ATLANTA –The Technology Association of Georgia is moving to assert itself as “the voice” for the state’s tech industry.

“Georgia’s technology and infrastructure resources are vast, but not always easy to find, so people end up trying to solve many of the same problems around policy, education and philanthropy,” Emma Morris, the interim president of TAG, tells Local Tech Wire. “TAG wants to provide a one-stop shop for technology minded people to find out what is going on around the state in support of four key initiatives regardless of what organization or group is providing the service.”

TAG announced a broader scope of mission and a new charter with an intent to focus on what it called “four areas of focus” last week:

  • Policy
  • Education
  • Philanthropy
  • Capital

The group plans to name chairpersons in each of the four categories.

Morris says TAG intends to be a “powerful” advocate.

“Only through a single powerful voice can we create the right environment by facilitating pro-active legislation in support of technology companies, attracting and retaining students throughout Georgia’s education system, attracting and facilitating capital investment in entrepreneurial companies, and giving back to the community through technology sponsored philanthropic programs,” she explains.

Looking for more ROI

Morris points out that people belonging to various organizations may recognize pieces of what those groups do in TAG’s go-forward strategy.

“To develop our model, we took a look at several organizations and listened to many of our members and strategic partners,” Morris says. “This new approach takes the best of all that we heard and saw. It allows us to build on what everyone else statewide offers and not reinvent the wheel in any area. Resources are too scarce for that!”

As a result of its changes, Morris says TAG would become less focused on event sponsorship. It currently puts on more than 125 events per year.

“We are moving away from a pure event sponsorship model to a longer term investor model where patrons invest in the long term return-on-investment of a strong TAG and not event by event,” she explains. “We are also building a vibrant portal that will allow us to provide fee-for-services from TAG and our partners.”

TAG was formed in 1999 through the merger and partnerships of several groups, including the Business & Technology Alliance, the Southeastern Software Association and Women in Technology.

The group has come to be known for its working groups, known as SIGS (special interest groups) and nine “societies.”

While recognizing the importance of those groups, Tripp Rackley, the chairman of TAG, said in a statement that the organization “must expand beyond the networking and event-based model to continue our growth and relevance to the state’s technology community.”

Although TAG will not be involved directly in venture capital efforts, Morris says the group will be active in “facilitating the connection of human and financial capital through our databases, our programs and members.”

TAG: www.tagonline.org