- Technology Association of Georgia
TAG was launched in January, 1999 with the merger of three of the state's largest technology organizations: the Southeastern Software Association, the Business and Technology Alliance and Women in Technology. At its launch, TAG became one of the largest technology organizations in the country. [http://www.tagonline.org/about.php] About Technology Association of Georgia]
TAG's mission is to build, connect and enable; people, companies and communities. Its 22 societies act as a distribution channel for TAG programs, offering over 100 meetings and seminars per year. TAG coordinates a series of meetings and events such as the Featured Speaker series, Field Trip series and the Georgia Technology Summit.
TAG expands its reach by fostering public and private partnerships with organizations such as the Atlanta Telecom Professionals, the MIT Enterprise Forum, Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Georgia Department of Economic Development. In addition to adding value for its members, TAG's Board of Directors, Leadership Council and staff act as a primary catalyst for fostering a rich environment for technology growth in the State of Georgia.
Connect with peers and decision makers at every level of organization. With over 5,000 members - and with over 100 meetings and events every year - TAG gives you a unique opportunity to quickly expand your network of personal and professional contacts.
The Technology Association of Georgia’s Premier Membership offering is designed to add value to member companies. As a TAG Premier Members, companies enjoy a multitude of benefits. Companies can establish and leverage member-to- member business relationships and build brand within the Georgia Technology community, find a voice at the state level via TAG’s Government Relations platform, encourage STEM education in Georgia through support of the TAG Foundation, and enable employees through educational opportunities and sharing of best practices.
TAG provides an opportune venue for establishing business relationships. As part of the largest association of its kind in the Southeast, our almost 6000 members represent the most innovatively minded and well respected technology professionals in Georgia. They range from CXO’s to managers to technicians and work in all areas from enterprise performance to human resources. Additionally, Premiers are able to build brand. Companies are recognized on the TAG website’s Premier Member Page and given special opportunities to connect with TAG’s Board of Directors and Leadership Council. TAG also supports member involvement in the tech community by way of volunteering on a Society Board or as a TAG Ambassador.
TAG’s Director of Government Relations provides a voice for its members at the state level. A big part of TAG’s strategic focus is supporting economic development in GA through the growth of the technology sector. TAG’s supports its members and the GA economy at the Capital by supporting issues concerning economic gardening, venture capital, innovation and other areas.
Companies with a shared focus on education are encouraged to get involved with TAG’s charitable arm, the TAG Foundation. The Foundation was established to encourage Georgia students to explore the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). K-12 students are provided first-hand learning experiences through partnership and direct programming. The Foundation also supports Atlanta’s Tech High School, a high school that focuses its curriculum on the STEM subjects.
Investment in the Premier membership program represents an investment in a company’s employees. TAG members have access to over 120 meetings each year as well as professional and leadership development courses. Each of these opportunities is specific in format and content. TAG’s 22 special interest groups or “Societies” vary in focus and include groups such as Enterprise Performance Management, Business Process Management and Product Management. Professional and leadership development offerings include “The Intersection Series”, “Sales Strategy Training” and “Effective Communication Skills for IT Professionals”. Meeting and course attendees have the opportunity to share and learn best practices, connect with fellow technology professionals and expand their personal and professional acumen.
Education & Training
TAG believes that education plays a key role in the forward movement of personal careers, companies, and has a resulting effect on the State's economy. TAG is committed to supporting our members anywhere along their professional growth path. By providing Georgia 's technology workforce with opportunities for continuing IT and management education, we are able to more effectively position Georgia for economic growth and increase Georgia 's workforce appeal.
TAG State Platforms
Georgia becomes a “top 5 state” in support of innovation
Case: Georgia is an excellent setting to build and grow technology companies. For example, our university and technology college systems offer unparalleled benefits. The Hope Scholarship program keeps some of our best students in the state, and Georgia ranks at the top in respect to attracting young educated professionals from around the USA. Georgia generally ranks well ahead of the national average in opening new enterprises and venture investments in our state are on the upswing.Yet, technology and tech-enabled companies have other options in the Southeast region. States like North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida are attractive options and often offer a more competitive set of benefits to attract and retain companies and related talent.
