History is being made in Atlanta.
A report from USA TODAY is calling Atlanta the “black tech capital.”
In a city named the fourth fastest-growing market for tech jobs, black tech entrepreneurs are doing things their own way outside of Silicon Valley.
“No other city has over 20 Fortune 500s, and 20 Grammy award-winning musicians and over 200,000 college students,” explained Dr. Paul Judge. “If we bring those things together in the right way … we’ll surprise ourselves and make something really memorable.”
Judge is known by some as Atlanta’s “Godfather of Tech.” It’s a title he’s not completely relaxed into, yet.
“Sometimes there are titles that you have to grow into,” he admitted. “It’s aspirational.”
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Judge saw Atlanta’s tech potential 20 years ago before it added nearly 32,000 tech jobs in five years according to one report, and long before one-in-four tech workers in the city were black.
It’s a big leap from the 2.5 percent black tech workforce in San Jose, California.
“Atlanta’s just naturally a diverse city, and so long as you can provide access to these opportunities, there will be more people of color,” he explained.
Now he’s leading the next phase with the recent purchase of the A3C Festival. For 15 years, A3C was known as a hip-hop music festival. This year, the first under Judge and his partners Mike Walbert and Ryan Wilson, it was a merger between music, tech, and film.
Catch the rest of the 11Alive report by Natisha Lance here.
Snapshot of startup events in the Atlanta tech ecosystem