Monday, August 20, 2012

Start Up Atlanta: City's Kiss to Entrepreneurs
Atlanta Business Chronicle by Urvaksh Karkaria, Staff Writer

Kasim Reed loves startups. And he wants you to know it.
Invest Atlanta, the city's economic development agency, is launching Start Up Atlanta, a program aimed at boosting entrepreneurship. The initiative will host a web-based platform that visually maps out entrepreneur resources, such as incubators, accelerators, service providers.

The City of Atlanta is open to business, Atlanta's Mayor Reed declared to a room full of entrepreneurs, economic development officials and tech industry types on Tuesday.

"You are going to have an open door to me," Reed said, " that when you decide that you want to share your dream with us, bring your business to the city of Atlanta, that you have a city that wants to work out problems."
Start Up Atlanta's goal is to "introduce, connect, support and expand the entrepreneurial, investment and talent ecosystem within all industries of Atlanta, and the surrounding region."

The initiative, its boosters say, will pair entrepreneurs with talent and potential funding, and hopefully create jobs and grow Atlanta’s economy.
Backing startups make sense since two-thirds of all jobs are created by small businesses. Growing businesses organically is also a lot less expensive than luring out-of-state companies with multi-million dollar economic incentive packages.

While well-intentioned, Start Up Atlanta seems a bit of "more of the same."
Atlanta has no shortage of groups and initiatives aimed at nurturing the tech startup eco system — Georgia Tech's Advanced Technology Development Center, Technology Association of Georgia, The CEO Council, Metro Atlanta Chamber, Startup Chicks Venture Atlanta, which until now has been a two-day conference connecting Atlanta tech companies with capital, is reincarnating itself as something more.

The Venture Atlanta Coalition — a partnership between TAG, the CEO Council and the Metro Atlanta Chamber — seeks to be a year-round initiative aimed at startup education, fundraising, and general cheerleading.
All that sounds an awful lot like what Start Up Atlanta aims to be.
Start Up Atlanta's backers are quick to point out that the initiative extends beyond the tech infustry.

Fair enough. Time will tell how many landscaping, marketing and home health care startups this latest initiative blooms.

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