of Georgia at the incubator’s post-redesign ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 23, 2016.

“The changes you see around you are a result of those discussions and are designed not only to enhance what we do every day, but also to keep to our mission of working with entrepreneurs to help them build and launch successful technology companies right here in Georgia.”

 

Several members of the Georgia House of Representatives’ Small Business Development Committee, including Reps. Dar’shun Kendrick and Doreen Carter, attended the ceremony, as well as Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who said ATDC is a key part of the city’s efforts to let those in the technology space know that Atlanta is a city of innovation and the place to launch transformative companies.

 

Jen Bonnett, foreground, right, addresses the Tech Square community March 23, 2016 and details the renovations made to ATDC's floor at the Centergy building in Midtown Atlanta.

Jen Bonnett, foreground, right, addresses the Tech Square community March 23, 2016, and details the renovations made to ATDC’s floor at the Centergy building in Midtown Atlanta.

“I’m here to congratulate you and let you know that you have a partner in the city,” Reed said.

 

The renovations — which were done through a refinancing of bonds and at no cost to taxpayers — address growing demands for ATDC’S services from its companies and the greater entrepreneurial community. Key highlights include a new lobby, additional seed space and meeting offices, and a new classroom for ATDC classes that also is open and available for free in the evenings to technology entrepreneurs and organizations related to tech startups. Additional changes include a reconfigured library for entrepreneurs’ use as a communal space in which to collaborate and brainstorm.

 

ATDC startup entrepreneurs and other guests listen as Stephen E. Cross, executive vice president for research at Georgia Tech, discusses the incubator's role in being a critical part of the innovation ecosystem at Tech Square.

ATDC startup entrepreneurs and other guests listen as Stephen E. Cross, executive vice president for research at Georgia Tech, discusses the incubator’s role in being a critical part of the innovation ecosystem at Tech Square.

“Since its opening in 2003, Tech Square has become the hub of innovation and new ideas in metro Atlanta and in the greater Southeast. With that being the case, there is no more fitting home for ATDC’s home base than right here in Tech Square,” said Stephen E. Cross, executive vice president for research. “ATDC’s presence here and its ongoing impact for entrepreneurs across the state are critical success factors for the innovation ecosystem as a whole and to Georgia Tech as an institution.”

Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership names new South Georgia region manager

http://gamep.org/region-manager-team-members/

Hank Hobbs is the new manager for the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s South Georgia region.

By Katie Takacs

 

The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP), an outreach program of the Georgia Institute of Technology, named Henry B. “Hank” Hobbs as the new South Georgia region manager.

 

In this role, Hobbs will serve manufacturers in 32 counties across South Georgia, with his office based in the South Georgia region. He and his team of project managers will work closely with local manufacturers to help them develop top-line growth and reduce bottom-line costs through process improvement efforts, ISO management systems, energy and sustainability initiatives, innovation growth strategies, and connections to Georgia Tech. These valuable services contribute to Georgia’s economic growth because it supports Georgia’s strong manufacturing sector and brings new jobs to both urban and rural areas across South Georgia.

 

Hobbs will be taking over the role from Art Ford, who retired after more than 30 years with Georgia Tech. Before his appointment as region manager, Hobbs previously served as a GaMEP project manager and prior was with the Technical College System of Georgia, serving business and industry across the southern part of the state. With more than 10 years of experience working within manufacturing companies as an industrial and manufacturing engineer, plant engineer, and a safety, health and environmental manager, Hobbs brings expertise in traditional industrial engineering disciplines, quality systems, process improvement, welding, automation, stamping and metals manufacturing, supervisory and leadership development, and regulatory compliance.

 

“Hank has been an integral part of the GaMEP team since joining the organization almost two years ago. We are excited about his transition from a project manager to a region manager,” said Karen Fite, GaMEP director. ”With extensive experience working within manufacturing plants, he brings a great skill set to the job.”

 

In this position, Hobbs will work closely with the local chambers and economic development groups, as well as connect local manufacturers back to the variety of programs that Georgia Tech offers to manufacturers across the state.

 

“I look forward to connecting with more manufacturers in the region in which I not only work but live, listening to their needs, providing a solutions-based approach to help them grow competitively, and establishing long-term relationships,” said Hobbs.

 

For more information, contact Katie Takacs at ude.hcetag.etavonninull@scakat.eitak.

Delta Air Lines to open collaborative research center at Georgia Tech

TechSquare_AfterDelta Air Lines plans to open a collaborative research center at the Georgia Institute of Technology that will focus on operations and customer experience enhancements.

 

The Atlanta-based airline, which is funding the initiative through a $2 million grant, is leasing 6,500 square feet in the Centergy building at Technology Square. It is expected to open in early 2016.

 

“At Delta we are continuously seeking to improve and elevate our operations and the customer experience,” said Gil West, Delta’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “This facility is the first of its kind for the domestic aviation industry. Tapping into the bright minds at Georgia Tech is an opportunity to gain new perspectives and approaches across Delta for changes that will advance our business now and for years to come.”