Augusta Startup Ecosystem

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Augusta Startup Ecosystem
Project logo 02.png
Project Information
Has title
Has owner Ben Baldazo, Dylan Dickens, Joe Reilly, Taylor Jacobe
Has start date 9/20/2017
Has deadline date
Has project status Complete
Has sponsor McNair Center
Has project output Content
Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved.


We have created slides with key information and data summaries in Bulk/McNair/Projects/Innovation Districts/Augusta Startup Ecosystem/. This wiki has more information and sources for the information that is in the slides. Ed will be presenting to key players in Augusta during the week of 10/9/2017.

General Description

Augusta, Georgia

  • US CyberCommand is going to locate their headquarters there, and in response, City of Augusta + Georgia want to ensure an ecosystem exists there to pull from
    • Needs recruits, programmers
  • University of Augusta is in the local area
  • Want to build a startup ecosystem around the headquarters
  • Find all of the important inno people in Georgia
    • How can we piece an ecosystem together?

Powerpoint sources [sourced by slide]

Entrepreneurship institutions are not drivers of the Augusta economy

Augusta's economics and research environment may be leveraged

Cities with similar profiles are outperforming Augusta

There are limited high-growth funding opportunities in Augusta

VC data source: see

Accelerator Programs slide


Partners for growth should be drawn from past sponsors of innovation

Sponsors from

Current Resources Indicate Potential

sources: and

Grants and contracts can provide funding to nascent businesses

Data pulled from The file is "GeoAllGrantsFY16" in E:\McNair\Projects\Innovation Districts\Augusta Startup Ecosystem\All Federal Grants.

  • NOTE: This data is filtered by Augusta, not Augusta University.
  • Pivot tables re-created in E:\McNair\Projects\Innovation Districts\Augusta Startup Ecosystem\All Federal Grants for Contracts & Grants.

Public Firms—Potential for R&D Funding

source for R&D funding:

  • for all public firms, "Public Firms" excel file in E:\McNair\Projects\Innovation Districts\Augusta Startup Ecosystem\CompuStat (publicly traded firms). The data that appears is filtered by Augusta or Georgia.
  • for companies on NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX, "Firms on NYSE NASDAQ AMEX yr 2016" excel file in the same folder.

Tax Allocation, Enterprise, and Opportunity Zones Provide Incentives

Potential Corporate Headquarters / Branches

Potential way to see: look at donors to Augusta based Arts or Museums

VC Data Summary

Find Data here: There is a company level VC data file, with exits, deal type flags, dead/alive years, and round summary info in

E:\McNair\Projects\Innovation Districts\Augusta Startup Ecosystem

This file is PortCoMaster.txt.

Excel File with data filtered by Tay is Relevant VC Data

Relevant Cities from "E:\McNair\Projects\Ecosystem\Ranking\RankingByEdv2_ changes by DC v2.xlsx"

Transferred to "E:\McNair\Projects\Innovation Districts\Augusta Startup Ecosystem\GA Cities from Ecosystem Rankings.xlsx"

Original text file as excel saved in E:\McNair\Projects\Innovation Districts\Augusta Startup Ecosystem as "Relevant VC Data original.

Augusta, Georgia: 7 Results-

  • NRF Distributors Inc, Keymarket Partners, Lexicor Medical Technology Inc, Keymarket III, Solo Cup Operating Corp, Joseph Kirschner Company Inc, and Sagamore Hill Broadcasting LLC. Only Sagamore Hill Broadcasting has received funding in the last 20 years, all the rest were earlier. Conclusion: Augusta's VC scene is not good at all. If only one company has been VC backed in the last 20 years, this is worrisome
    • Sagamore Hill Broadcasting owns and operates television-broadcasting stations in the Great Lakes and Southern US. It is a joint venture of the investment firm Duff Ackerman & Goodrich of San Francisco, California and former Benedek Broadcasting and Spartan Communications executive Louis Wall (who is also CEO of the group).
  • None are in the categories listed below
  • According to AngelList, there are 9 startups in Augusta GA noted in "Augusta Startups AngelList.txt"

Atlanta, Georgia: ~550 results-

  • 200 of these are in the last decade; Atlanta is clearly attracting VC funding. How can we expand that success to Augusta?
  • Of those in the last decade, small proportion could be cybersecurity-related:
    • 3 Internet Security and Transaction Services
    • 10 Security/Firewalls/Encryption software
    • None of the other categories listed below

