Archive for December, 2015

Center to boost Atlanta jobs

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

The opening of a new center will bolster Atlanta jobs.

Atlanta’s first Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC) will be in the historic Flatiron building and will work with the City’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) to provide development software, coaching and grants to selected women entrepreneurs.

The MIC is a result of the CityNext Digital Alliance between Microsoft Corp. and the City of Atlanta, which is part of Microsoft’s broader CityNext initative. The alliance focuses on increasing access to Microsoft software and technology support for citizens—with an emphasis on K–20 education, student entrepreneurs, software startups and job seekers. It supports the local economy through increased digital literacy, career readiness and services for accelerating innovation.

The MIC is part of Microsoft’s broader strategy to empower developers and entrepreneurs worldwide, which is a key commitment for the company. Microsoft’s commitment to the developer community extends far beyond Atlanta, from helping 100,000 startups and 1,500 partners from more than 100 countries through its BizSpark initiative, to building seven accelerators throughout the world as part of Microsoft Ventures. Microsoft is able to help startups scale their business with a variety of technologies and services like cloud computing, developer tools, software and open source technologies.

“The City of Atlanta is proud to be the home of the nation’s second Microsoft Innovation Center,” said Mayor Reed. “Ensuring that our entrepreneurs have the right tools and resources to start and grow their businesses is essential. The Microsoft Innovation Center will be a vital asset to our Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative and will empower entrepreneurs to create well-paying jobs and strengthen our economy.”

The MIC is a result of the CityNext Digital Alliance between Microsoft Corp. and the City of Atlanta, which is part of Microsoft’s broader CityNext initative. The alliance focuses on increasing access to Microsoft software and technology support for citizens—with an emphasis on K–20 education, student entrepreneurs, software startups and job seekers. It supports the local economy through increased digital literacy, career readiness and services for accelerating innovation.

“We aim to foster innovation, collaboration and economic growth in local communities as an inherent piece of our culture and look forward to expanding our work in the Atlanta community,” said Judson Althoff, president of North America at Microsoft. “The MIC will allow us to provide training and resources to thousands of members of the technology, education and business communities; help hundreds of businesses grow; and host countless learning and networking events.”

“We envision the MIC at FlatrionCity becoming a destination for entrepreneurs, academia and corporations,” said Arun Nijhawan, Managing Principal for Lucror Resources. “A place for people with diverse backgrounds to meet, exchange ideas, leverage their respective strengths and truly innovate. We see each feature of the MIC, whether it be the Hololens or cloud based services, as assets for Atlanta’s vibrant entrepreneurial community, as well as for its established industry players.”

Initiative to boost Atlanta jobs

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

A new initiative will empower women entrepreneurs and boost Atlanta jobs.

The Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI), in partnership with global financial empowerment leader, Operation HOPE, are joining together to equip aspiring women entrepreneurs with educational tools to jumpstart their business goals.

Recognizing the need to fortify Atlanta’s rapidly growing community of women entrepreneurs with resources for the early stages of entrepreneurship, the two organizations will collaborate to offer a training program to Atlanta-area women interested in starting their own businesses.

Operation HOPE and WEI signed an official Memorandum of Understanding formalizing the partnership earlier in the summer, and are now preparing to extend complimentary enrollment to women business owners in Atlanta, including applicants to the 2015 WEI Incubator competition.

A vision of Mayor Kasim Reed, and advised by a seven-member advisory board chaired by Home Depot’s Chief Financial Officer, Carol Tomé, WEI aims to synergize entrepreneurial opportunities for women in Atlanta, with the City’s mission of elevating and strengthening its economic development efforts. Through a competitive process, fifteen women entrepreneurs will be selected to participate in an inaugural fifteen-month business incubator – a collaborative office environment designed to foster business growth and sustainability.

“We are pleased to partner on this important issue with the City of Atlanta for the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI),” said Louis Negrón, President, Atlanta Market Region at Operation HOPE. “Helping women develop their entrepreneurship skills and translate vision into action not only empowers the women in the program, but their success helps strengthen economic stability and opportunity in communities where they reside.”

 

School to help create Atlanta tech jobs

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

A new coding school will ensure the creation of more Atlanta tech jobs.

The Atlanta Workforce Development Agency and TechSquare Labs will launch a 12-month innovative coding and cofounders school, where the curriculum’s focus is coding, career readiness and entrepreneurship.

The pilot program, which is the first of its kind, is designed for underserved youth in Atlanta between the ages of 18 to 24 to learn to code, get a job in the tech industry or to start a high growth company.

The school requires participants to live in school-sponsored housing for the full length of the program as well as participate in counseling and therapy sessions with a licensed counselor. Both instructors and mentors will prepare students for a career as a professional junior-level programmer and software engineer.

The program goes beyond tactical skills and teaches students how to think like a software engineer, where students also receive training in the areas of ideation, design thinking, business model generation, financial responsibility, diversity, inclusion and career readiness.

“Technology training is one of the most important skills needed to compete and advance in today’s workforce, and unfortunately many of our nation’s underserved young people are left behind unequipped to compete in this rapidly growing industry,” said Michael T. Sterling, Executive Director, Atlanta Workforce Development Agency. “As the workforce system for the city of Atlanta, it is our responsibility to make Atlanta’s workforce more competitive, and collaborating with a company such as TechSquare Labs whose focus is teaching individuals how to effectively navigate the innovation and entrepreneurship world, is a step in the right direction.”

“I am excited about the possibilities of developing Atlanta’s technical workforce and future technical cofounders,” said Rodney Sampson, Chief, Diversity + Inclusion Initiatives, TechSquare Labs. “The young people that complete this intensive, fully immersive program will possess the skills to immediately join hundreds of companies looking for junior software engineers and eventually go on to possibly be a part of Atlanta’s next billion dollar startup like my partner, Dr. Paul Judge. These students will have no limits to what they will be able to create and build in the innovation economy.”

Website to boost Atlanta construction jobs?

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

A new website detailing infrastructure projects may be a boon to Atlanta construction jobs.

The city has launched a new website for the public to learn about and follow the progress of the Renew Atlanta infrastructure bond program, www.renewatlantabond.com.

The Renew Atlanta program was approved by more than eight in ten voters in a special election held earlier this year. Over five years, the City of Atlanta plans to complete more than two hundred transportation and municipal facility projects, including major repairs and upgrades from an infrastructure maintenance backlog of nearly $900 million.

Visitors to the site can see up-to-date project listings for each category of the bond program, including road resurfacing, bridge repairs, complete streets projects, and upgrades to parks and recreation facilities across the city.

“The City of Atlanta is proud to provide a website for the public to learn about and follow the progress of more than two hundred Renew Atlanta infrastructure bond projects,” said Dan Gordon, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Atlanta. “Mayor Reed’s vision is to make the single largest investment in the look, feel and experience of our city in modern times. With this new, public-facing website and Faye DiMassimo as General Manager, Atlanta residents can track our progress and feel confident in the City’s management of this important program.”

As the infrastructure program moves forward into construction on projects like the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Natatorium in the Historic Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, visitors to the website can track progress and spending. In addition, the website will host information about upcoming public meetings for those projects requiring additional research and planning, such as the proposed changes to Dekalb Avenue. Residents are invited to share their thoughts on the new website and the Renew Atlanta program through the site’s feedback page.