With a piece in yesterday's British paper, The Guardian, Georgia Tech Vice President Stephen Fleming makes a case for moving British tech firms across the Pond. While Atlanta and London share very few similarities — London Eye, SkyView Atlanta is not — the Bank of America tower does look a bit like Big Ben. Despite the lack of Britishness, a strong talent pool and leisurely lifestyle are touted as big ATL draws. Overall, Fleming makes a compelling-ish case for Atlanta being a business incubator and great place for tech companies over Silicon Valley, which he seems to loathe.
Human capital and existing infrastructure play a key role in Fleming's pitch. In addition to a large population of smarty-pants college kids — by Fleming's count more than 250,000 from 50 different area schools — Atlanta has a level of diversity that Silicon Valley just can't match. Lamenting the comparison of Atlanta to Silicon Valley, Fleming offers up the sprawl of the city as a positive, in that it encourages a spread of technological innovation throughout the metro. A London executive is even quoted as saying that one of car-centric Atlanta's draws is not having to drive to the airport — so take that, Tube.
Finally, Fleming cites the city's existing big-name corporations like Coca-Cola, Delta and Mercedes-Benz (oh, how convenient). Sponsored by UPS and penned by a local university that emphasizes technology, the whole thing might sound a bit like an advert — as the British might say — but hey, shameless self-promotion is the Atlanta way.
· Forget Silicon Valley - British tech firms should head to Atlanta [The Gaurdian]
· Georgia Tech Forges Ahead with New Techie Tower [Curbed Atlanta]