By Nicholas Beshiri
A small college town an hour outside of Atlanta, Georgia, Athens has a great entrepreneurial landscape. Having the University of Georgia present brings people from all walks of life with new ideas and plans to start their own businesses.
Researching UGA, I found that they do a great deal to help the landscape, the main contributor being the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Club. This club is run through the Terry School of Business and offers great opportunities throughout the year. The club offers monthly “Lunch and Learns,” which give students the opportunity to collaborate with one another and hear successful entrepreneurs from around the state speak. They also participate in Venture Atlanta, which is the largest event for entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in the state, as well as the Silicon Valley Trek each spring, which gives students the opportunity to meet experienced venture capitalists and entrepreneurs and tour large companies in the valley such as Google.
Athens also has its own local tech incubator, Four Athens. Their mission statement reads, “Four Athens was formed to discover startups, build community, connect creativity, accelerate growth and invest in success.” Four Athens is very well respected throughout the community and has helped many local businesses with branding problems like Hackyard, a computer hardware startup, and Partner Software, a software and app developer. Four Athens has also partnered with organizations like Next Top Entrepreneur and Athensmade, in order to seek out upcoming entrepreneurs and help their ideas come to life.
Overall I believe that Athens, Georgia has a very strong entrepreneurial landscape that will continue to grow in the future.