The city of Atlanta has been through many changes throughout the years. Not only has the city been the backdrop for important civil rights events, music evolution, and movie production, it’s also the southeastern hub for cutting-edge technology.
When people think of Atlanta now, they may think of the huge airport, the Atlanta United soccer team, or maybe even the birthplace of Coca-Cola, but to stop there would not be doing the city justice. Technology companies have taken special interest in the southern city.
After hosting the Olympics in 1996, Atlanta and the surrounding areas found themselves on the global map. Since then, talented engineers and architects have departed traditional western tech meccas to migrate to a city of exponential growth and development. Alpharetta, located in metro Atlanta, is home to over 600 technology companies across various industries that deliver value and advancement to both national and international businesses. Tax incentives (not unlike the ones given to movie productions) have attracted various tech companies to build their practice here, where all the action is happening.
Atlanta has been home to numerous successful start-ups in the technology industry over the last couple of decades. Amid the Atlanta tech boom in the 90’s and early 2000’s, disruptive companies the likes of MindSpring Enterprises (Charles Brewer), Universal Data Consultants (Jim Elliott and Ken Calhoun), Air Watch (John Marshall), and Optimus Solutions (Mark Metz) began popping up across Atlanta. After Optimus Solutions became a success, Metz went on to found Corus360 and turn it into one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. Today, Corus360 remains one of the top IT consulting and solutions companies in the country.
The Atlanta Tech Village in the heart of Atlanta hosts technology startups that are focused on the development of pioneering technology; among them being AI-driven analytics and automation as well as cybersecurity management using hyperledger and blockchain technology. These startups span across a multitude of verticals: Healthcare, education, fintech, and local government.
This startup community’s mantra is, “It takes a village,” which emphasizes the importance the community puts on their people and the environment they work in. Atlanta Tech Village champions diversity in their workplace and is focused on inclusive work environments in the IT industry at large. Their perspective is that a diverse community with various backgrounds, experiences, and culture is what drives innovation in the everchanging market in Atlanta and around the world.
Atlanta’s proximity to world-class education institutions has contributed greatly to the diversity of tech professionals. Top schools like Georgia Tech, the University of Georgia, Kennesaw State University, and Auburn University are producing young graduates full of fresh thought and innovative ideas that drive progress in Atlanta and its metro area.
The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) is also based in Atlanta. They advocate for the economic growth of Atlanta businesses through the means of technological advancement. Many Georgia-based technology organizations converge together annually for the TAG Summit to network and share knowledge with their peers. TAG completes its initiatives by partnering with the city, regional, and state chambers of commerce to promote organizations supporting technology in order to further growth-oriented objectives for Georgia.
Just outside the perimeter of I-285, the highway that surrounds Atlanta, sits the Sprint Curiosity™ Center that is spearheading the development of improving IoT technology with the use of 5G networking. The Curiosity™ Lab is the second autonomous test vehicle center utilizing 5G for automotive navigating in the United States. Located in the cornerstone of technological development, Technology Parkway Atlanta, Sprint’s aspiration to become the leader in IoT is a bold step in the right direction and brings more buzz to the city itself.
Atlanta, often called “the city too busy to hate,” has become a major hub for advanced technology and innovation. It’s projected that the population of Atlanta will increase from about 5.8 million residents to 7.2 million in the next decade. If the city is busy now, it’ll be even busier then. We’re hoping that the autonomous vehicle industry will take off and perhaps be the godsend we need to curb the awful Atlanta traffic.
Atlanta is on its way to becoming a major contender in the world of tech, and soon it could become something of a Silicon Valley of the East. My bias may be apparent in that statement; I love my city. I’m dedicated to the advancement of innovation across the state of Georgia, and I believe Atlanta will be the driving force behind the southeast’s rise to greater fame.