Charleston, South Carolina- ~30 results-

  • In general, these investments are far more recent than those in Augusta, with half of these results taking place within the last decade.
  • Only one Security/Firewalls/Encryption- PhishLabs
  • None of the other categories listed below

Other local areas

  • Athens, Georgia: 15 VC funded, 7 within last decade
  • Savannah, Georgia: 5 VC funded, 1 within last decade

Silicon Valley: Accelerators

  • Included these filters on Relevant VC Data: CA for state and these cities: Campbell; Cupertino; Los Altos; Los Altos Hills; Los Gatos; Milpitas; Monte Sereno; Morgan Hill; Mountain View; Palo Alto; San Fransisco; San Jose; San Mateo; Santa Clara; Saratoga; Sunnyvale
    • this is the list of cities Wikipedia's page on Silicon Valley includes plus San Mateo and San Francisco ADD OTHER SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA CITIES FROM DIANA CARRANZA'S RANKING REPORT IN ECOSYSTEM>RANKING.
  • 7520 VC funded, 4220 over last decade


  • Searched for incubators on AngelList (saved to "AngelList Silicon Valley Incubators (unfiltered).txt") but the results were definitely more than just incubators so filtered to everything that had "incub" in its name or description and added back ycombinator (Saved to "AngelList Silicon Valley Incubators (filtered).txt")

Relevant industries (at the indsubgroup level) for cyber security might be:

Internet Security and Transaction Services
Other Electronics Related (incl. alarm systems)
Military Electronics (excluding communications)
Security/FirewallsEncryption software
Computer Security Services
Defense Communications

Note that the original source data is in vcdb2 and the script to make this data is augustavcdata.sql

Recent Business News for Augusta

The demand for skilled workers takes on added gravity as the region braces for an expected economic spike spurred by cyber-related businesses.

Tasks for Ben Baldazo, Joe Reilly and Dylan Dickens on September 26

  1. MOVE THIS ZIP CODE INFO TO NEW SECTION ON WIKI PAGE Determine which zip codes are associated with Augusta, Augusta University & Cyber command facility.
  2. Use Compustat to pull data on publicly traded firms in Augusta, Atlanta and Georgia.
    • See E:\McNair\Projects\Innovation Districts\Augusta Startup Ecosystem\Compustat (publicly traded firms)
      • "Firms on NYSE NASDAQ AMEX yr 2016" restricted pull to those exchanges of publicly traded companies over the past year
      • "Public Firms" pull from all of compustat that goes from Jan 2010 to Sept 2017
      • Excel for both of these is likely filtered to Georgia or even Augusta
  3. Data on Accelerators for Augusta, Atlanta, Georgia, and Silicon Valley:
    • "E:\McNair\Projects\Innovation Districts\Augusta Startup Ecosystem\Accelerators & Cohorts"
      • Data includes list of accelerators in Georgia & the available information on cohort companies from Georgia
      • Pulled from Accelerator_Data in E:\McNair\Projects\Accelerators\Fall 2017 : ATDC, Atlanta Ventures, CyberLaunch, NeuroLaunch, Points of Light Accelerator.
      • From Startup Runway, ​TechStars Atlanta, Village Capital - HUB Grant Park, Georgia Tech - Flashpoint, Georgia Tech - VentureLab (Tech Transfer). This second list was not checked thoroughly yet.
    • To find number in Silicon valley included provinces: Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Francisco, San Jose, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale
      • Didn’t have data on number of incubators in SV but found angellist search:[]=Incubator&locations[]=1681-Silicon+Valley,+CA
        • The problem is that most of these aren’t incubators
  1. Grants Data:
  2. Get data on all VC-backed firms in Augusta, Atlanta, and Georgia.
  3. What data on cybersecurity startups is available from VenturExpert.
  4. See Anne for further assignments.

