A common topic in community discussions around the startup ecosystem is “What are the best types of businesses to start in Atlanta?” The question is intended to bring up topics like the clusters of FinTech, healthIT, Sensors, SaaS / Marketing Automation etc…
This is a top-down approach that may work for economic development people, but entrepreneurs should be thinking bottom up. The top-down answer always includes stats about Atlanta and the amazing clusters happening here, but the bottom-up answer is much more simple: The best kind of business to start is where the entrepreneur’s personal network is the strongest.
So the natural next question usually goes like this: I know my idea is huge and will change the world, but I don’t have a network in this arena, at all… what do I do?
If you are intentional about it, you can build strong networks from nothing. I believe it takes twelve months of intense networking. Attend events. Build deep relationships and also cast a wide net. Ask for introductions. Pay attention to the super-connectors and be around them. Offer to help them. Volunteer at industry programs. Speak on what you know whenever offered the mic. After that full year, you should have the contacts necessary to launch something with plenty of resources.