Augusta has a growing number of technology companies, and a new organization in town wants to bring in more.
The Technology Association of Georgia recently announced its 20-member advisory board for Augusta, a group of professionals who will be working to support and encourage the growth of the technology sector in the greater Augusta area.
Market research demonstrated potential for Augusta’s technology sector, said Tino Mantella, the president and CEO of the association, with four industry areas in particular: health information technology, security, energy and cloud computing.
“We really liked Augusta,” Mantella said. “We wanted to do this because we thought Augusta had great potential, and they welcomed us with open arms.”
The group was founded in 1999 as a merger of three of the state’s largest technology associations: the Southeastern Software Association, the Business and Technology Alliance, and Women in Technology. The organization is based in Atlanta but has advisory boards in Savannah and Macon.
According to Mantella, the organization’s goal is to make Georgia one of the top 5 states for technology jobs. Georgia is currently ranked eighth.
The association’s advisory board in Augusta will meet monthly and hopes to coordinate job fairs, conduct intensive market
research on Augusta for local companies to use, promote webinars and seminars in Atlanta, and encourage technology and tech-enabled companies through recognition programs.
“TAG coming to Augusta is a very positive step to foster technology in Augusta, and we absolutely think it will make a difference for Augusta,” said Scott Monnig, the development center manager for Rural Sourcing Inc. in Augusta.
Monnig said that RSI has experience working with the association in Atlanta and that the organization can help further Augusta as an area that welcomes technology businesses. Encouraging a sense of community among technology businesses is beneficial for everyone and could give the area a reputation for technology, he said.
“Silicon Valley, Austin and Boston – people think of as technology hubs, so people in the industry want to go to them,” he said.
Monnig said Augusta’s education system will also benefit from an established technology community, attracting technology-interested students with an increased likelihood for internships and jobs after college.
“We’d love for people to get their education in Augusta and then stay here,” he said. “We want to create a community and to be a hub, regionally, fostering that kind of opportunity for folks.”