At the Atlanta Tech Village: Adam Wexler of Insight Pool (top left); Johnson Cook of ATL (top right); Jane Curth of GetHealthyou.com (from left, bottom), Jesse Dyer of meetmetix.com and Bruno Francois of Cycloramic.
ATLANTA — You can buy a small home in the suburbs here for as little as $100,000. Food and transportation can be more affordable than in its Northern big-city counterparts.
Yet Atlanta is the USA’s ninth largest city, with a metro population of nearly 6 million. It is home to the nation’s busiest airport and huge companies such as Coca-Cola, UPS, Home Depot and Turner Broadcasting.
What it hasn’t been is a top 10 city for tech start-ups. But that’s changing.
Access to Hartsfield-Jackson airport and the metro area’s low-cost living and working expenses have encouraged many young start-ups to try Atlanta.
“Our goal in the next 10 years is to make Atlanta one of the top 10 cities for tech start-ups,” says Johnson Cook, the managing director of the new Atlanta Tech Village, a “co-working” space that opened in January.
The Village sold out its 85 available desks — via Twitter — within two weeks. It now has a waiting list of 100 people who want to pay $300 monthly per desk.
Local university Georgia Tech has 40 companies working at its Advanced Technology Development Center, which it calls the largest and oldest campus-based tech incubator in the nation. It, too, has a waiting list of 21 companies wanting to participate.
Firms get to stay at the ATDC for up to three years. Georgia Tech has no investment in the companies. Its intent, instead, is to help create jobs by helping small businesses get off the ground, says Stephen Fleming, a Georgia Tech vice-president.
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