Why Atlanta Is Beating Silicon Valley As A Mecca For African Americans In Tech
Folks might think Silicon Valley is the space to go for all things tech. However, there is a new mecca for tech, especially for African Americans, and that’s Atlanta, Georgia.
A new feature in the Atlanta Journal Constitution highlights the tech entrepreneurs in the second largest majority Black metro area in the country. Via dozens of interviews, AJC reports the boom of tech in Atlanta is partly due to tech programs at Morehouse College, Spelman College and “tech incubators at corporations.” These incubators include Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines and Fortune 500 companies. Furthermore, Atlanta’s cost of living lends itself to entrepreneurs migrating there to fulfill their tech dreams.
Kunbi Tinuoye, the founder and CEO of UrbanGeekz, a technology industry blog, explained, “Atlanta is truly a hot spot for diverse entrepreneurs to build scalable tech startups, especially if the brand is focused on African American consumers.”
Likoebe Maruping, a Georgia State University associate professor in the computer information systems department, also added, “If you think about it globally, how much of the world looks like what Silicon Valley looks like? It’s not representative of the world, yet the technology they are building, and its design, is being very much informed by the people they come in contact with.”
Jason Gumbs, a regional senior vice president for Comcast who moved from San Francisco to Atlanta last October, said, “There is diversity in the Bay Area and in California. … But the question is, do you have that sense of community that you have here? I would say that, as someone who has been here for 120 days, there is to me a greater sense of community here.”
It’s not just AJC noticing the thriving tech space in Atlanta. Biz Journals reports Naveen Krishna, Macy’s chief technology officer, said they will open a $14 million U.S. tech hub in Midtown Atlanta because it is the “best location in the South” for tech talent.
In August, a survey released by CB Richard Ellis reported that between 2013 and 2018, Atlanta added almost 32,000 tech jobs, second only to San Francisco.
In 2017, Forbes predicted Atlanta was one of five American cities “to become tomorrow’s tech meccas.”
Sounds like those predictions are coming true.