2016 Back to Business Conference empowers small businesses

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Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell and panel moderator Tino Mantella

A little over five years ago Atlanta City Council president and leading Mayoral candidate Ceasar Mitchell, had a vision to create a conference that could bring together members of Atlanta’s small business community in a unique and effective way to help them grow and strengthen their businesses. This year’s conference marked the 5th straight year of growth and success in fulfilling his vision.

The Gathering Spot (at Northyards) hosted “The Thriving Technology Industry In Atlanta” session that brought together a wide group of entrepreneurs and technologists to network and learn from each other and a distinguished panel. Panelists included Dawn Patrick (Partner, Cherry Bekaert), Tim Horton (VP Security and Fraud, First Data), James T Jones (President, RaceIQ Engineering), Mike Neumeier (Principal, Arketi Group). Tino Mantella, president and CEO of the Technology Association of Georgia moderated the panel and left plenty of time for the crowd to ask the panelist questions of concern to them and their businesses.


With a backdrop of Delta’s huge technology failure causing thousands of flight delays and cancellations, security and disaster recovery was a recurring topic throughout the night. Atlanta’s growing role as a center for technology growth on a national level, particularly in financial technology (aka fintech), was also discussed. Atlanta has seen a huge growth in the number and size of both incubator and co-share work space in the tech sector. Atlanta Tech Village in Buckhead, Georgia Tech’s Tech Square, and The Gathering Spot are just a few of the examples of tech focused buildings and districts that have become a large part of the fabric of the city. Tech Square alone is home to innovation centers for Coca Cola, AT&T, Delta, Home Depot, Panasonic, NCR, and Southern Company as well as many of the up-and-coming small and mid-size tech leaders of tomorrow.

The 2016 Back to Business conference encompassed three days of great meetings, panels, learning and deal making.


Tuesday – Entrepreneurism in the Restaurant Industry 

Wednedsday – The Thriving Technology Industry in Atlanta

Thursday – Procurement fair with large corporate and government agencies on hand to provide procurement opposrtunities for small business owners.

Here are the pictures from the event, see if you spot anyone you know!

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