In the last month I’ve had an opportunity to speak with a number of tech investors outside the Southeast. Some well along in their careers and others just starting. I’ve noticed a consistent theme: they’re all paying VERY close attention to what’s happening in Atlanta. Some are even looking to relocate here. One seasoned investor at a reputable firm said he and his team think Atlanta is a top-five city for tech startups.
I’ve lived in Atlanta a long time. I’ve been watching the tech startup landscape evolve. I’ve always thought Atlanta is special and a great place for entrepreneurs. Now outsiders are taking notice. I think Atlanta is at a tipping point and a convergence of factors will make the city the mecca of startups and entrepreneurship (if it isn’t already). The city has logged some big fund-raising rounds and exits in the last few years. That’s putting capital in the hands of employees at local startups, who can angel invest in more emerging local companies. It’s also increasing awareness among the national investor community, who want to invest in local startups.
Working from home has more people rethinking where they want to live. Atlanta offers a unique mix of characteristics that makes it an attractive place where people can see themselves putting down roots. Working from home has also removed geographic limitations on investment. Founders in Atlanta and investors outside Atlanta no longer have to get on a plane to connect. They can meet and close deals on video. There are a ton of other factors too, but these are some big ones.
Atlanta has always had scrappy founders who’ve done amazing things. I think local founders will continue to see the resources and knowledge available to them expand as the profile of the Atlanta ecosystem continues to increase. This can only accelerate their success and allow them to pursue bigger and bolder ideas. I’m excited to see all this come to fruition!