Atlanta finished 19th in WalletHub’s Best Places to Start a Business Study. The city’s business environment, access to resources, and business costs were factors in the ranking. Over the years, Atlanta has become a significant hub for large corporations who have moved their headquarters to the city. However, can the same happen with start-ups? What makes the climate in Atlanta unique to allow for aspiring entrepreneurs to make a move here? Read on for five reasons why.
Affordable Office Rent
Office rent in any major city is going to be expensive; however, Atlanta is one of the cheapest alternatives. When compared to Boston, DC, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, and even Houston, Atlanta’s affordability came out on top. It costs an average of $1.74 per square feet in rental costs —the lowest of the bunch— and according to MarketWatch $5,000 a month in rental fees stretches the furthest in Atlanta with 2,861 square feet of space.
Tons of Coworking Space
Can’t afford a dedicated office space? No problem! Metro Atlanta has affordable coworking spaces all over the urban and suburban areas. WeWork in Buckhead, IgniteHQ in Marietta, Strongbox West in West Midtown, SharedSpace in Dunwoody, Cornerstone Coworking in Gwinnett, any many other shared spaces serve the Metro Atlanta region. These spaces allow entrepreneurs to affordably rent desk space, conference rooms, or more substantial work areas with amenities like internet, kitchen space, and printing included. Many of these facilities also have learning courses for up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
A True College Town
Atlanta is known for a lot of things, but for some reason, people forget about the city’s rich college activity. Within almost walking distance of one another are Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Clark Atlanta University. Further out in the Metro Atlanta suburbs are Mercer University, Kennesaw State University, and even a few University of Georgia satellite campuses. If start-up entrepreneurs are looking for their next innovative employees —or even interns—they can look no further than Atlanta’s bustling college crowd.
Better Cost of Living
It is true that Atlanta’s cost of living has steadily risen in recent years, but when compared to other major cities it is still the most affordable. Put up against Chicago, Seattle, D.C., New York City, and San Francisco, Atlanta comes first in median home price, apartment rent, gasoline prices, and average monthly parking. Entrepreneurship can bring a lot of unsettling financial times so being located in a city where basic needs are easier to come by can make all the difference.
No Shortage of Resources
The Atlanta business ecosystem is not only welcoming big companies, new resources and funding opportunities are also available for companies in their infancy. According to the research firm, Pitchfork, DC, Austin, and Atlanta rank in the top 12 venture capital ecosystems. The study took into account capital raised, VC invested, and VC activity. Taking a look at StartUp Atlanta’s list of local business accelerators and funding opportunities will make any budding entrepreneur take a second look at the city. Atlanta also has two major business learning hubs in Atlanta Tech Village and General Assembly. Both provide business networking events, workshops, and numerous opportunities to “skill up.”
Atlanta has finally come into its own as a viable hub for start-ups. The talent, resources, and affordability are there for anyone who wants to make the city their base. However, we do acknowledge that no location is perfect. Traffic, public transportation, urban sprawl, and overcrowding does plague the city. We do recognize that Atlanta’s business competition is fierce. Yet, if startup owners are ready to network and have a unique idea that sets them apart from the rest, then Atlanta could be the ideal place to lay business roots.
Image credit: https://www.digitalcrafts.com/blog/digitalcrafts-bringing-coding-bootcamp-atlanta-tech-village