Atlanta’s Startup Community Embraces Enterprising Youth

startups-20120914115255Like many of you, I attended a standing-room only Startup Day Atlanta last week. Flashpoint and Hypepotamus were the sponsors and the main show was to see Batch 3 of Flashpoint’s graduate companies pitch in rapid succession.  All seven of the companies did a great job; there weren’t any “that-was-sad” presentations and even the company ideas were strong.

So what does this all mean? I think this is another proof point that the startup ecosystem in Atlanta is working and even gathering speed.  Reinforcing my point was something new and potentially important – the Startup Academy which followed the presentations. For the first time that I can remember, this invention brought together interns and high school seniors who are actively working at local startups – there were 60 of them! How cool is that?

What an amazing thing for a startup community to do — create a club for young, currently involved entrepreneurs to let them learn together and network. These aren’t the founding entrepreneurs – these are the worker bees. It’s sort of like a mini Leadership Atlanta only on the front–end of a career.  I can imagine many of these bright sparks collaborating with their counterparts in other startups, swapping jobs, sharing ideas, adding to our evolving startup culture.

This is Carabiner’s 10th year as part of this exciting and evolving community. We made the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s top 10 list for companies of our type, and while that’s great for us – I think is says something also about our broader entrepreneurial ecosystem — it’s working!  We hatched a plan 10 years ago to help entrepreneurs through a new type of business and team structure.  Along the way, dreamers, schemers and crazy people have done the same thing. They invented solutions to challenges, built companies around them, sold them to the usual buyers and are now returning to do it over again – only this time there are more of them and they’re fertilizing the ecosystem with what they’ve learned as well as with what they’ve earned.  Good times ahead.  More in a bit….

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