The Village Turns 5

Today Atlanta Tech Village officially turns 5.

Five years ago, 32 year old Founder David Cummings sold his software startup, Pardot, for $100M. You could do a lot of different things with that kind of money, but David didn’t take a single day off work, and within three months he had purchased our 103,000 square foot building. In his words, “I knew that if the Pardot deal went through, I wanted to buy a large building and turn it into the Atlanta Tech Village.” His vision was to create more community for entrepreneurs in Atlanta.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle broke the news like this:

The hallways of a Buckhead office building roamed by buttoned-down bankers and wingtip-wearing lawyers will soon be crowded with Segway-riding software developers and MacBook-toting hipsters.

Helllooo, 2012.  And while Segways never became a thing for us, those Mac toting entrepreneurs sure did.

Check out this before and after of our renovated building:

Here is some of our original vision:

  • David would invest about $5 million in upgrading the nearly three-decade-old building.
  • At max capacity we would house 75 startups.
  • Our Event Space would hold 150 ppl.
  • We would geographically diversify the inventory of tech friendly office space, which was mostly centered around Midtown.
  • We would have 90-day lease limits the entrepreneur’s downside risk and upfront costs.
  • Following Brad Feld’s blueprint for Startup Communities, David was committing to a 20 year investment back into Atlanta’s startup community.

And as with many startups, we have grown and evolved into something bigger than initially dreamed.

Here’s where we are 5 years later:

  • David ended up investing about $17M into upgrading our building, quite a bit more than that initial $5M. (Thanks, David!)
  • We currently house over 300 startups and 1,000+ people.
  • Our Event Center holds about 300 people.
  • We host over 500 events annually.
  • Atlanta tech space is booming with Buckhead becoming home of the Tech Corridor which employs over 1,000 people in tech in addition to the Village.
  • Atlanta Tech Village startups have raised over a half a billion dollars.
  • We have created over 3,500 jobs.

These milestones are important for us, and for the Atlanta Tech community. For us to be a Top 5 tech city, that spirit of hospitality has to stay. We are in this together. Higher density, means more at bats, which equals more wins- for all of us. From our entrepreneurial leaders like David Cummings, David LightburnAllen Nance, Paul Judge, Greg Benoit, Michael Tavani, and David Payne who choose to leverage their success with a Pay It Forward mentality, to the many supporters in the ecosystem like Invest Atlanta, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Service Providers, Universities, Fortune 500s, Angels, and VCs, to the students, first time Founders, and serial entrepreneurs – YOU are what makes our Atlanta tech community great.

You are all part of the rising tide that is fostering a vibrant startup ecosystem in our city. So here’s to an incredible 5 years, Atlanta. Let’s dream even bigger for the next 5.