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Atlanta: the Southeast’s Silicon Valley

October 19, 2021
Atlanta: the Southeast’s Silicon Valley
Written by
Taylor Ellis

Explore Atlanta’s incredible entrepreneurial growth.

The entrepreneurial community is best known for its Silicon Valley and NYC Unicorns, and often overlooks the rest of the US’s smaller cities. For years, small groups of entrepreneurs have found success outside of the major innovation hubs – and Atlanta, Georgia has been no exception.

Atlanta’s Start-Up Scene

Atlanta has long flown under the radar despite headquartering companies like SalesLoft, Calendly, Greenlight, and Mailchimp. Successful founders and entrepreneurs like David Cummings have turned around and poured their time and efforts into building a strong network of angel investors and innovation incubators. Organizations such as TAG, Venture Atlanta, and dozens of others have sprung up to mentor start-ups across all industries. In recent years, there has also been an influx of capital and interest in minority and women-owned startups. Atlanta’s diverse population has made the city a lightning rod for incubators, mentor programs, and minority-targeted funds.

Feeding this hotbed of innovation is a robust talent pool from some of the nation’s top private and public universities. Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, and Emory all reside in Atlanta, and the University of Georgia is a short commute away. These schools have deep connections in the city, filling jobs and fostering fledgling entrepreneurs through regional partnerships.

All this activity has led to Atlanta becoming one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, achieving the reputation as one of the best places for startups outside of New York and San Francisco.

Fulcrum & Atlanta

Fulcrum has been able to form deep roots in Atlanta entrepreneurial community. Founded in 2006 to serve traditionally overlooked markets, Fulcrum has had the unique opportunity to develop our community through 15+ local investments and community efforts such as the founding of Venture Atlanta, the southeast’s premier entrepreneurial conference.

Our investment verticals closely parallel the industry’s most strongly represented in the Atlanta community. Fulcrum’s partners gained their rich operational experience by working in local B2B tech, healthcare, and healthcare IT companies, and have been able to turn around and use their insights to foster regional talent and build new companies.

Garnering National Attention

This talent has not gone unnoticed, and over the years local entrepreneurs backed by our team have been recognized for their innovation. Most recently, Fulcrum investments SaaSOptics and Florence Healthcare sold, with SaaSOptics selling to Battery Ventures for $150M, and Florence Healthcare announcing their $80M Series C led by Insight Partners. On the healthcare services side, Summit Spine and Joint Centers attracted the attention of MSouth, who together with the Fulcrum team will continue Summit’s southeastern expansion. Kobiton’s mobile testing platform has also received attention, with an initial $14M Series A in late 2020 receiving coverage from TechCrunch.

The national attention Atlanta is receiving is no accident. Years of hard work behind the scenes put in by founders, their teams, supporting organizations, and investors have paid off, attracting major VC firms and tech companies alike to the bustling entrepreneurial scene. 2021 marks Venture Atlanta’s biggest year yet, with a record number of pitch applications making the regional appeal undeniable.

“One of the exciting parts of growing the Atlanta entrepreneurial scene is seeing the seeds you helped plant come to fruition,” says Fulcrum Partner Philip Lewis. “We started Fulcrum in Atlanta at a time when there were few local investment firms. Since 2006, Atlanta’s tech community has taken off. Being able to support and grow this community through organizations such as Venture Atlanta, TAG, and the host of others that have sprung up has been an incredibly rewarding experience.”