Atlanta startups on target to make mega-millions thanks to TechSquare Labs

Atlanta startups on target to make mega-millions thanks to TechSquare Labs

Techpreneurs and Georgia Tech graduates Paul Judge and Allen Nance are disruptors. They are the founders of TechSquare Labs, an open-plan, collaborative work space that attracts millennials and innovators. It’s an incubator, seed fund and 15,000 square feet of co-working and corporate innovation hub. The Lab is located in Midtown Atlanta near Georgia Tech. Believe it or not, it’s in an old Office Depot building, yes, that same office supplies reseller that is on track to close its 400th store by the end of 2016 because they were disrupted by technology — a drain in profits and drop in sales.

“The irony is that we would turn this building into a space to make more disruptive technology companies. People would often ask why do you want this old Office Depot. It’s not about the real estate; it’s about needing a campus. Just like a musician needs a studio to make music, we needed a space to dream big, to write code, to bring ideas to life. It’s about how to get the smartest people in Atlanta in one room working on the biggest ideas we can think of,” shares Judge during the TechSquare Labs + Google for Entrepreneurs VIP event. “That’s what we’ve been up to. It’s always been about the people.”

Judge is co-founder and executive chairman of Pindrop Security, and is an adviser and investor at Ionic Security and Limitless Smart Shot, and an investor in dozens of great startups, including Bluebox, StarMobile and Emailage. Previously, Judge was CTO of CipherTrust (acquired by Secure Computing), and co-founder of Purewire (acquired by Barracuda Networks). He also backs Atlanta-based Monsieur, a leader in automated bartender service.

“Everyone we have worked with has had this dreamer’s dilemma; do you take the risk or do you take the safety? We want to find more Barrys [Givens, CEO of Monsieur] and give them a place to come and pursue their dreams. A lot of people talk about being entrepreneurs. A lot of people talk about building companies. But, how do you measure success?” he says.

Judge and Nance are passionate about investing in the next generation of entrepreneurs and startups. Judge adds, “How do you measure success? [quoting Thomas Edison] ‘Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.’ It’s not about solving the hardest problems you can. It’s about solving problems people care about.”

In the past year, a bank called them with a problem and they developed a platform called Stackfolio, which is an asset management platform for commercials banks. “It has created nine jobs, raised $400,000 and has analyzed $70 million of assets for banks in the last 12 months,” Judge avers.

Proven examples of the next generation of businesses don’t end there.

REscour: “Founder Jake [Edens] and Chris [Lexmond] walked up to me and said that people buy these big apartment buildings and build these office complexes; there’s nothing as simple as Zillow for them. So we need to make a tool to help real estate professionals make better decisions. I said yes, that makes sense. Allen and I, we wrote a check and over the last 12 months, Jake and Chris created 21 jobs, raised $2.8 million and deployed to hundreds of real estate firms around the world.” [It’s the first company incubated by TechSquare].

Monsieur: “Barry [Givens] and his team have deployed 12 machines around the country and have served tens of thousands of cocktails around the country.”

With so much buzz and substance, it was easy for Google to team with TechSquare Labs. Google for Entrepreneurs, a global initiative aimed at company building, announced their partnership on Tuesday, June 7. As part of the program, TechSquare Labs’ companies will have access to Google mentors and the Internet company’s products and services. Google executives will also conduct startup events and programming at the 15,000-square-foot tech hub in Midtown.


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