ATDC’s main lobby is a hub of activity and is a key meeting spot for entrepreneurs, investors, and others in the technology community looking to make connections and partnerships with one another.
By Péralte Paul
The formula was simple: Entrepreneurs with viable technology-based ideas to create companies — and jobs — needed a base of expertise and support in which they could develop and thrive.
Georgia, wanting to remain economically competitive and build its base of technology companies, sought to keep those talented idea makers here, creating new companies and jobs in the Peach State.
ATDC is headquartered in the Centergy Building in Georgia Tech's Technology Square.
So in 1980, the Georgia General Assembly created and funded a technology incubator — the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) — to work with entrepreneurs.
Thirty-seven years later, ATDC — a program of Georgia Tech — has grown into one of the longest running and most successful university-based incubators in the country.
As an internationally recognized organization that was twice named to Forbes’ list of the world’s top incubators, ATDC’s core mission is to help entrepreneurs in Georgia learn, launch, scale, and succeed in the creation of viable, disruptive technology companies. Since its founding, ATDC has graduated more than 170 startups. Those companies have raised nearly $3 billion in investment capital and generated more than $12 billion in revenue.
“What is unique about the ATDC experience is that we’re part of Georgia Tech,” said ATDC General Manager Jen Bonnett. “And while a connection to Tech is not required for companies in ATDC, a number of our startups, including Quest Renewables and Pointivo, have built their businesses by leveraging Georgia Tech intellectual property.”
ATDC works closely with VentureLab, a sister incubator program that offers guidance and support to faculty and students who want to commercialize their ideas. ATDC companies Quest Renewables and Pointivo, among others, graduated from VentureLab before joining ATDC.
Committed to its statewide mission, ATDC has expanded efforts and offers its educational startup programming across Georgia through its ATDC @ initiative in Athens, Augusta, Peachtree Corners, Savannah, and FlatironCity in downtown Atlanta. ATDC is currently incubating more than 130 startup technology companies in its ATDC Signature and ATDC Accelerate portfolios in metro Atlanta and across the state.
Several of the startups from those cities were among the more than 70 companies that exhibited May 11 at the 2017 Startup Showcase, ATDC’s largest yearly event.