Midtown is aptly named for its central location amidst the many neighborhoods of this diverse city— and in recent years, the district that serves as the geographic hub of Atlanta has also become one of its major technology and startup hubs.
Georgia Tech has long been a critical feature driving Midtown’s innovation— the University is consistently ranked amongst the top 5 undergraduate engineering programs in the country, and graduates more female engineers than any other school in the country. In fact, the school was the only university to make Fast Company’s iconic Most Innovative list this year.
When Tech grads leave school, they don't have to go far to find jobs. Technology Square, the district that borders the campus edge, is now home to 16— that’s right, 16— corporate innovation centers. The companies that make their Atlanta home in Tech Square include such names as NCR, AT&T, Panasonic, and Anthem. Recent additions include Siemens, who will partner with Tech researchers to study and analyze data to improve transportation infrastructure. For example, they are working with the City of Atlanta to collect information from the Atlanta Streetcar to optimize its routes.
Immediately outside of the buzzing intellectual center of Tech Square sits the site of future tech hub Coda, a $375 million project whose tenants will eventually bring over 2,000 jobs to Midtown. Coda will fill an entire city block with private offices, collaborative spaces, and a massive high-performance computing center.
But it isn’t only large companies that are establishing Midtown as the place to be for Atlanta techies. The wealth of resources for startups in the neighborhood, always robust, continues to grow.
Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) is the longest-running startup accelerator in the country. Along with their traditional startup accelerator program, they have a special track dedicated to Fintech companies, sponsored by Worldpay and intended to develop more Fintech startups to add to Atlanta’s “Transaction Alley” reputation (70 percent of all payments processed in the U.S. run through Georgia!). ATDC’s newest program, announced in May, is a unique initiative specifically geared towards retail startups.
Newer accelerators have sprung up to make their own mark on the Midtown tech ecosystem. Techsquare Labs, opened by serial Atlanta tech entrepreneurs Paul Judge and Allen Nance in 2015, is a co-working space, accelerator, and fund. TSL is a Google for Entrepreneurs center, a catalyst for diversity in technology, and the host of the Atlanta Startup Battle, a pitch competition which each quarter awards $100K to a different tech startup.
A $5 Uber ride away, international accelerator Techstars makes their Atlanta home in Ponce City Market. Techstars Atlanta, sponsored by Cox Enterprises, accepts 10 startups from all over the world into this three-month intensive program. Last year, two of the non-ATL-based companies decided, upon completion of the program, that with the amount of resources and connections Atlanta offered them, they would relocate on a permanent basis to the city.
This is only a taste of the thriving technology ecosystem that pulses through Midtown, the heart of the city of Atlanta. With Atlanta topping Money’s City for Millennials list based on quality of life, placing at #4 on Nielsen’s 2015 list of cities with the fastest-growing young population, and more and more quality talent deciding to #chooseATL each and every day, it’s safe to say that Midtown’s tech community will continue to flourish.
About the Author
Holly Beilin is Editor-in-Chief of Hypepotamus, the leading startup and technology news publication in the southeast. As a go-to source of news, events, job listings and resources for the flourishing Southeastern tech industry, Hypepotamus showcases the students, innovators, entrepreneurs, companies and venture capitalists that are proud to call this home. For the latest on southeast tech, sign up for the Hypepotamus newsletter and follow us onTwitter and Instagram.