More than 200 entrepreneurs, business and community leaders and residents in the city of Peachtree Corners converged May 27 to get a preview of Prototype Prime, the new technology incubator set to open in July 2016.
The 12,000-square-foot facility in Technology Park — a former office space — is located below Peachtree Corners City Hall and is currently being renovated to accommodate Prototype Prime.
The incubator will provide space and access to education, tools, venture capitalists, and other services to help local entrepreneurs launch and scale their startups.
“It’s a win-win for communities with a successful incubator,” said Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason. “Not only is the success much greater when there is an incubator program to help support startups in their early years, those new business owners tend to stay in the same community adding jobs as their businesses grow.”
The main goal of an incubator is to produce successful firms, which have the potential to create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods and strengthen local economies.
Startup Ecosystems helps governments, communities, foundations, entrepreneurs, and small businesses foster value creation by applying innovative ideas, technology, and policy to initiatives focused on economic growth.
ATDC, which is the statewide incubator for technology entrepreneurs in Georgia, offers support by providing expertise and resources launching and maintaining a successful incubator program.
Both are part of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), which serves as the core unit for Georgia Tech’s economic development efforts.
The Peachtree Corners initiative began in 2015 when Startup Ecosystems conducted a Community Readiness Assessment for a business incubation program in the city. The drive was part of a larger effort to encourage economic development.
“Our team, led by Lynne Henkiel and Juli Golemi, engaged leadership, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders to determine if Peachtree Corners not only desired a business incubation program, but could support it, too, “ said David Bridges, Startup Ecosystems’ director. “Our research analysis of the city’s economic and demographic data, along with its innovation characteristics, showed significant support for the development of an incubation program in Peachtree Corners.”
The city, working through Wayne Hodges, a cofounder of ATDC and vice provost emeritus of Georgia Tech, drafted an agreement with ATDC, which will run the incubation program at Prototype Prime.
“There is a huge need for a business incubator in this area,” said Sanjay Parekh, Prototype Prime’s executive director and associate director of CREATE-X at Georgia Tech. “We are already receiving feedback from many who are interested in being part of the program.”
Investing in an incubator service can provide real returns. According to a 2007 study by the Maryland Technology Development Corp., incubators in that state generated approximately $1.2 billion in gross state product and $100 million in state and local tax revenue.