By Larry Williams, president and CEO, Technology Association of Georgia
Coming out of the pandemic, tech businesses are leading the way to a surge in deal flow and a new phase of growth in the innovation economy.
Just this month, Intuit bought MailChimp, UPS announced an investment in Roadie, Goldman Sachs bought Greensky, and Stored reached $1 billion valuation. Established tech businesses are booming too. Earlier this year, we saw Microsoft building a 90-acre campus on Atlanta’s Westside, Google expanding in Midtown, Airbnb’s big expansion and FanDuel moving into Ponce City Market and creating 900 jobs.
TAG is committed to helping businesses navigate the technology ecosystem, and we’re proud to help fuel growth for our members—from startups to established businesses. These days, with digital transformation a priority, most every business is a tech business. The technology ecosystem is changing and expanding into every sector of the economy. Need proof of the innovation and brainpower emerging from our community? Just look at the roster of TAG Top 40 companies represented in this year’s annual list of Inc.’s 5000 fastest growing companies.
Twenty TAG Top 40 winners earned recognition on this prestigious list. Congratulations to these businesses and their leaders and investors. Special thanks to Dennis Zakas, TAG’s Top 40 Award Chairman, for leading this annual effort to recognize talent and innovation in our thriving technology community. This award program has a fantastic track record of picking tomorrow’s winners.
Another way TAG creates value for up and coming businesses is the Fintech South Innovation Challenge’s Education and Mentoring program. The idea is to bring startups and industry veterans together to bolster our dynamic and growing fintech ecosystem.
New companies compete on Fintech South’s main stage for a chance to win a $25,000 cash prize and one-year admission to the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC). We’ve seen some brilliant ideas from these entrepreneurs come to fruition over the years.
Looking ahead, on October 20 and 21, TAG is partnering with Venture Atlanta, along with the Atlanta CEO Council and Metro Atlanta Chamber. This year, Venture Atlanta selected 91 companies to feature at its annual conference. More than 400 companies applied—a record number.
This year’s cohort is our most diverse ever in terms of demographics of the founders and geography. It’s great to see that more than half of the businesses pitching at Venture Atlanta have underrepresented founders, and more than 60 percent are from outside Georgia. The innovation economy is boundaryless and more inclusive than ever.
These firms have the opportunity to pitch top tier investors from around the country. I can’t wait to hear their pitches and look forward to tracking their success well into the future.