With everyone wanting to learn how to start a business in Atlanta, it’s no wonder that the number of fledgling startups seems to increase every day.
Besides distilling that ah-maze-ing idea that’s gonna take the world by storm and make you a gazillionaire in the process, perhaps one of the most important decisions a self-declared CEO can make is choosing the best city to launch your business. One of the most buzz-worthy cities that seems to be on everybody’s list is Atlanta.
There’s a reason the Big Peach is hot for the savvy small business owners. To this end, Bold Patents has created this short guide from business workshops to SCORE mentors. So, without further ado, let’s explore the top 23 resources for inventors and entrepreneursin Atlanta!
But obtaining an MBA from a well-respected university is only a small part of your future success. GT’s invaluable commitment to providing their graduates a world-class education and setting them onto the path of success makes all the difference. They even have a community circle program geared towards Asian women whose goal is to be a cooler, even more successful Meg Whitman.
One of the most anticipated events Georgia Tech hosts every year is “France-Atlanta” month. According to their website, these free, public events done with a goal towards “cultural and scientific-themed events that celebrates innovation and creativity between France and the United States.”
With a motto like “the birthplace of public higher education in America,” it’s crystal clear the University of Georgia takes their job of polishing up the next wave of scions of business seriously. Is it any wonder they’ve inspired generation after generation of America’s top innovators?
Although UGA is at the forefront of devising cutting edge techniques that combat infectious diseases, it’s their innovation towards allowing their students to lead the fight against cyber terrorists and provide global solutions. But UGA doesn’t stop there.
Every department, every student is emboldened to learn to utilize their unique skills in real-life situations via “global research, hands-on learning, and extensive outreach.”
Out of all the programs offered at the school, the University of Georgia’s School of Law has been deemed the best value in legal education in the country by National Jurist.
According to the university’s website, “These rankings are based on outcome-driven metrics such as bar passage and employment rates.” For those looking to go into law especially, the University of Georgia is considered a good choice.
Did we also mention that the University of Georgia also has its own glass blowing shop?
Operating as one of the nation’s top small business groups, the SBA in Georgia has been helping small businesses across Atlanta get the support that they need from providing small business loans to offering free business counseling.
From time to time, this organization works with SCORE volunteers in order to host some of the state’s most affordable, useful workshops.
According to the website, the SBA will be offering a Tax Basics Workshop on Thursday, November 7, 2019, from 2–4 pm EST. The cost is $14.99 per person.
Designated as one of Georgia’s top providers of small business assistance since 1977, the SBDC (Small Business Development Center) has been helping small business owners thrive by providing them with free, confidential counseling, workshops, online courses, and other services similar to those offered by SCORE and the SBA.
While the UGA SBDC serves primarily student entrepreneurs, anyone who is in need of getting their business off the ground is encouraged to come. You don’t need to have a technological or medical background in order to join!
At this time, there are 17 offices available in the region ranging from Rome to Valdosta. For those looking to get some extra help, the UGA SBDC is definitely worth taking advantage of.
Looking for a community of like-minded inventors to help you get your business going? In that case, the Georgia Inventors Network might be your best bet!
Considered one of Georgia’s largest inventor/investor networks, the Georgia Inventors Network group has since April 10, 2012, been considered a great start for inventors who want to learn how to invent something! Whether you’re new to investing or you have a lot of experience already under your belt, you wouldn’t want to miss a single moment here! This is especially true when the time comes for you to decide whether you should file for a patent or trademark.
At this time, the group is currently going through some on and off moments. However, for the most part, they are still alive and active.
As the Big Peach’s one and only family-friendly makerspaces, Decatur Makers introduces newcomers to the wonderful world of today and tomorrow’s technology by hosting classes such as Metal Lathe 101 and the group’s first-ever DNA Barcoding Summer Symposium for girls and minorities.
From coding to welding, anyone who is either looking to get a head start on preparing for the future or learn more about STEAM subjects, in general, can come during any of their Open Build Nights (aka. Open House nights) from 7-[9:00] on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Wednesday of every month.
Wanna learn more about the wonderful world of makerspaces? In that case, check out their wiki page, which should look like the picture down below:
Founded by startup junkie and world-class innovator, David Cummings, the Atlanta Tech Village is a “community of innovation powered by the 4th largest tech space in the U.S. and deep connections to Atlanta’s business and investment community.”
From Friday pitch practice sessions to weekly mentorship programs, The Village helps support and inspire entrepreneurs to stand out and be proud amongst their competitors across the universe. If the same old government business programs and volunteer organizations aren’t doing it for you, then perhaps the Atlanta Tech Village might be a good alternative for you!