What must Georgia do to stimulate and support innovation and entrepreneurism?
* Embrace creative and effective tax incentives
* Implement new laws that encourage early-stage investment in technology related companies
* Support the work of Georgia Research Alliance, ATDC and other organizations that work to foster innovation
Georgia becomes a top 10 state in respect to retaining and growing technology companies
Case: Georgia has had some success in recruiting businesses to the state. It is equally important to maintain businesses that currently call Georgia its home. How much energy do State and other public and private entities put into recruiting new companies to Georgia versus economic gardening to build our own? What is the ROI on recruiting versus retaining? Countless Georgia companies have started their business through a determined individual with an idea. Some of these companies have grown into our most significant companies. Wouldn’t “economic gardening” allow us to do more to support the sustainability and growth of our home-grown companies? Over the course of the last two years, more companies have sold and moved out of GA than any other time in the state’s history, at least in respect to valuation of these sales. In fact, today, we rank at #4 in the USA in respect to valuation on companies sold since 2006. The good news is wealth is created for some. And, some talented people go on to start new successful GA companies. Generally, there are pros and cons related to Georgia companies being purchased by out-of-state companies. In some cases the GA economy benefits. For example, Cisco bought Scientific Atlanta and is investing in its people and its technology. In that case a new building on the Scientific Atlanta campus is under construction and, when complete, will create 500 more jobs for Georgians. In other cases we lose jobs, talent and interest in supporting state concerns (e.g. drops in United Way funding).
What does Georgia need in order to grow and retain technology companies?
* "Economic Gardening" - Comprehensive support system
* 3 Rs:Recruitment, Retention and Rehoming
* State Incentives that support incumbent GA companies
Georgia doubles college enrollment in STEM by 2016
Case: The technology community is facing a “rising storm” as the STEM baby boomer generation leaves the workforce while H1-B visa controls become more stringent. Georgia has been recognized as a state which cradles the nation’s 11th largest science and technology-related workforce. In addition, Georgia is a leading state in emerging fields such as nanotechnology and biotechnology. These trends signal that strong educational standards in science and math are important to sustaining the demand for Georgia workers. Organizations like the TAG Foundation, Georgia Tech, and the Georgia Department of Education, must work together to create awareness and programs that inspire more of our youth to pursue STEM related careers. TAG supports the implementation of "interactive" techniques and experiential learning in the classroom which gains the attention of students.
How does our TAG Foundation, in partnership, encourage more youth to pursue STEM careers?
* Initiatives by state agencies that get more high school students to electto pursue STEM careers through graduating with degrees in two, four and advanced STEM degrees.
* STEM Curriculum Development
* Propose legislation that allows debt forgiveness for STEM graduate students who elect to teach middle school/high school students
Rural development of technology resources in Georgia
Case: Our country has fallen to 15th in broadband (OECD). The U.S. must become more competitive in today’s global market. According to the Brookings Institute, every 1% increase in broadband adoption adds roughly 293,000 private sector jobs. TAG not only supports continued development in Atlanta; we support development all across the state. Georgia actually does fairly well in comparison to other parts of the country. In fact, we are one of the top states in respect to broadband development. We will do our part to ensure technology impacts every Georgia community.
