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Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) names Awards Finalists during Statewide Broadcast.

ATLANTA (August 30th, 2013) – The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and the TAG Education Collaborative (TAG-Ed) today announced the finalists for the second annual Georgia STEM Education Awards which recognizes schools, programs, and companies for outstanding efforts and achievements in supporting and promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Education in Georgia.

Award Finalists were named during a special live broadcast that was streamed to schools throughout Georgia and made available via satellite for use by local TV stations around the state. The broadcast was made possible through the support of Cisco Systems Inc., the US Department of Commerce- Economic Development Association, and Georgia Public Broadcasting; and featured acknowledgements from Georgia Labor Commissioner, Mark Butler and TAG President/CEO Tino Mantella.

“Recent Studies show that Georgia will need to fill approximately 211,000 STEM-related jobs by 2018,” said Tino Mantella, president & CEO of TAG. “The 2013 Georgia STEM Education Awards finalists are helping to prepare the tech-ready workforce to fill these jobs and we applaud them for standing out as leaders in Georgia’s educational community.”


If you are joining a startup tech company, perhaps as a software developer or head of sales, you probably want equity.  Admit it. Your dream is that someday your stock will be worth millions.  So make sure you see Clear History, a recent Larry David creation that almost could be mistaken for an extended episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.  In the movie, Nathan Flomm (played by Larry David), is the marketing director for a startup with a funny-looking new electric vehicle (this ain’t no Tesla) developed by Will Haney, an entrepreneur (played by Jon Hamm).  Flomm tells the Haney that the car’s name, the “Howard,” is terrible from a marketing perspective.  The ensuing altercation leads Flomm to quit in a fit of anger, thereby relinquishing his right to 10% of the company’s stock.  The Howard, with double the battery life of other electric cars, becomes a big success.  Flomm’s forfeited interest would have been worth $1 billion. He becomes a national laughingstock. If you are joining a startup tech company, this is your worst nightmare.  Maybe you won’t quit in a huff, but you fear that a decision you make – even voluntarily, such as leaving for a better offer-- will lead to the loss of a small fortune. 

Businesses give employees equity as an incentive to contribute to the success of the venture. To stick around and not jump at the next offer.  Also, early stage companies lacking in the cash required to pay market-rate salaries, use equity to attract employees. The business can protect itself from “Flomms” in various ways, such as by giving equity (usually restricted stock or options) that vests (or becomes exercisable) over time.  Usually the terms of vesting require the employee to continue to be employed by the issuer on the vesting date; if an employee leaves voluntarily—like Flomm,  unvested equity or options are lost.  Typically other provisions cause the equity to be lost or unfavorable on an employee’s termination for cause or accelerated when termination occurs without cause or upon a liquidity event, such as a sale of the company. 


On October 1st, Mobility Live will bring together technology innovators, mobile industry experts, and business leaders from the entire mobile value creation chain to connect mobile innovators and business decision makers.  Mobility Live is a one-day intensive conference that focuses on how to executing mobile strategies including business best practices and how to leverage technology innovations. This conference is a one-stop shop for learning how to solve the most pressing problems in mobility not only for today but also for tomorrow.


Is equity crowdfunding in Georgia really Much Ado About Nothing?    Contrary to the answer you might receive from a Shakespeare scholar, which I discuss below, I’d have to say no.  Clearly something is going on.  First of all the state adopted the Invest Georgia Exemption (IGE), which is radically different from federal securities law and superior to the federal Jobs Act.  Crowdfunding impresario Knox Massey has tirelessly sought to raise awareness and understanding through numerous meetups and panel discussions. To highlight a success story, each panel included representatives of ZPM Espresso, which completed a successful crowdfunding campaign. Except that it was not an equity crowdfunding. It was a Kickstarter rewards-based campaign.  My guess is that Knox includes Janet and Gleb of ZPM on the panels because, to my knowledge, no one has completed a successful crowdfunding using the IGE.

There remains a serious question as to whether IGE crowdfunding will ever work. The success of the IGE will depend on having enough quality Georgia companies seeking capital and enough Georgia investors willing to invest.  There will be no problem satisfying the first requirement.  Most of the people attending Knox’s panels expressed interest in raising capital, and many of their companies could be successful. The real issue is, if you build it, will the investors come?

By: Allison Norfleet, Vice President of Business Development at Porter Research

While Apple hints at soon entering the consumer healthcare space, it makes plain plans to go to market at a measured pace.

Rumors have been circulating for some time now that Apple will soon enter the consumer healthcare market with a number of devices – the iWatch and other wearable technologies being the most dissected in the blogosphere. A recent VentureBeat article dissects the likelihood of this happening with an almost investigative-like journalism – new but under-the-radar hires, secret workspaces, compelling industry statistics as to why the company would be foolish not to get into the consumer healthcare game RIGHT NOW.

ATLANTA (August 5th, 2013) – The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) is pleased to announce that Atlanta’s surging Technology Sector has been prominently featured in the latest edition of Delta Airline’s Sky Magazine.

The magazine’s August edition, which features Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on the cover, profiles Atlanta and its Civil Rights Legacy in addition to a 5-page article focused on Atlanta as a “City of Innovation”.   The article represents a true victory for the state’s technology community and showcases some of Georgia’s best and brightest including:

  • AirWatch
  • AT&T Mobility
  • Elavon
  • First Data
  • Scoutmob
  • MailChimp

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