4 Lessons About Community from Atlanta Tech Village

In the last 14 months I’ve had the opportunity to watch Atlanta Tech Village transform from an out-of-date corporate office building into one of the coolest spaces in Atlanta. It’s been almost surreal to see David’s vision turn into a reality around me. But even more amazing than the renovations on the physical structure of Atlanta Tech Village is the awesome community that’s been formed in and around it. With 520+ members representing 180+ companies (and even more on the waiting list!), it’s clear that the Village is meeting a real need in Atlanta. Here are 5 things I’ve learned about building community in the process: 1. Culture, culture, culture! Culture is crucial if you’re going to build a positive, thriving community. In this context, I define culture as the values, mission, and goals that characterize a community and the people in it. At Atlanta Tech Village, we have done everything we can to build this community with our mission and values constantly in mind. Membership is also based on culture – all members must go on a tour and meet Karen, one of our awesome Community Managers, before joining. It’s been very cool to see how leading according to a defined mission and set of values really helps build a healthy culture within a community.

2. People like to be a part of something big. Entrepreneurs want to join the Village for a lot of reasons, but the natural desire to be a part of something big is definitely a huge factor. Atlanta Tech Village is helping put Atlanta on the map and we’re making huge strides toward our goal of creating 10,000 jobs in the next 10 years. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

3. Eating a meal with a stranger can change your career. We learned this early on with Startup Chowdown. There is just something about sharing a meal with someone that opens up a new line of communication. We’ve seen companies form, pivot, hire amazing talent, and close deals because of interactions that have happened on a Friday over lunch at the Village.

4. Being around like-minded people will make you better at what you do, if you let it. At any given moment at Atlanta Tech Village, there is probably someone else that has conquered the very challenge you’re facing, or has advice or a connection that could change your entire trajectory. Participating in healthy community propels successful people forward. Being surrounded by startups has made me a better problem solver, more confident in my creativity, and more bold in my goal and dreams.

It’s been pretty amazing to help make the Atlanta Tech Village dream a reality. The awesome, driven, and successful people at the Village have taught me so much. I’m super excited to see how this community is going to continue to make Atlanta even more awesome!