Mar 10, 2014

Inspiration for Startup House at Georgia Tech

Brad Feld's post on Spark Boulder, the first space dedicated for startups and entrepreneurially-minded students at Colorado University, inspires thoughts about the potential of Atlanta's equivalent at Georgia Tech, Startup House.

Startup House is a living-learning community put together by the Georgia Tech Center for Academic Enrichment, GT Housing and Georgia Tech's Venture Lab. Startup House will launch in Fall 2014 and currently 42 entrepreneurially-minded students at Tech are registered to live there for the academic year (If you're a Tech student, registration is still open).

The world class research and talent of Georgia Tech make it a natural epicenter for innovation in Atlanta. With support from the right partners, Startup House will become a world-class facility for engineering, computer science and business students to call home. A world-class facility requires major financial resources. Fortunately, Atlanta is home to over 75% of The Fortune 500 and leaders of these companies have a definite interest in the success of Startup House.

The great facilities enjoyed by Spark Boulder are made possible thanks to the long list of sponsors in Colorado. Here's a quote from Feld's post:

"The Boulder community has come together to help Spark with the initial build-out. Alongside Amy and myself, the sponsor list is extensive. It includes Archer Bay, Pivotal Labs, ArcStone Partners, Sendgrid, TapInfluence, Inspirato, Applied Trust, Proto Test, Mike Finney, nLab and Silicon Valley Bank."
Emulating Spark Boulder and creating partnerships between Startup House and Atlanta's commercial sector would provide Georgia Tech students with a world-class facility worthy of Georgia Tech's reputation as an institution of excellence. Additionally, the move would be a game changer for innovation in Atlanta.

After a recent trip to Silicon Valley with Mayor Kasim Reed, Johnson Cook reported that having local giants such as Home Depot, Coke, Turner and Delta on the client list of Atlanta startups would attract more investment to our city. Johnson also wrote that Georgia Tech's engineering talent pool is Atlanta's main advantage as a startup city.
Given these two takeaways, sponsorship of Tech's Startup House by Atlanta's commercial leaders is an obvious next step to drive innovation in our city. Imagine Georgia Tech students who already co-op for Home Depot, Coke, Turner and Delta leveraging their knowledge and networks as they build on startup ideas in an educational facility sponsored by these same companies. The best of these student teams will take their startups to places such as Atlanta Tech Village, Hypepotamus, ATDC or Flashpoint with Fortune 500 companies on their "current customer" slide deck.

Startup House is an exciting next step for the future of Georgia Tech and Atlanta, our city's corporate leaders have every reason to put their full weight behind its success.

Georgia Tech pic by flickr user Hector Alejandro

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