Key Finding 10: Georgia Markets Continue to Develop Strengths as Innovation Centers


Georgia technology market leaders believe that Georgia’s biggest strengths in deploying technology innovation include the favorable cost of living, airport, and colleges and universities. While improving, leaders remain lukewarm to the state’s support of promoting start-ups, commercializing applied research, large technology firms serving as innovation anchors, and the ability to create a culture that appeals to the emerging workforce.

Georgia possesses many strengths that enable it to foster innovation in its key markets:

  • Atlanta:
    • Focus on advancing new technologies (AI, Machine Learning)
    • Strong innovation hubs – e.g., FinTech, IoT, Healthcare IT
    • Incubation/ start-up centers
  • Athens:Fostering the start-up community
  • Augusta: Cyber and Medical Technology focus
  • Savannah: Focus on media and entertainment: gaming/ animation; SCAD incubation for gaming/ virtual reality/ augmented reality

Georgia must continue to focus on building a relevant action plan to resolve the following perceived weaknesses to creating an environment for innovation:

  • Atlanta – diverse sources of capital; keeping top talent, deal with transportation/mobility issues
  • Columbus – stronger labor pool; less conservative investment mentality
  • Augusta – attracting and keeping top talent
  • Savannah – need to create critical mass; lack of major research university; true incubators.

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