* Funding initiatives that effectively bring broadband to all people/companies in Georgia
* STEM initiatives for a tech enabled workforce
* Technology job creation in other parts of Georgia (e.g. the new Northrup Grumman program that will bring 4200 new jobs to rural parts of the state)
* Partnering to support statewide initatives to promote and train the Georgia workforce to embrace and utilize technology
tate of the Industry Report
The TAG State of the Industry: Technology in Georgia Report. [http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2007/04/16/focus16.html] "TAG report shows Atlanta poised for huge gains"] was created to be a useful tool for Georgia's many technology stakeholders. The report and the valuable information it contains will have far-reaching and virtually unlimited uses, including:
* A repository of facts, statistics, trends and other insights into the Georgia Technology Industry
* A catalyst of important local industry information to be used by venture capital firms and other investors
* A source of information on the Georgia Technology infrastructure
* A resource for large and small technology business owners and decision makers
* A guide for companies considering headquarter relocation to Georgia
* A means to differentiate Georgia's tech sector from other states
* A rich source of information for the news media
Georgia Technology Summit
The Georgia Technology Summit is TAG's premier annual statewide event that celebrates all that our industry has accomplished and a validation of Georgia's visionary technology leadership for the future. It is a one-of-a-kind gathering that brings together our industry's best and brightest to share the insights of the nation's top authorities as they present advanced thinking in dynamic, entertaining and awakening presentations. Drawing an average of 700 attendees annually, the Summit also showcases our state's next wave of industry innovators known as "Georgia's Top 40 Innovative Companies." [http://techjournalsouth.com/news/article.html?item_id=2721] "Georgia Technology Summit names top ten companies"]
TAG initiated the Excalibur Awards in 2005 to recognize and call attention to Georgia's tech-enabled companies who demonstrate exemplary competency in utilizing technology to enhance their business. We define tech-enabled as a buyer of technology as opposed to a producer. The best of these companies find great ways to use current and often times, disruptive technology to facilitate competitive advantage. [http://www.tagonline.org/excalibur-awards.php] Excalibur Awards]
GRA/TAG Business Launch
The Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) and the Technology Association of Georgia joined forces to support the creation and growth of new companies that will strengthen and expand Georgia's strategic high-tech clusters. This is an event designed to help a local start up technology-based company launch its business. The contest winner will receive a $100,000 cash award courtesy of the GRA and a diverse array of services valued at an additional $200,000. This comprehensive $300,000+ prize is GRA and TAG's way to reward high-tech entrepreneurship and assure a deserving Georgia start up company has everything in place to be successful. Past winners include REACH Call, Inc. [http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/080930/20080930006482.html?.v=1] "REACH Call, Inc. Experiences Momentous Gains"] , IVOX [http://www.innovationspublishing.com/Georgia/loadarticle.asp?id=340] "GRA/TAG Business Launch 2007"] and Acculynk (formerly ATM Direct). [http://techjournalsouth.com/news/article.html?item_id=5626] "ATM Direct wins 100K Georgia Business Launch competition"]
The TAG Foundation believes that all children should have an opportunity to explore and be inspired by technology and science. To that end, the TAG Foundation offers a first hand learning experience for Georgia's youth through partnership and direct programming. [http://www.tagonline.org/foundation.php] TAG Foundation"]
Web Challenge, sponsored by TAG and the Foundation, challenges high school students to create and develop web sites. The team that is selected as the winner will have their work housed by a local non profit organization. Students are judged on many different aspects of site design and development. Partial college scholarships are granted to the winners of this annual event. [http://www.georgiabulletin.org/local/2000/04/20/e/] "St. Pius Designers Triumph In 'WebChallenge'"]
The TAG Foundation also supports Atlanta's Tech High School, a charter school which is the only school in the City that focuses its core cirriculum on technology, math and science.
The TAG Foundation hopes that by providing students with opportunities to investigate their interests within science & technology; a greater number will elect to choose a related career path.
Technology Association of Georgia Staff
Tino Mantella, President
Brandy McCook, Director of Community and Information Resources
Kimberly Wood, Director of Office Operations and Web Development
Amanda Shook, Director of Professional Development
Barbara Martin, Director of Member Services
Lydia Tankersley, Director of Corporate Membership
Kaylyn Seawell, Director of Government Relations
John Hurlbut, Director of Program Services, TAG Foundation
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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