Posted October 14, 2010 Atlanta
Research News & Publications Office
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The presidents of the Georgia Institute of Technology and The University of Georgia joined together October 11 to officially launch ATDC's new presence in Gwinnett County. ATDC, which is Georgia Tech's technology business accelerator, will offer educational programs and hold regular office hours to meet with area entrepreneurs at the University of Georgia's Gwinnett Campus at 2530 Sever Road in Lawrenceville.
The launch of ATDC Gwinnett is a result of strategic collaboration between the two universities and Partnership Gwinnett, the community and economic development initiative led by the Gwinnett Chamber and more than 160 public and private partners.
"Creating new jobs and bringing innovation to market are top of mind for just about everyone," said Georgia Tech President G.P. "Bud" Peterson. "At Georgia Tech, we focus on innovation and serving as an economic engine for Georgia, and we are honored to collaborate with the University of Georgia and economic development organizations in Gwinnett County to expand our reach."
Peterson noted that 14 companies graduated from ATDC have located in Gwinnett County over the years, including Suniva -- the Southeast's first solar energy company. Using technology developed in Georgia Tech's University Center of Excellence in Photovoltaics, Suniva has been expanding its production and now has 150 workers at its manufacturing facility in Norcross.
He also noted the $12.7 billion economic impact of the University System of Georgia on the state, and the numerous awards won by ATDC over its 30-year history. "Last spring, ATDC was named by Forbes Magazine to its new list of the 10 technology incubators that are changing the world," Peterson said. "It is the only incubator in the Southeast to be included in the Forbes list."
Among the more than 300 companies currently in the ATDC program, 23 are located in Gwinnett County.
University of Georgia President Michael F. Adams emphasized the collaboration among institutions to facilitate economic development.
"This captures the spirit of two great institutions collaborating to provide meaningful economic development programs to enhance job and wealth creation in an important part of the state," he said. "We are very pleased to be working out of our Gwinnett campus with the ATDC and Georgia Tech on this endeavor."
Jim Maran, president & CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber, took note of how ATDC will contribute to the county's emphasis on technology development.
"Gwinnett has been working for years to bring a strong startup program to its community," he said. "The ATDC, together with Partnership Gwinnett's dedicated focus on startups and small business, will provide an even stronger environment to foster organic growth and the entrepreneurial foundation for which Gwinnett is already so well known."
ATDC operates two incubators in midtown Atlanta, and in a third in Savannah as part of Georgia Tech’s campus there. The University of Georgia Gwinnett campus offers graduate degrees, continuing education opportunities and services of its Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Gwinnett County.
After brief remarks, the two presidents signed a memorandum of understanding describing the relationship and services of ATDC.
Stephen Fleming, a Georgia Tech vice president and executive director of the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute -- ATDC's parent organization -- reminded the audience that the goal of the new initiative was serving the people who grow new companies in Georgia.
"We're here to support the entrepreneurs that are building the companies that drive our economy," he said. "In just the last year, current ATDC member companies -- not including our graduate firms -- have raised $35 million in equity, brought in over $50 million in revenue and employ over 750 people in Georgia. These are jobs for our children, friends and neighbors who work, pay taxes and are part of the community."
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