Georgia Tech's ATDC Launches "Entrepreneurs Resource Center" to Share Expertise and Resources with Georgia's Start-up Companies

The new center includes both a broad range of resources available online and a new library facility at its Fifth Street headquarters.

Information available online at (www.atdc.org/erc/) includes carefully-selected resources on starting up and building a company, researching the market, developing a technology product, generating sales, financing and raising money, marketing, hiring the right people, and handling legal issues. Also included are summary descriptions and links to local educational and networking organizations and to selected industry journals and other publications.

In the ERC library at ATDC's 75 Fifth Street headquarters, entrepreneurs can read the latest business publications, use journals and directories, and access computer terminals for doing online research. The ERC facility also includes offices available for meetings on a first-come, first-served basis.

"The Entrepreneurs Resource Center is designed to help entrepreneurs evaluate opportunities, create business plans, launch businesses and get their companies off to a good start," said Wayne Hodges, vice provost for Economic Development and Technology Ventures at Georgia Tech and director of the ATDC. "It includes the best of what ATDC has learned in more than 20 years of serving technology entrepreneurs."

Much of the ERC's content - including a dozen ATDC start-up best practices - was written by the ATDC staff, making available the experience and expertise developed in working with hundreds of start-up companies. Also available is a video library of presentations made by local experts at ATDC's "Lunch and Learn" lecture series.

By gathering these resources together in one place and making them widely available to entrepreneurs, ATDC expects to serve a broader statewide audience beyond those that are part of its programs in Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah and Warner Robins. "In this time of limited resources, the ERC allows us to leverage our resources to serve a broader community of entrepreneurs," Hodges added.

Though many of the materials are relevant for the general start-up experience, the ERC is primarily oriented toward entrepreneurs starting and building technology companies.

"The ERC has many of the resources I wish I'd had when I was starting my company," said Rick Morris, CEO of inventory replenishment and optimization software company Thrive Technologies. "The practical ATDC advice and top quality resources available online and in the Fifth Street facility give technology entrepreneurs a head-start in the challenging task of launching and building a new company."

The Entrepreneurs Resource Center was made possible through support from a group of Atlanta's top service providers, each of which has had a long commitment to the growth of Georgia's technology business base. Those sponsors are Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP; PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Silicon Valley Bank. In addition, e-broadcasters donated services to develop the ERC's on-demand video library.

Susan O'Dwyer, technology marketing manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers, said the new Web site provides a unique collection of quality resources that are invaluable to Georgia's technology community.

"For the past 20 years, the technology community has looked to the ATDC for expertise on starting up technology companies," she said. "This new resource will make that expertise more widely available."

Among the key resources available are:

• "ATDC Startup Best Practices," a series of short best practices written by ATDC's staff of venture catalysts on such topics as human resource management, developing realistic financials, business planning, meeting customer expectations, choosing an attorney and market knowledge;

• Business planning and fund-raising presentation templates;

• Coaching tips on developing value proposition statements and elevator pitches;

• Market research guides, tips and an index of the best sites on the Web for free or low-cost research;

• In the ATDC library at Fifth Street, classic texts for entrepreneurs, including The Innovator's Dilemma and Crossing the Chasm.

About the ATDC: The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) is a nationally recognized technology incubator that helps Georgia entrepreneurs launch and build successful companies. ATDC provides strategic business advice and connects its member companies to the people and resources they need to succeed.

More than 100 companies have emerged from the ATDC, including publicly-traded firms such as MindSpring Enterprises - now part of EarthLink. Headquartered at the Georgia Institute of Technology, ATDC has been recognized by Inc Magazine as one of the nation's top nonprofit incubators. ATDC was formed in 1980 to stimulate growth in Georgia's technology business base, and now has locations in Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah and Warner Robins.