ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Alpharetta has a marketing problem.
“Often companies chose Atlanta and discover Alpharetta,” said Mayor David Belle Isle. “The story is getting obscured. Cities with far less to work with than we do are getting more press.”
Alpharetta prides itself on having 600 technology companies within its borders with a further 300 nearby. That’s 35 percent of the state’s entire catalogue of technology firms.
Yet when people on a national or regional scope think of technology hubs, they think Austin, Texas, or Chattanooga, Tennessee. Belle Isle and the Alpharetta Technology Commission say Alpharetta has plenty more to offer, it just needs to get its name out there.
The ATC held its annual dinner Aug. 7 at the Metropolitan Club to dine and network, but also to hear updates about the city and its technology community.
For George Masini, chief executive officer of Alpharetta startup Catavolt, Alpharetta is primed to take the lead.
“We have the talent and the infrastructure,” he said. “What we need is the marketing.”
Silicon Valley is 40 miles outside San Francisco. Similarly, Atlanta has a unique flavor, he said, but Alpharetta as the Technology City of the South (and 12 miles outside town) has its own culture.
“This is a huge hub of creative and corporate businesses,” he said.
Curtis Clark, IBM’s global government director, said Alpharetta is doing a lot of the right things.
“You are on the forefront in what we are seeing in public-private partnerships,” Curtis said.
Working with companies is essential, he said. Along with high quality of life and great education, cities who want to remain competitive must stay ahead of the scientific curve. That means for Alpharetta, working to expand the fiber optic network that already stretches along the city and enhancing other infrastructure.
“Governments can no longer do this alone,” he said. “You must work across boundaries in ways you have never done before.
“You are in a global competition for jobs and you know it,” Curtis said.
For more information on the effort the city is making to sell itself to the wider markets, they recently launched a new website – www.growalpharetta.com.