List of publicly traded firms in Georgia

  • Firms on NYSE NASDAQ AMEX yr 2016
    • An excel file list of publicly traded firms (on NYSE, NASDAQ, or American Stock Exchange), with their data for Jan 1 2016-Jan 1 2017, pulled from compustat (, can be found in E:\McNair\Projects\Innovation Districts\Augusta Startup Ecosystem. It's filtered to show only Georgia companies. It's called "Firms on...". The list files also appear in E:\McNair\Projects\Publicly Traded Firms Data.
  • PublicFirms
    • excel and txt file of public traded firms with records since Jan 2010 across the entire compustat database. The excel file is filtered to augusta companies
  • The files show (in order on the excel sheet)
    • at (total assets)
    • intan (intangible assets)
    • intano (other intangibles)
    • revt (total revenue in millions)
    • xrd (research and development expense)
    • exchg (stock exchange code)
    • address1
    • address2
    • city
    • zipcode
    • location (country)
    • naics (North American industry classification code)
    • state

  • Directions for pulling general data from with filters for Fundamentals Annual:
    • Best to do this in Internet explorer or Firefox so that once the file is completed, it can be downloaded directly (as opposed to Chrome)
  • Step 1: Choose a date range
  • Step 2: choose GVKEY.
  • Step 3: choose data items. In the search bar below, search for information you want. You can search either the abbreviation or the description itself. Once you choose a piece of information (i.e., Stock Exchange Code), a window pops up above Step 3 indicating that you can filter by these pieces of information, in addition to having them in your output file. To filter by Stock exchange, for example, click (in the Conditional Statements window) the drop down arrow, click "Stock Exchange Code". In the far right box, input the code that corresponds to each Stock Exchange (can only be found before Stock Exchange code is selected as a variable type in Step 3. If it's selected, deselect it, find it in the search box, and click on the question mark). To add more, click either "OR" or "AND" and add another code. Select all desired variables and all desired filters on those variables.
  • Step 4:
    • Output format: select tab-delimited text.
    • Compression type: Select none
    • Date format: choose either the first option or the last one.


E Drive Folder:

"E:\McNair\Projects\Innovation Districts\Augusta Startup Ecosystem"
  • Files located in above folder with data pull description:
    • "Firms on NYSE NASDAQ AMEX yr 2016" (both Excel and Text file): Fundamentals Annual for Jan 1 2017-Jan 1 2017, for firms traded on any of the following stock exchanges: NYSE, NASDAQ, American Stock Exchange. The variables pulled are listed in the above section

Z Drive Folder:

"Z:\Innovation Districts"
  • Code document: augusta.sql
  • table notes: augustaSQL_notes.txt



Tentative Schedule

Week of 9/25: Gather, compile, and synthesize data

Week of 10/1: Make recommendations, create slides and review with Ed

Anticipated Paper Breakdown

  1. Needs/Wants for an Startup Ecosystem
    1. Economic Factors
    2. Social Factors
    3. Environmental Factors
    4. Government aid
  2. Diagnosis of Augusta’s Current State
    1. How does it fulfill and not fulfill the requirements of an innovation district?
    2. What resources are available in Georgia as a whole that can be used in Augusta?
  3. Recommendations for how to achieve a Startup Ecosystem in Augusta
    1. What do we need in order to make a successful startup ecosystem in Augusta? (What is missing?)
    2. What would it look like?
    3. How do we make it happen?
      1. Specific suggestions

Zip Codes

  • 30901
  • 30903
  • 30907
  • 30909
  • 30999
  • 30904
  • 30905
  • 30906
  • 30912
  • 30914
  • 30916
  • 30917
  • 30919

Georgia Accelerator Programs

      • From Accelerator Data in E:\McNair\Projects\Accelerators\Summer 2017\Veeral : ATDC, Atlanta Ventures, CyberLaunch, NeuroLaunch, Points of Light Accelerator.
      • From Startup Runway, ​TechStars Atlanta, Village Capital - HUB Grant Park, Georgia Tech - VentureLab (Tech Transfer).

Georgia VC Firms

Resources Needed

Startup Ecosystems.png Elements of a Startup Ecosystem Technical Skills

  • Education rates of local population
  • Research on University of Augusta
  • How to attract human capital?

Risk Tolerance

  • Local Economic Stability
  • City's Risk Preparedness

Availability of Capital

  • VC, Equity

Visible Successes

  • What has already happened there? How can we market the city to best attract human capital and create a city brand?

