State Department Official visits EI2, ATDC
As part of an economic development tour of Atlanta, Terri Robl, director of economic policy and summit coordination in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, came to campus April 7 to study the ways that the Georgia Institute of Technology works with entrepreneurs.
Robl spent much of the day at the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), Tech’s chief economic development unit. Carl Rust, associate vice president for international initiatives and principal director for industry collaboration at Tech, and Ernesto Escobar, program manager for innovation partnerships in EI2’s Startup Ecosystems group, gave Robl an overview of the Institute’s different economic development programs — all designed to strengthen business activity across the state.
She also toured the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), the Georgia Tech incubator that works with entrepreneurs across Georgia with technology startups they want to launch and grow in the state.
“We are looking at entrepreneurship not only to help emerging economies, but also to help the U.S. economy,” Robl said. “By making connections, especially with small business in innovation and with innovative entrepreneurs, it was perfect to come here to ATDC and to take a look at some of the startups to talk about some of the programs we’re involved in, like ‘La Idea.’ ”
The “La Idea” initiative brings entrepreneurs from emerging economies across Latin America to the United States to learn about the incubation and startup processes from different entities, including Georgia Tech.
Robl’s visit also included meetings with city and state economic development officials and small Georgia companies that export to Latin America.
“It was really interesting to see how Georgia Tech is plugging into that and also the interdisciplinary nature of what’s going on here,” Robl said. “It’s really cutting edge.”