November 10, 2022
ATLANTA- Atlanta is no stranger to Fortune 500 and Fortune 500 caliber companies like Georgia-Pacific calling it home. Currently, thirty-one Atlanta-based companies are featured on the 2022 Fortune 1000 list. Seventeen of those companies are also ranked among the Fortune 500.
Many of these companies, along with Georgia-Pacific, celebrated the 5th year anniversary of a local startup accelerator, Engage, that deploys capital and enterprise expertise from its founding companies to help startups break corporate barriers and operate at full speed. Since its inception, Engage has assisted 75 startups with 10 cohorts.
The idea for Engage grew out of Atlanta’s success as a headquarters city. Leaders knew that for Atlanta to continue to flourish, the city needed a key that would help propel the city to the future. With locations like Silicon Valley in California and Austin, Texas, established as tech hubs, Atlanta knew what it needed to do to stay relevant in the ever-changing business environment. Atlanta is now home to a number of tech giants, and startups because of the strides the city and the business community have made to make the city the tech and startup hub of the southeastern United States.
Engage venture fund is comprised of 15 corporate partners and one university that invests in companies selected for the Engage Go-To-Market Program. The partners are Chick-fil-A, The Coca-Cola Company, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power Foundation, Georgia Tech, Goldman Sachs, The Home Depot, Honeywell Connected Enterprise, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Inspire Brands, Invesco, Invest Georgia, UPS, and Wellstar Health System. Tech Square Ventures manages the Engage fund.
Engage aims to help establish Atlanta as the best place in the country for an enterprise-focused startup to do business. Seventy-percent of Engage startups are Southeast-headquartered, with forty-percent based in Atlanta. Some companies have even relocated or opened an Atlanta office since joining Engage. Engage startups employ more than 1,300 people, with over 200 located in Atlanta.
Georgia-Pacific is a founding corporate partner of Engage and has had 19 contracts with startups from the past ten cohorts. “We choose companies based on if their strategic focus area aligns with a business unit or capability within Georgia-Pacific,” says Jim DiAndreth, Managing Director of GP Ventures. Working with startups from Engage is a mutually beneficial experience that exposes Georgia-Pacific executives to the startup world and allows the startups to receive feedback and sometimes a new customer out of a business unit. “A benefit of being a corporate partner with Engage is the knowledge share Georgia-Pacific gets to have with the other corporate partners. Some of them are our customers,” DiAndreth continues.
Georgia-Pacific is currently conversing with six of the ten startups in the 10th cohort of Engage.
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Engage has helped 75 startups raise about $2.7 billion in funding. If you have a startup and is interested in applying for the next cohort, please visit Engage to learn more.