Big Tech Company, Cyber Keys to Growing Technology in Augusta
By Gary Kauffman
An anchor technology company and a focus on cyber technology will be the key to Augusta growing in the technology field, Tino Mantella, president of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), told a group of businesspeople Wednesday afternoon.
Mantella gave the 2015 State of Technology in Georgia report at the Columbia County Development Authority office.
“Because you’re the home of Army Cyber Command, that’s starting to become a critical mass of activity,” Mantella said. “I don’t know where else in the state to have a cyber cluster than here.”
The lack of a large anchor tech company is an issue, but Mantella urged to start building up smaller companies over the next three years in hopes of one of them growing. He also said an investor willing to provide some venture capital would be a welcome addition to the area.
“If you can get an investor in here, then the sky’s the limit,” he said.
Mantella also unveiled a map of the technology community in Augusta. TAG has prepared these maps for other areas of Georgia, but Augusta’s was the first to be unveiled.
TAG has 28,000 members in the state, including 2,000 tech and tech-enabled companies. It sponsors more than 200 events per year. The Greater Augusta chapter of TAG has 460 members, companies and organizations.
TAG operates in five areas in technology statewide: Building, connecting, influencing, promoting and celebrating.
TAG is considering a full-time staff member in the Augusta area, like it has in Savannah and Atlanta, to promote technology. But Mantella said it is a Catch-22 situation.
“We’d love to have a person here full time, but we need to have enough activity to justify it,” he said. “But, can you get enough activity without a full-time person here?”