Collaborative Culture

  • Proximity between innovators
  • Transportation availability
  • Accessibility to travelers

Regulatory Environment

  • Potential for tax credits, types of incentives local government can offer

Experienced Mentors

  • Who is already there who can act as a mentor?
  • Who can we attract there to act as a mentor?
    • Patent and R&D data for the area

Entrepreneurial Culture

  • What creates a strong entrepreneurial culture and how can we bring that to Augusta?

Educational Attainment

  • For Richmond County, Georgia, which includes Augusta, the US Census Bureau projects that:
    • High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2011-2015 83.3%
    • Bachelor's degree or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2011-2015 20.4%

Compared to the rest of the US:

    • High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2011-2015 86.7%
  • Bachelor's degree or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2011-2015 29.8%

Augusta Incubators

    • Division of Hack Augusta, a community of entrerpeneurs
    • Offers coding classes in HTML, Javascript, etc.
    • Corporate Sponsors:
        • Booz Allen Hamilton (see below)
        • Intelligenesis: In Augusta, according to, they "provide exceptional technical expertise to meet customer mission challenges in Intelligence Analysis, Machine Learning/ Data Science, Analytics Development for Big Data, Software Lifecycle Support, and Research and Development"
        • ATDC
        • Mail Chimp
        • Georgia Power
        • Augusta Economic Development Authority
        • AT&T

Augusta Innovation Zone

Deke Copenhaver

No Party; No Controversies

UNISYS presence

  • Has pledged to employ 700 Augustinians by 2019 in tech support for public sector and commercial clients.

Booz Allen Hamilton presence

  • Corporate sponsor for The Clubhouse
  • In Augusta, "Booz Allen has a large footprint in Augusta which supports multiple clients across the Department of Defense, as well as the commercial market." It provides STEM &STEM education funding to Augusta community.

Augusta Economic Development Authority- Development Authority of Richmond County (DARC)

  • Point of contact for economic development projects
  • Responsible for the recruitment of new businesses in the areas of industrial, manufacturing, distribution, corporate and regional headquarters, customer service centers, and assistance with other major economic development projects in the county.
  • Augusta Tomorrow, Inc- private corporation with representation from the City of Augusta and the City of North Augusta. The Augusta Tomorrow board identifies development and redevelopment needs particularly in the city center, seeks developers and actively works with the developers and the public sector to implement the projects.

Tax Allocation Districts, Enterprise Zones, and Opportunity Zones

Tax Allocation District

  • Incremental tax revenue collected in the district has gone into a fund to supplement funding by public and private sources for public improvements that spur private redevelopment activity. Tax exempt bonds may be issued to pay for infrastructure and other eligible redevelopment costs in partnership with private developers
  • Georgia’s version of tax increment financing, which allows a local government to capture tax revenues attributable to increases in property values within a prescribed development area and use those revenues for neighborhood improvement projects. Augusta currently has three TADs.
  • Link to map of where these districts are:

Enterprise Zones and Opportunity Zones

  • Enterprise Zones are designated geographical areas which suffer from disinvestment, underdeveloped, and general economic distress. In an effort to encourage revitalization in these distressed communities, Georgia law permits cities to create districts where ad velorum taxes are abated for up to 10 years and other incentives are provided to private employers who create five or more new jobs
  • Opportunity Zones, similar to Enterprise Zones, are designated geographic areas which suffer from economic distress. In order for an area to be designated as an OZ, under the DCA rules the area first has to be an Enterprise Zone or have an Urban Redevelopment Plan in place pursuant to the DOA website ( Augusta Opportunity Zones are geographically identical to their Enterprise Zones.
  • Maps of Opportunity and Enterprise Zones: and

Georgia's Cyber Innovation and Training Lab

  • $50 million cyberlab will bring together state government, academia, law enforcement and private-sector players in a bid to shore up the cyberworkforce and strengthen defenses
  • Partners: Augusta Economic Development, Augusta University Cyber Institute, City of Augusta, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia Department of Education, Georgia National Guard, Georgia Technology Authority, National Security Agency, Private-Sector Partners, Technical College System of Georgia, U.S. Army Cyber Command, U.S. Cyber School of Excellence, University System of Georgia
  • This is partly in prep for Cyber Command- "U.S. Army Cyber Command is expected to take up residence at nearby Fort Gordon in 2018 and is expected to be a key contributor to the state’s emerging cyberecosystem"
  • More info at-

Google Doc

Link to original Google doc from when this was a paper: