Michael Hersh knows a thing or two about small business development and investment success. During a 30-year career in the software and financial services industries, he became recognized for his ability to manage large project teams and drive the growth of innovative startups. He is now bringing that expertise to ATDC, where he will serve as general manager.
In his new role – which starts in early August – Hersh is charged with leading all of the activities for the internationally recognized business incubator. Founded in 1980, ATDC has graduated more than 150 companies which, combined with current members, have raised over two billion dollars in outside financing and created thousands of jobs in Georgia.
Hersh said he looks forward to playing a crucial part in Georgia’s rapidly growing technology startup scene.
“I believe strongly that Atlanta in particular – and Georgia in general – has what it takes to be recognized as one of the top five or six startup places in the country,” said Hersh, citing the quality and proximity of Georgia Tech, Emory and the University of Georgia. “Atlanta is home to more Fortune 500 companies than several larger cities (including Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco), we have the world’s busiest airport, a diverse economy and offer a very desirable place to live and work with a relatively low cost of living.”
Chosen out of a pool of nearly 100 experienced applicants, Hersh will help lead ATDC during a time of staff and service expansion aimed at better serving the diverse membership base. It will be a familiar position for the seasoned business executive. In 1999, he helped launch ZC Sterling, a financial services company, where he built one of its business units into a $200 million entity with 350 employees. ZC Sterling was subsequently purchased by QBE, a top 20 insurance company based in Sydney, Australia. Earlier in his career, Hersh worked with GE Capital and Accenture, developing several sales-force automation and expert system software applications. Most recently, Hersh has focused on helping innovative startups as an angel investor and mentor.
Outside of work, Hersh can be found spending time with his family or hitting the trails or pool to bike, run, hike and swim. He also enjoys skiing, reading and listening to live music.
“I am fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of caring, warm-hearted, interesting and very bright people,” said Hersh. “I have two amazing children and am honored to be given the opportunity to give back to the community.”