Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

The Surprising Diversity of Organizations that Play In the Startup Ecosystem


Village Atrium @ 1 yr Anniversary. In Full Construction Mode.

We just passed the one year mark of the Atlanta Tech Village inception. What a great year!

Looking back, there are two big surprises that neither David or I expected.   The first surprise: the soil is rich and the demand for community, connection, and density is far greater than we expected.

The second surprise: the startup ecosystem as we perhaps inappropriately label it, is far more diverse than we expected.   What we are doing touches many organizations and people, much more than just the startups. The system is not closed: many people that are not in startups are impacted and involved.

In thinking ahead, I’ve enjoyed doing an exercise for myself, that I will share over a few posts. I’m taking a look at each of the main categories of organizations and people we’ve encountered in the Atlanta Startup Rainforest and evaluate why they care about startups, how they can help the ecosystem, and what they should expect to gain from the ecosystem.

Here is a list of some of the types of organizations who are playing in the startup ecosystem:

- Students.  (Not just technical, but MBA’s, liberal arts, and more)

- Universities.   (From research teams, economic development, and career services.)

- Community Organizations. (Chambers of Commerce, Entrepreneurs Organization.)

- Startup Service Providers (Lawyers, Recruiters, Accountants, Insurance providers)

- Investors (Angels, VCs, Private Equity, Institutions)

- Local Government (Municipalities, County, State organizations)

- Large Enterprise (Home Depot, Turner, Cox, Georgia Pacific, Georgia Power)

- Tech Enterprise (Google, IBM, Amazon,, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter)

- Teenage Startups (AirWatch, Mailchimp)

- Tech Startups (duh)

- Non-Tech Startups (an interesting delineation I will discuss later)

 I look forward to sharing thoughts and observations on each in the coming month.

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