FREE ENTERPRISE: Atlanta is the new hotbed for tech startups (GA)
ATLANTA — Atlanta is heating up, and we’re not just talking about the weather. The southern city famous for its musical talent and humid climate is attracting more and more tech companies from across the country, thanks to a low cost of living and a growing number of financial opportunities.
“It used to be that you would see talent leave and go to [Silicon] Valley, but that doesn’t happen anymore,” said Adam Harrell, co-founder of digital startup Nebo Agency. “Now talent stays here, builds companies here, recruits here, and it works really well.” The entrepreneur, who also acts as executive director of Startup Atlanta, started his business in the city 11 years ago and has seen it grow and change over the years, thanks to an influx of Fortune 500 companies and profitable startups.
The region has seen a 19 percent increase in the number of high-tech jobs between 2003 and 2013, according to Startup Atlanta, a non-profit dedicated to helping local startups. Meanwhile academic institutions are attracting record amounts in innovation funding, taking in nearly $2 billion in 2012, up 22 percent from 2004. Not to be left out, Harnell also notes that last year, Atlanta startups received approximately $590 million in venture capital funding, which is a 20 percent increase from 2014.