Southern lifestyle, easy access to talent and low overhead for both startups and Fortune 500 headquarters. Can a state boasting these charms not but have a global profile?
At one of its many “Where Georgia Leads” networking events, the Technology Association of Georgia’s International Business Society introduced a map aimed at showcasing the state’s international credentials.
Sandwiched between at least three small airports, public and private, as well as the world’s most traveled hub, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the map showcases at least 50 international companies with more than 200 employees, plus organizations that provide resources for companies doing business abroad.
The state generated $35.5 billion exports in goods in 2016. It’s home 2,750 international facilities, including many who are included in a list of private firms on below the map. The document also included listings for more than 70 consular and trade offices in Georgia, as well as binational chambers.
“Georgia is a hub of innovation, millennial talent and ‘cool.’ We are committed to make this fact top of the mind,” says Troy Gautier, TAG International Business board chair. “If you want to be in a marketplace that links EMEA, Asia Pacific and the Americas, then you have to be in Georgia.”
With the hashtag #wheregeorgialeads, through its HUB magazine and in several events, TAG through its more than 30 individual societies encompassing more than 35,000 members has been running a campaign to showcase Georgia’s strong, innovative industries. Fintech, logistics, information security and other sectors are among those featured. International Business cuts across many of these sectors, so applying the methodology to this society made sense, organizers said.
“We are ideally placed geographically to leverage the markets and talents of so many regions. Now we are highlighting all this consistently, so that companies coming here as well as existing ones can increase their market space,” said Senour Reed, a former TAG International Business Society chair who now advises the society.
TAG’s efforts to create a community to foster an innovative and connected marketplace have been underway for some time. But some feel that these efforts should be enhanced given the current trade turbulence and “America first” rhetoric.
Others at the event highlighted that Georgia, in particular metro Atlanta area, has a commendable startup density and economic opportunities that are a result of a diverse talent pool, low startup costs and access to funding. German giant Siemens, long present with a metro Atlanta facility in Alpharetta, is among the foreign giants that have recently opened innovation outposts at Georgia Tech, with its new center focused on data analytics.
The event included a talk by Jim Reed, president of YKK Corp. of America, the subsidiary of a global Japanese zipper giant which has dealt with a downturn in the U.S. textile sector by diversifying and innovating into sectors like architectural products and automotive fasteners.
Although it started in 1970s, YKK evolved to remain not only among the top zipper manufacturers, but it is also a leader in machines which make all kinds of fasteners. Since the 1970s, YKK has maintained manufacturing facilities in both Macon and Dublin, Ga.
United Parcel Service Inc., the logistics giant, played host to the event and reminded Georgia companies that only 16 percent of them use its immense network and commercial transport solutions.
In addition to the IBS event, TAG has several events lined up to promote Georgia’s tech profile, including a golf tournament. The Excalibur awards are slated for October and aim to celebrate businesses that used technology to counter competition.
Learn more about TAG at tagonline.org.
See more on TAG IBS here.