Atlanta’s Best Kept Secret: Tech Talent
; Georgia’s business-friendly tax
credits are a lure, but the city’s best-kept secret is a rich tech-talent pool.
Georgia Tech’s computer science
program is world-renowned, while
Morehouse, Spelman, and Clark
Atlanta also feature top engineering
and computer science programs for
people of color. It’s largely why Square,
Pandora, and Opendoor all set up
offices in Atlanta this year—joining
Google, Twitter, Salesforce, and Facebook. It’s also why Blavity founder
Morgan DeBaun, whose L.A. media
company serves black Millennials,
opened an Atlanta office in June.
“There’s more diversity of ideas,
industries, thought, and ethnicities in
Atlanta,” she says. “Even if I didn’t have
a black company, I would still probably
put my company in a place that has
diverse people. Which does not happen
in San Francisco, where I lived long
enough to know.” —C. A.D.
Home Depot, CNN, and ... Mailchimp
; Home Depot’s Arthur Blank and CNN’s Ted Turner have long
been the entrepreneurial faces of this city since the 1980s,
largely because no one else has since made a big-enough splash.
Finally, they have some heirs: Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius,
the relentless (and idiosyncratic) co-founders of Mailchimp. At
this for nearly 18 years, the 40-somethings are now running a
$4.2 billion email marketing company of which they still own 100
percent. When Chestnut, who hails from nearby Augusta, and
Kurzius, an Albuquerque transplant, founded Mailchimp following
the dot-com crash, they decided to emulate larger locals like
Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and CNN to create a B2B tech company
with consumer company flair. “This isn’t just a product, it’s not
just a business,” says Chestnut. ” It’s a global brand.” —C. A.D.