Two months ago GigaOM CEO Paul Walborsky visited Atlanta to meet with leading tech companies and startups in a place far from Silicon Valley. The meetings confirmed the view that Atlanta enterprises and startups are at the forefront of innovation in mobile, infosec (information security) and health tech, among others. Intrigued by what he saw, Paul committed to having GigaOM host and facilitate a series of meetups in Atlanta, and the first, on mobile innovation, will be held Wednesday July 17th from 6-9pm (register here) at Club Opera.
Once known as Terminus, Atlanta is ground zero for what I call the “mobile vortex.” Coca-Cola, The Weather Company, Home Depot, IHG, Delta and other Atlanta-based global brands are leaders in deploying “mobile first” strategies. Home to First Data, NCR, Evalon and other leading payments companies, Atlanta also accounts for a large percentage of global payments transactions – not surprisingly, putting the city at the epicenter of m-commerce.
The city also benefits from a vibrant cast of supporters and enthusiasts, led by organizations such as TAG (Technology Association of Georgia) as well as a bevy of accelerators, including ATV (Atlanta Tech Village), ATDC, and Flashpoint (which employs a discipline known as “startup engineering”). In partnership with Cisco and Georgia Tech, AT&T recently announced that it will open its fourth “foundry” in Atlanta, focusing on connected devices. And recognizing the unique concentration of talent and investment in the area, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce has launched a significant initiative to bring additional mobile innovators to Atlanta.
We’ll be hosting speakers at the GigaOM ATL Mobile Meetup including:
- Glenn Lurie, President, Emerging Enterprises and Partnerships for AT&T Mobility. Glenn leads AT&T’s strategic initiative to bring wireless connectivity to a host of new devices (tablets, cars, mHealth devices, etc.) and also heads AT&T’s new Digital Life division.
- Tom Daly, who leads Coke’s mobile strategy and execution across some 80 global brands in 140+ countries.
- Chris Huff, VP of Mobile Development at The Weather Company (TWC): Chris’ team is responsible for building and “managing” TWC’s mobile apps, which rank among the top 5 in downloads.
- Ted Stine, who leads AT&T’s participation in ISIS (the mobile operator m-payments consortium), and drives m-commerce strategy and product development for AT&T Mobility.
- Bengt Hoersma, VP Visa: Bengt is responsible for implementing significant new m-commerce initiatives with Visa’s partners around the world.
- David Cummings, head of ATV (the largest tech startup center in the South) and, at 32, one of the youngest and most successful serial entrepreneurs in the country (his last company, Pardot, was acquired in Oct. by ExactTarget for an estimated $100 million; Salesforce.com just acquired ExactTarget for upwards of $2.5 billion).
- Blake Patton, head of Ga. Tech’s ATDC (Advanced Technology Development Center). Founded in 1980, ATDC has launched over 150 tech companies and was named by Forbes as one of the “12 Business Incubators Changing the World.”
GigaOM’s Stacey Higginbotham and Research Director Cormac Foster will moderate, along with yours truly. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from thought leaders at Club Opera, which is at 1150 Peachtree Street Northeast in Atlanta.