Hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors and technology enthusiasts descended upon Midtown the week of May 7, 2018 for the inaugural Tech Square Innovation Week.
The week, which featured more than a dozen events, including the Advanced Technology Development Center’s 2018 ATDC Startup Showcase, was designed to highlight the innovation and collaboration occurring in and around Tech Square.
Hosted by Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) and ATDC, Tech Square Innovation Week brought the spotlight to the different programs and resources that have converged to make Tech Square a national model of an ecosystem where business and industry, startup entrepreneurs, students, and the investment communities grow, succeed, and thrive.
“Tech Square has come a long way in the past 15 years, but in many ways I think we are just getting started,” said Chris Downing, vice president and director of EI2, noting the Tech Square concept was launched in 2003.
“Technology is all about momentum and change and innovation and Tech Square embodies that because today, it is home to more than 100 startup companies, 22 corporate innovation centers representing Fortune 500 companies,” he said. “We have several flagship entrepreneur-focused programs including ATDC and Venturelab, as well as Engage, our newest accelerator program, and we are building the second phase of Tech Square right now with the new CODA building.”
See photos from the 2018 ATDC Startup Showcase and the Georgia Tech Innovation Showcase at our Facebook photo gallery.
In a 2016 visit to the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle challenged the state’s tech startup incubator to double the number of resident startups it served in Atlanta and the rest of the state.
Two years later, ATDC — a program of the Georgia Institute of Technology — not only met the challenge, but has exceeded initial expectations, with more than 180 companies now in its Signature and Accelerate portfolios across the state.
The growth has led to an expansion of ATDC’s offices in Technology Square to accommodate that demand. The creation of new suites at ATDC’s second floor offices in the Centergy Building — and expansion onto the third floor — allows for the incubator to house an additional 25 resident startups.
Cagle was on the Tech campus in a May 8 reception to mark the milestone, visit with some ATDC startup company CEOs, get an update on the Engage venture fund and growth accelerator, and to learn more about the innovation ecosystem that also includes the Institute’s VentureLab, CREATE-X, and Flashpoint programs.
His visit was part of a weeklong series of events taking place during Tech Square Innovation Week, which celebrated Tech Square as a hub of ideation.
“Entrepreneurship is critically important to what the new economy is going to look like,” Cagle said during his visit. “I am thrilled to be with you here today and I can’t tell you how proud I am of each and every single person here. We’re just getting started and we’re going to take Georgia to even higher levels than we ever imagined, and you are the very reason for that.”
The expansion underscores the explosion of demand for ATDC’s services not only in Atlanta, but across the state, including Athens, Augusta, and Savannah.
“We were able to meet that demand in part because we received an increase in state funding — thanks to Lt. Governor Cagle’s leadership — that allowed us to increase our services and statewide reach,” said Chris Downing, vice president of the Enterprise Innovation Institute, Tech’s economic development arm whose programs include ATDC.
In 2017, ATDC’s portfolio companies raised $130 million in investment capital and in the in the first quarter of 2018, they attracted more than $33 million in investment dollars to the state.
“All of the ATDC’s work — the coaching, connections and community building — further establishes Georgia’s reputation a leading place for entrepreneurs and technology companies to flourish,” said Jane McCracken, ATDC’s assistant director. “That means jobs, additional funding and increased revenues, which benefit all of Georgia’s citizens.”
Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, who welcomed Cagle to campus, said ATDC’s success is just one of the many successful components in the Institute’s technology startup support.
Other programs include CREATE-X, a faculty-led initiative that helps students pursue entrepreneurial opportunities.
VentureLab collaborates with Institute faculty and students to create startups based on Tech research. Flashpoint is a startup accelerator, and Engage is an independent, early-stage venture fund and growth program.
The additional office spaces will allow for greater collaboration and partnership between ATDC, VentureLab and CREATE-X.
“This success all around Tech Square has been possible largely due to state support, and the lieutenant governor’s vision for fostering innovation in the state,” Peterson said.
“Thanks to increased state funding to ATDC and establishment of the Invest Georgia fund, we can continue to foster home-grown innovation. We are dedicated to helping keep these entrepreneurs in Georgia.”
Weeklong events from May 7-10 to shine spotlight on innovation ecosystem and feature open houses, tech summits, block party and 32nd annual ATDC Startup Showcase.
Technology Square is abuzz with the activity of startups, corporate innovation, and disruptive research, as well as outstanding student talent from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
For one week in spring 2018 — May 7-10 — the Tech Square neighborhood and the components that make it one of the nation’s most successful ecosystems of ideation and disruption will be on display as part of Tech Square Innovation Week.
The Georgia Institute of Technology’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) and its Enterprise Innovation Institute are the hosts of Tech Square Innovation Week.
“With this week, we and our partners really wanted to show all the various components that make Tech Square the vibrant innovation ecosystem that it is,” said Jen Bonnett, ATDC general manager.
“Tech Square is a national model of economic development, ideation, and technology disruption. With Tech Square Innovation Week, this is the opportunity for visitors and event attendees to see how and why we’re succeeding and possibly join to continue that momentum.”
The week’s events include a “portfolio night” at Engage, the private startup accelerator and venture fund owned and operated by its 10 founding companies, the Georgia Tech Innovation Showcase of up-and-coming research ideas Georgia Tech students and faculty have developed, and the Atlanta Startup Battle at Tech Square Labs, with $100,000 at stake.
Tech Square Innovation Week also includes the Technology Association of Georgia’s FinTech South 2018, a two-day summit focused on the latest trends in the financial technology sector, and the ATDC RetailTech Summit, which will explore technological disruptions and opportunities in that sector.
Tech Square Innovation Week will culminate with the 2018 ATDC Startup Showcase on May 10 at the Georgia Tech Academy of Medicine and the Renaissance Atlanta Midtown Hotel.
Now in its 32nd year, the ATDC Startup Showcase is Georgia’s largest spring startup confab. The event, which draws nearly 1,000 attendees, features more than 80 of disruptive technology companies from the state of Georgia.
About Tech Square Innovation Week:
Tech Square Innovation Week — May 7 through May 10, 2018 — is a weeklong celebration that highlights and celebrates different components that combined, make Technology Square in Atlanta’s Midtown neighborhood, a national economic development model that entrepreneurship, disruption, research, corporate partnerships and investment. For more information, please visit techsquareinnovates.com.
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.