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March 9, 2018

Virtual Reality and Esports Take Spotlight In Technology Leadership Council

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Atlanta has fast become a hub of digital media and entertainment. Among many other accolades, Atlanta ranks top ten in the categories for next top tech town, new tech businesses and best cities for tech employment growth. Many businesses have discovered that growth and recognition align directly with digital entertainment tax incentives and efforts that Georgia’s university system has put in place acknowledging future workforce demands.

As Georgia continues to embrace digital industry trends, the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) continues to invest in bringing industry leaders together. Chaired by SecureWorks President & CEO Mike Cote, co-chaired by Microsoft Regional Vice President Mary Carol Alexander and Morris, Manning & Martin Partner John Yates, MAC’s Technology Leadership Council met in Q1 to discuss tax laws impacting digital production, non-traditional incentive qualifications and what the region can do to encourage more investments aligning with job creation.

Provided by HTC VIVE, attendees had the opportunity to demo cutting-edge virtual reality technology and discuss the impact immersive experiences will have in moving industries forward. With new technology advancement comes new policy regulations. Aprio, a local CPA-led advisory firm, provided an update outlining Georgia’s entertainment and production tax landscape – including relaxing thresholds, increasing sunset periods and broadening production qualifications.

In a featured panel, council attendees had the opportunity to discuss esports. Featuring leadership from performance gaming gear manufacturer KrontrolFreek, game publisher Hi-Rez Studios, and brand management consultants Player 2 Studios, attendees learned that esports viewership rivals traditional American sports and that Fortune 500 brands are looking for ways to engage in partnerships. Panelists shared that esports leagues are on the cusp of Olympic relevance, and that universities around the country have elevated participation in esports with varsity-level scholarships.  

Facilitating creative conversations continues to be a primary focus for MAC’s industry expansion efforts. This includes providing a platform for emerging industry professionals to create awareness, provide consistent messaging and educate other business leaders on non-traditional industry trends. With a tremendous opportunity to frame Atlanta as a digital production capital, we look forward to what a collective effort can do in elevating the Atlanta region.

The next Technology Leadership Council will meet May 10 at the Metro Atlanta Chamber. If you have any questions on how your organization can engage with MAC, please reach out to Jack Murphy.

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