Atlanta is a hotbed for all kinds of innovation and business initiatives, and startups are sprouting up here like flowers. The Peach State has produced some of the top talent in the startup industry in recent years and the trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing.
A few Atlanta entrepreneurs have really made an impact in the startup world as of late. Here are six intrepid Atlantans you need to know about.
1. Mitch Schlimer
Not a native son, Mitch Schlimer is a welcome addition to Atlanta’s entrepreneurial landscape. The true definition of a serial startup man, Schlimer has lived in Atlanta for years and founded several successful business initiatives here. He currently hosts the “Let’s Talk Business Network” radio program and also founded the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame which he hopes one day to headquarter right in downtown. Not done with startups, Schlimer’s current enterprise is the Magic Wand Foundation.
2. David Payne and Michael Tavani
Ever heard of Scoutmob? Of course you have. The location-based deal company was founded right here in Atlanta in 2010 by Payne and Tavani and is poised to become the ‘new’ Groupon. Currently partnering with Foursquare and Google, Scoutmob is bringing awareness to local businesses in over ten national cities.
3. Ben Chestnut
Founder of MailChimp.com, one of the largest internet marketing companies in the world, Chestnut was just in his 20s when he started the Atlanta-based business. With over 2 million users and counting, Mail Chimp is a juggernaut in the online marketing space and Chestnut has become a vocal voice in the Atlanta startup scene and recently invested in Minibox.
4. Anisa Telwar
Atlanta resident Anisa Telwar founded Anisa International way back in 2002, but the company has recently evolved to rake in over $30 million a year. Telwar consistently breaks ground in the manufacturing and distribution industries via Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and currently sells her line of custom-produced makeup brushes to dozens of popular brands.
5. Margaret Martin
Helping bolster Atlanta’s tech reputation is a number of new tech startups, not the least of which is Merlin. With an app that’s designed to bring the usefulness of video-game style “augmented reality” to things like putting together a piece of furniture, Merlin’s got a host of investors lined up. Founded and run by a female to boot, Merlin is one of Atlanta’s coolest new startups.
6. David Cummings
Founder of a number of successful ventures over the last 10 years, Cummings is an Atlanta transplant with something to prove. Currently the CEO of Kevy, a sort of cloud integration software, Cummings has been lauded by everyone from Duke University to Inc. Magazine. He’s really making waves in the Atlanta landscape.
What’s interesting about Atlanta’s startup culture is that many of the city’s best talent has moved in from elsewhere. Is this a result of the city’s continued efforts to attract burnt-out Silicon Valley workers? Maybe. But whatever Atlanta’s doing, it seems to be working.
Ryan Currie is a product manager at BizShark.com, with 5 years experience in online marketing and product development. In addition to web related businesses, he also enjoys the latest news and information on emerging technologies and open source projects.