Don’t worry! Even if you’re not a “techie” or “entrepreneur,” anyone who walks into Atlanta Tech Village would benefit from the experience in some way or another.
Calling all fellow female entrepreneurs and anyone who defines themselves as such! If you’re looking for a local entrepreneurial group complete with a world-class business expansion and career growth program, then the WEOP (Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Project) may just as well be for you!
Founded in 1999 by two dedicated twin sisters, WEOP has since dedicated itself to helping minority women with” innovative programming and model projects” connect with others in order to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.
Located in East Point, Georgia on the 2nd floor of the Bank of America building, WEOP has since provided working-class women computer training programs, money-management classes, and workforce development practice sessions (among others). This way, regardless of where your status in life is, anyone who walks into the WEOP can learn how to have a work-life balance schedule.
Want to learn how to take your business to the next level? In that case, take advantage of any of the WEOP’s contracting classes! Not only would you be able to learn how to work with the federal government, upon completion of the program, but you would also earn 3.0 Continuing Education Units (CEU) from Atlanta Technical College.
When it comes to networking with a bunch of people, it’s not about collecting as many business cards as you can possibly get, it’s about taking the time to get to know the few who truly are interested in helping you reach your goals. Out of all the networking groups that exist in Atlanta thus far, only Network Under 40 promotes this sort of philosophy.
Founded by Darrah Brustein in March 2011, Network Under 40 offers anyone who comes to their meetings with a laid-back, introvert-friendly atmosphere. Since then, the group has grown into 38 states.
According to Inc.com, “ Darrah’s event attracts almost 200 people a month. There is an unspoken rule that people don’t sell to each other at Atlanta Under 40–it’s about getting to know someone new. “
Whether you’re someone who prefers talking to one person at a time or a whole group at a time, all are welcome at the interaction of “friendship and business.” You don’t need to “sell your soul” or put on a hard salesperson persona in order to make new connections here.
In the meantime, if you’re looking to go out and make some new friends in Atlanta, the next networking session will take place on November 14th, 2019 from 6-[9:00] PM at AIX & Tin Tin. Free drinks for those who attend!
Founded in 1979 as a forum for women of all different backgrounds to work and network with one another, the Atlanta Women’s Network has since served as one of the Big Peach’s major hubs for female entrepreneurs looking to stand out from the crowd without being in complete competition with one another.
On the 4th Thursday of every month, the group holds a luncheon complete with world-class guest speakers such as marketing expert Lorrie Thomas Ross and attorney and SEO expert Heather Riggs. If you’re a fellow female entrepreneur looking to make the most out of your networking experiences, definitely take advantage of one of Atlanta’s oldest Women’s Networks.
At this time, they are looking for a communications expert so if you’re interested in helping this group of talented women stand out in and outside of cyberspace, please contact President Angie Sims for more information.
Otherwise, if you’re looking to become a guest speaker yourself, then feel free to fill out the speaker form that is found on their website.
To continue with our line of female entrepreneurial resources, we at Bold Patents would like to introduce another group that deserves just as much attention as some of the ones on our list. That group is none other than Startup Chicks!
Founded in 2009 with a passion to inspire and connect like-minded women and mentors through seminars such as their trademark Hatch Program, Startup Chicks offers both online and in-person programs those looking to take their current business and technology skills to the next level regardless of who you are and where you got your start from.
According to its website, membership is only $199 per year and includes:
Invitation to events
Complimentary Access to Local Social Meetups
Discount to Local Educational Workshops
VIP Access for Special Events/Workshops
Member Rates for Partner Events & Services
And much more!
At this time, they’re not currently accepting applications for becoming a member. However, if you are interested, check back at the site when needed.
We mentioned this organization a number of times in some of our previous resources articles (Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, and so on), but for those of you who don’t know what SCORE is already, it is a national, non-profit, volunteer-based organization that has helped small business owners get to where they should be.
From the planning stages to expansion, SCORE Atlanta is a great organization for businesses who don’t have a lot of capital under their belt, but nevertheless are willing to do whatever it takes to get out of the rat race.
For those who are interested in learning how to establish your credit score, the group will host a workshop at the SBA Georgia District Office from 10 am to 12 pm on Friday, November 8th, 2019. The event costs $10 per person and is open to the public.
Otherwise, if you’re interested in learning more about the organization, check out the video below:
When it comes to the world of American entrepreneurship unless if you’re one of the few to grow up in a faith and business background, finding a group like Atlanta GLOW is almost like finding a needle in a haystack to some.
As huge supporters of the brave and bold, we the people at Bold Patents, couldn’t be any happier showcasing their faith-based organization.
