By Péralte C. Paul
The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at Georgia Tech has hired three Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) whose main role will be to mentor startups incubating there.
EIRs are a team of successful businesspeople who work one-on-one with ATDC companies. They guide and advise those companies, and leverage their own track records of developing and selling startups, said Tim Sheehan, ATDC’s lead EIR.
“All three needed to be startup experts,” Sheehan said. “They were off the charts, the best candidates for the job.”
Sheehan added he is tapping into their expertise in specific sectors. Tighe’s focus is medical device startups, and he will spend a lot of time at the planned medical device incubator at the Global Center for Medical Innovation, dubbed ATDC@GCMI. (He has developed and commercialized more than 150 medical devices.)
Ryan, the chief executive of Senoia Systems, an infrastructure software company, will concentrate on those in the sensors and analytics space. McCracken, managing partner of Proventus Group with deep expertise in growing entrepreneurial businesses both in the United States and Europe, will be more of a generalist.
“Successfully launching a startup is tremendously hard work and can be a very solitary existence,” said Tighe,
chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based TDH Partners. “ATDC has changed all of that by creating a unique ecosystem of entrepreneurs, engineers, and funding sources, all with access to the incredible talent and resources of Georgia Tech.”
In addition to the mentoring duties, EIRs also are tasked with identifying and recruiting startups into ATDC’s Select program, Sheehan said. Startups designated as “Select” are those deemed most ready to succeed, get investors, and thrive as stand-alone enterprises.
ATDC is one of the nation’s premier technology startup incubators. It also is a unit of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), which is tasked with leading several economic development and business growth initiatives across the state.
McCracken said she’s eager to help entrepreneurs develop their businesses. “I was a staff member at the ATDC many years ago, and it is where the ‘bug’ to become an entrepreneur bit me. I watched how others took an idea, proved the market wanted and needed the product or service, and built a scalable, successful company around it,” McCracken said. “Now years later, I have the chance to come back to the ATDC and share that experience, expertise, and knowledge with today’s member companies to help them grow and succeed.”