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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce
OIE Background

Office of Innovation and
Entrepreneurship (OIE)

Georgia Tech Research Corporation


Atlanta, Georgia

Project Name

Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2)



Award Amount


Matching Amount


EI2 will support innovation-led economic development activities in several underserved areas in Georgia.  Specifically, EI2 will launch two efforts: (1) support for the further development of startup ecosystems in two small cities located in economically distressed counties within Georgia, and (2) foster the growth of two university-anchored startup ecosystems in metro-Atlanta’s downtown area.

For the first effort, EI2 will transfer its experience in developing university-fostered startup ecosystems to two university communities located in the downtown area of Atlanta: Georgia State University and the four private, Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU) members of the Atlanta University Center (Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, and the Morehouse School of Medicine) in collaboration with Startup Atlanta, a non-profit convener of startup activity in the broader Atlanta region.  For both university communities, EI2 will support an exchange of best practices focused on the development of (a) student startup curriculum and clubs, (b) faculty commercialization programs, (c) accelerators, and (d) incubators.  In addition, EI2 will work with a new entrepreneurial hub located on the periphery of the Georgia State University (GSU) community.

For the second effort, EI2 will expand the application of the Cultivar Model to two additional co-working spaces in Georgia: The Clubhouse in Augusta (population 200,549) and Four Athens in Athens (population 116,714).  These cities both include significant startup building blocks such as university students and faculty, research capabilities, and entrepreneurial mentors.  The Cultivar Model, a rigorous methodology developed by EI2 for lifting up a community of technology-based entrepreneurs into a functioning and well-supported ecosystem, feeds and nurtures the ecosystem through a five step model: convening quarterly community meetings of entrepreneurs; offering entrepreneurial curricula; providing coaching to entrepreneurs; developing connections among entrepreneurs and other ecosystem stakeholders; and establishing a permanent Advanced Technology Development Center based on the preeminent incubation program at Georgia Tech.