As one of the Big Peach’s most faithful volunteer mentorship organizations, Atlanta Growing Leadership Of Women (Atlanta GLOW) helps young women, ages 14-25, unleash their inner entrepreneurial spirit by providing creative resources and networking opportunities such as one-on-one mentoring, workshops, and conferences.
Regardless as to whether you’re a stay-at-home mother or a working-class office woman, anyone looking to take their skills to the next level could come participate in any of their sessions.
Powered by America’s very own Boomtown Accelerators and brought to you by Comcast NBCUniversal, The Farm is a state-of-the-art technology-based accelerator that offers its members everything from a cutting-edge hardware prototyping lab to premium event space.
While some tech-based accelerators in America provide its members, one-size-fits-all cookie-cutter solutions, here at the Big Peach’s one and only The Farm, everyone who steps foot inside gets a custom-made program that fits their needs.
Whether or not you’re a “techie,” anyone could come and take advantage of what The Farm has to offer. So don’t be shy! Come give this accelerator a try.
For those who are interested in applying, according to the website, the next program will begin on March 9th, 2020.
As the old infamous statistic goes, “9 out of 10 startups fail.” While the Center for Civic Innovation started out as one of those “failed startups,” don’t let that stop you from giving this place a chance! Even great geniuses like Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and Thomas Edison failed millions of times before they reached their claim to fame.
Opened since 2014, the Center for Civic Innovation has provided its fellow Atlantian innovators with a place to connect and create a brighter and better future for generations to come from hosting leadership breakfast sessions to leading workshops.
Jokingly called Atlanta’s unofficial “Department of Failure” according to those who work there, the Center for Civic Innovation was intended to be an unbiased platform for “tough dialogue and debate on the direction of this city” in regards to work inequality. Since then, it developed into a community space for people to connect and collaborate with one another.
In 2016, this group piloted two programs: the Food Innovation Lab and the Westside Innovation Lab. These two programs ultimately became the Civic Innovation Fellowship.
Looking for a good place to jumpstart your business career and live a work-life balance? In that case, Start:Me may just be the accelerator for you!
Founded in January 2013, Start:Me is a free business bootcamp that provides 14-sessions of non-stop coaching for promising small businesses looking to become the next Fortune 500 companies in America.
From mentoring up-and-coming CEOs to providing small businesses with capital, Start:Me isn’t just for college students. Instead, it’s for all small business owners looking to go above and beyond the startup level!
At this time, the program is held in Clarkston, East Lake-Kirkwood, and Atlanta’s Southside.
In today’s world of AI, IoT, and cybersecurity technology overload, it’s important for small businesses especially to take part in helping to develop Atlanta into a smarter city. What better place to go to than Curiosity Lab itself?
Located at Peachtree Corners, Curiosity Lab is a “funded living lab” that provides IoT, Mobility, and Smart City early-stage startup companies are provided with short term innovation space for rent, along with with co-working desks, a podcasting room, a prototype lab, and many other amenities for them to utilize.
They even offer longer-term office space, 2 full-service hotels with over 1000 rooms (including conference facilities), and garage access for businesses that need a little extra time to refine their prototypes before meeting with a software patent attorney.
In a world where it seems that the only companies that are considered “profitable” are technology-based companies or medical companies, it can be very frustrating for minority female founders especially to know where exactly would be a good place for them to start and refine their business. That’s where digitalundivided (DID) comes in!
Founded in 2013, DID helps high potential Black and Latinx women founders refine their business ideas by teaching them appropriate customer discovery tactics and later presenting what they’ve discovered from their findings on DemoDay.
While some incubators cater to only technology-based companies or medical companies, here at Digital Undivided (DID), anyone who is looking to get their business ideas off the ground is encouraged to apply!
As one of the oldest and largest university-based incubators in the country, ATDC does more than provide “free advice” to student entrepreneurs. Since 1980, this incubator has helped students link with the right potential investors and strategic partners. It has also helped students learn to take what they’ve learned in business class and apply them to the next level by offering Lunch-N-Learn sessions outside of school hours.
Combined with the fact that this incubator is located close to one of the top 10 engineering schools in the country, these resources have helped make ATDC one of the “10 technology incubators that are changing the world” according to Forbes Magazine on April 2010.
In a world where financial trends and transactions are always changing, it’s almost impossible for investors to know where exactly they should put their money in so to speak. That’s where the Atlanta Seed Company company comes in.
Led by Jamie Hamilton and Connor Davidson, the Atlanta Seed Company helps private investors figure out where to put their money in by showcasing where their dollars are being invested in, how company leadership is performing, and what the primary challenges and opportunities are with each investment.
They also have a unique “deal-by-deal venture structure,” which according to their website provides more freedom and flexibility compared to traditional venture capital funds. This way, investors can still invest in whatever they want while still enjoying the benefits of an active manager.
