This week, the Atlanta Business Chronicle published their annual edition of “100 Most Influential Atlantans.” Among the recipients included philanthropists, politicians, educators, and leaders in the arts. CEOs from Atlanta based giants such as the Home Depot, Chick-fil-a, and Coca-Cola were positioned next to directors of sports stadiums and world class healthcare facilities. Some recipients come as no surprise, while others are new additions that highlight their ascent to prominence and what needs to be done in the capital of the South. Yet tucked away near the back of the list sits serial entrepreneur and founder of the Atlanta Tech Village David Cummings.
While some Atlantans may not recognize the “poster boy of Atlanta’s red hot startup scene,” others may know David Cummings from his previous successful tech startups, Hannon Hill and Pardot. After Pardot’s multi-million dollar acquisition by ExacTarget, Cummings went on to further invest in the greater startup community in metro Atlanta by founding the Atlanta Tech Village. Cummings earned his Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Duke University and is a member of YPO Southern 7, the Atlanta chapter of the EO, and on the board of the Metro Atlanta Chamber as well as the Buckhead Coalition.
The Atlanta Tech Village is “a community center for technology and technology-related companies located in the heart of the Atlanta financial district, Buckhead.” The five story 103,000 sq ft technology entrepreneur center is the largest in the Southeast, with a mission “to promote faster connections between talent, ideas, and capital.” Energized by his success after Pardot’s acquisition, Cummings found the perfect environment to help grow and encourage other startups in Atlanta. When asked why he chose Atlanta as a home for his business in a 2013 interview with Julie Evans, Cummings replied, “I love Atlanta. We have great people, great weather, and great things to do. All the natural ingredients are here for a vibrant startup community: technical talent from Georgia Tech, young professionals, low cost of living, direct flights anywhere in the world, and people that pay it forward.” Cummings’ personal and professional values can be reflected also by the values of the Atlanta Tech Village: Be Nice, Dream Big, Pay It Forward, and Work Hard. Play Hard.
While the Atlanta Tech Village is notably not an incubator, it is a commercial office building designed for tech and tech-related companies who pay membership dues and fees. While it has coworking spaces, there are traditional office suites and tech-friendly amenities. With 100 companies currently working out of the Atlanta Tech Village and countless others vying for a desk on the first floor, the Atlanta Tech Village is just another example of the booming startup industry in Atlanta. With a deep well of tech talent, investors, and industry influencers such as David Cummings, more is in store for Atlanta and for the Southeast.
With all of the activities at the Atlanta Tech Village, Cummings still has time to get involved in yet another start up, a cloud integration firm called Kevy. When asked what drives him to creat so many startups at such a young age, Cummings merely answered, “It’s an itch I had to scratch. I’m constantly seeing things that can be improved or done better and I enjoy solving problems.” With the immediate success of the Atlanta Tech Village and the exponential growth of Atlanta’s startup scene, we wish David Cummings all the best in his future endeavors and to keep influencing Atlanta.