ATLANTA – Backers of entrepreneurial startups in Georgia are consolidating resources and broadening their outreach efforts, officials announced Monday.
“The requirements are pretty simple:
“You must be a Georgia technology startup.
“That’s it. Really.”
So proclaims the web site at the at Georgia Tech. The ATDC is merging with, Tech’s VentureLab and the Georgia Small Business Innovation and Research Assistance Program.
“The open door policy is a strong, positive shift and reinforces ATDC’s leadership role in the startup community not just within the Atlanta metro area, but throughout the entire state,” said veteran entrepreneur Sig Mosley, a member of the ATDC board of advisor and president of Imlay Investments.
Urvaksh Karkaria, writing in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, labeled the consolidation as “ATDC 2” a “bold experiment.”
“By delivering consulting services to all through a network of reputable investors and seasoned entrepreneurs, the ATDC will make itself relevant and accessible to startups of all stripes and ZIP codes,” Karkaria wrote.
All three programs are part of the Enterprise Innovation Institute at Tech. Stephen Fleming, who recently was named vice provost to oversee the institute, will serve as director of the consolidated group.
No staff reductions will be made, the groups said in a statement.
“By pooling resources, the new ATDC has increased the staff available to serve its expanded mission of helping Georgia entrepreneurs launch and build successful technology companies,” the ATDC said in a statement. “The change will allow ATDC to greatly extend its reach to serve more technology companies along multiple growth paths and at all stages of development.”
Stephen Fleming, vice provost at Georgia Tech who is in charge of the ATDC, said the consolidation represents changes taking place in the marketplace. Less emphasis will be placed on startups seeking venture capital, and membership will be broadened, he added.
“Many startup companies do not want or need to pursue venture funding. Some are not even seeking traditional office space,” Fleming said. “ATDC’s new initiatives directly address the demands of today’s startup environment.”
The consolidated effort will continue to offer new business incubator space in Atlanta as well as Savannah in addition to other services such as mentoring. ATDC also said it wants to work with more entrepreneurs outside of Atlanta.
ATDC already oversees the 10-year-old Georgia-funded ATDC Seed Capital Fund. The merger also brings responsibility for management of the Georgia Tech Edison Fund, which launched in 2007 and relies on charitable donations.