While the company works primarily with medical and technology companies, all are encouraged to apply in regards to earning funding.
As big supporters of the Big Peach’s brave and bold software underdog companies, Valor Ventures doesn’t just “throw money at the problem” so to speak in order to help them grow.
From introducing talent recruitment support to hosting technical product review sessions, Valor Ventures supports software founders in making sure that they understand what it takes to become the CEO of an up-and-coming Fortune 500 company. As such, they believe that “courage is the currency of innovation.”
For those who are interested in learning more about what Valor Ventures has to offer, they are hosting a Financial Inclusion & Investing event on November 13th, 2019 from 8:30 am to 10:30 am.
Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the Georgia Tech Library isn’t just a place for students to grab books and go lock themselves inside the privacy of their own dorms.
From Family Storytime sessions to the library’s one and only Innovation & Ideation Studio area, anyone who is looking to learn more about the world of STEAM and business outside of class can come and do so.
They even have a Data Visualization Lab for those looking for a specific visualization software tool, tutorial, and/or guide to help them with their research!
Oh, and not to mention a Science Fiction Lounge area for those looking for inspiration to make their art (or invention) stand out from H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine to Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and beyond!
When it comes to bringing ideas and inventions to market, there’s no question that the patent filing process can be so confusing to navigate.
That is why here at Bold Patents, we exist to help our clients through the legal processes of intellectual property in Atlanta. This way, they too can get their innovations to market as quickly, safely, and efficiently as possible.
Because they focus only on patents, they are able to find the lawyer(s) that best fit a certain company’s needs.
If you would like to know more about what a patent is and what the steps for finding the patent that’s right for your invention, then check out this article on what is a patent.
There you have it! The top 23 resources for inventors and entrepreneurs in Atlanta:
Georgia Tech – Known for their affordable graduate programs such as the OMSCS (Online Master of Science in Computer Science) program and high-ranking engineering programs, including a highly ranked aerospace program
TheUniversity of Georgia – “The birthplace of public higher education in America”
Offices for Small Businesses:
SBA Georgia – A proud business partner of SCORE and the United States of America’s very own brave and bold underdogs
UGA SBDC (University of Georgia Small Business Development Center) – Great for student entrepreneurs especially looking to get some free feedback on their ideas
Inventor & Makerspace Groups:
Georgia Inventors Network – One of Georgia’s largest inventor/investor networks
Decatur Makers – The Big Peach’s one and only family-friendly makerspaces
Atlanta Tech Village – A “community of innovation powered by the 4th largest tech space in the U.S. and deep connections to Atlanta’s business and investment community”
WEOP (Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Project) – Great for working-class women looking to improve their computer literacy, financial literacy, and workforce development skills
Network Under 40 Atlanta – A great group to join for those who often feel uncomfortable attending regular networking events
Atlanta Women’s Network – Serving as one of the Big Peach’s major hubs for female entrepreneurs looking to stand out from the crowd since 1979
Startup Chicks – Great for female techies looking to go above and beyond in today’s competitive business world
SCORE Atlanta – America’s #1 group of business leader volunteers
Atlanta GLOW – Great for faith-based female entrepreneurs especially looking to combine their passions for business and religion
The Farm – A state-of-the-art technology-based accelerator that offers its members everything from a cutting-edge hardware prototyping lab to premium event space
Center for Civic Innovation – Hosting leadership breakfast sessions and other business self-help sessions since 2014
Start:Me – A free business bootcamp that provides 14-sessions of non-stop coaching for promising small businesses
Incubators and Makerspace Groups:
Curiosity Lab – A “funded living lab” for IoT, Mobility, and Smart City early-stage startup companies
Digital Undivided – Helping black and Latinx female entrepreneurs thrive since 2013
ATDC – One of the “10 technology incubators that are changing the world” according to Forbes Magazine on April 2010
Seed Funding/Venture Capital:
Atlanta Seed Company – Great for investors who want a better idea as to where their money is going to so to speak
Valor Ventures – Great for software companies looking to get additional funding and mentoring
Georgia Tech Library – Open 24 hours a day to give rising student entrepreneurs and inventors the resources needed to take their skills to the next level
Atlanta Patent Attorneys:
Bold Patents – Your future go-to place for all of your patenting needs!
Now tell us, what do you think of these resources? Are there any others that you recommend that we add to our list? Let us know in the comments below!
Legal Note: This blog article does not constitute legal advice. Although the article was written by a licensed USPTO patent attorney there are many factors and complexities that come into patenting an idea. We recommend you consult a lawyer if you want legal advice for your particular situation. No attorney-client or confidential relationship exists by simply reading and applying the steps stated in this blog article.