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Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Innovation in Metro Atlanta

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Innovation Indicators

Innovation is a key catalyst driving regional prosperity. It is the result of a complex interaction of inventors, entrepreneurs, companies, investors, universities, service providers, and government leaders.


Strengths Opportunities
Metro Atlanta has a large pool of regional high-tech talent, employing over 163,000 individuals in high tech occupations in 2015. The concentration of workers in high-tech occupations is lower than other leading innovation regions, but Metro Atlanta is closing the gap. Its concentration of high-tech workers as a share of all workers increased by 30% between 2006 and 2015.
Nearly 190,000 people were employed in innovation industries in Metro Atlanta in 2015. In 2015, nearly 10% of the region’s employment was in innovation industries. The propor on of Metro Atlanta’s employment in innova on industries is lower than other leading innovation regions.

Higher Education

Strengths Opportunities
In 2014, Metro Atlanta institutions awarded 9,960 STEM degrees representing a 40% increase compared to a decade earlier. Between 2013 and 2014, Metro Atlanta added 50,000 adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher. However, the region’s share of highly educated adults rela ve to its total population lags other leading innovation regions.
Total academic R&D expenditures reached $1.85 billion in 2014, outpacing leading innovation regions like San Diego, Denver & Boulder, and Austin. Research productivity is high and increasing.

Private Investment

Strengths Opportunities
Metro Atlanta reached a six-year high with 136 M&A deals in 2015. In each of the past 5 years, Metro Atlanta has outperformed San Diego, Austin, Denver & Boulder, and Research Triangle in M&A activity. Early stage funding in Metro Atlanta has typically lagged other leading innovation regions. However, angel, seed, and series A investment totaled $211 million between 2013 and 2015, a 3-fold increase over the previous seven year average of $70 million.
In 2015, Metro Atlanta’s companies a racted $3.5 billion in total private investment funding.

Atlanta Rankings

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