Cracking the Code: Atlanta Is Changing the Face of Startup Culture

Women in Atlanta are proving that you don't have to be in Silicon Valley to explore your tech dreams. Over the past few years, Atlanta has been growing as hub for female entrepreneurs and defying the status quo with its increasing number of women in tech.

Does it come as any surprise as to why we made the big peach of the south our next stop for Create & Cultivate?

According to Allyson Eman, Executive Director of Venture Atlanta, the premier tech conference held every October for Georgia’s top technology innovators and top-tier investors told Forbes,  "Women are seizing the opportunity to start tech companies in Atlanta’s key industries—fintech, health IT and IT security—as well as in emerging industries, such as marketing automation." According to Eman, Atlanta is much more open to female techies than many other cities. In San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle, for example, tech workforces are more than 75% male. 

At the beginning of 2016, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced the inaugural class of a new program geared at women in business. Called the Women's Entrepreneurship Initiative, Mayor Reed said the program is "an important step forward in strengthening our city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem." The group of women, selected through a rigorous process in the fall of 2015, now have opportunity to operate their small businesses in an incubator environment, with designated workspace. The WEI initiative lasts for 15 months and is housed on the 11th floor of Downtown Atlanta’s iconic Flatiron Building – the city’s oldest standing skyscraper. This signifies an important step forward in the city's diverse history and demographics.

Likewise there are venture firms, Atlanta-based Valor Ventures for one, that are focussing on female entrepreneurs in Atlanta and setting up women-only capital funds. Designed to fill the gap in the startup world, Valor also sees this as smart business.  In Quarter 2 of 2015, Atlanta tech companies raised more venture capital — $206.8 million — than in any quarter since Q2 2001. General Partner of Valor told Upstart Biz Journals, "Of the $48 billion in venture capital invested last year, just 7 percent went to female founders. It’s a market niche that’s incredibly underserved, yet is high opportunity.”

She also told them that female-led companies perform better. 

Tickets for Create & Cultivate Atlanta are on sale now! Get yours before they go. 

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