ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Tech Alpharetta has scored a major coup in the world of international commerce.
The locally based incubator for tech entrepreneurs will be on the world stage this week when its director speaks before a group of government and business leaders at the China International Technology Transfer Convention in Beijing.
“To be asked to do this at this international conference is – they’re expecting 4,000 to be at the whole convention – it’s a little scary,” said Dale Sizemore. “This is a real feather in the cap for Tech Alpharetta.”
Sizemore is the only representative from the United States speaking on a panel focused on global incubation and partnerships.
The convention, which began in 2011, drew representatives from 40 countries last year.
This year’s convention will involve innovation strategy, cutting-edge trends and elements integration in the fields of biomedical science, medical devices, science and agriculture.
“The part where I’m speaking on is a panel about international incubation and partnerships,” Sizemore said.
The list of attendees include representatives from large Chinese corporations, business and government representatives from around the world.
Sizemore said the invitation was spurred by a recent visit by representatives from China’s Consulate General’s Office to Tech Alpharetta’s Innovation Center. The group toured the facility and learned about how innovation centers and technology parks work to help young start-ups.
The visit was also arranged in association with the Association of Chinese Professionals whose president is in Atlanta.
“All four of them came along,” Sizemore said. “We met and talked to them about what we do and how the companies are looking for expansion. Some will be global, and also opportunities for Chinese companies to come to America and establish themselves.”
The tour included resources for relocation and expansion.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development lists 63 Chinese-based companies operating in the state, specializing in fields from agriculture to technology.
China is by far the state’s largest trade partner, with $18.5 billion in imports and $2.5 billion exported last year, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Tech Alpharetta has piqued interest among the Chinese because of its connection with the public and private sectors, Sizemore said. The nonprofit also has financial support from the City of Alpharetta.
“Many of the programs, like the Beijing incubator, will be launched while I’m there, the day after we’re speaking,” Sizemore said. “(The Beijing incubator) is affiliated obviously with government, so, ways of blending the government and the community and the private sector startup community are the formula they’re looking to find successful.”
Sizemore brings decades of business experience to the table. He has been involved in seven startups, including a company of his own. He’s been involved with a venture capital organization and has been with the Tech Alpharetta incubator since its inception about two years ago.
“So you’ve got a combination of an entrepreneur, somebody that knows investment and somebody who is actively involved in running an incubator,” he said. “And if they’re opening up an incubator, they might want to have someone like that with that perspective.”
Sizemore said advice and perspective are not the only things he’s bringing to the conference.
He plans to tout his home market.
“You’ve got Alpharetta but also Georgia, the number one state to do business in,” he said. “You have universities – about 40 colleges in Georgia. They provide educational resources, commercialization of ideas, talent.”
In addition, businesses have an array of resources for capital, from investment angels all the way up to venture capital investors.
“All of those are important. And I’m going to be taking our contribution to each one of those areas and our message about Alpharetta in particular, the state of Georgia in general and the United States and go from there,” he said.