Metro Atlanta Chamber and Syracuse University Host Professor Carl Schramm and Thought Leaders to Discuss How Entrepreneurs Grow the Economy

Entrepreneurs are critical force behind spurring innovation and creating jobs in metro Atlanta

May 02, 2013, 16:08 ET from The Metro Atlanta Chamber

ATLANTA, May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former president & CEO of the Kauffman Foundation and University Professor at Syracuse University Carl J. Schramm joined a panel of local thought leaders at the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) to emphasize the role of entrepreneurs in growing the economy.

Where other people see problems, entrepreneurs see opportunities, the panel told a packed audience at the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) on Thursday, and they create jobs by hatching firms that come up with radical innovation.

"How can cities grow and thrive? They grow more entrepreneurs, who create more jobs," Schramm told a crowd of more than 150 entrepreneurs, business and civic leaders, and representatives from area universities. "The 'magic sauce' in an economy is new firm starts. All new net job creation in the United States happens in firms less than five years old, and on average, new firms create about three million jobs a year."

Schramm gave a keynote address and later joined by three area experts on entrepreneurship:  Chris Hanks, entrepreneurship director, Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia; Bernice "Bernie" Dixon, founder and CEO, Advising Angels, and Chair, Atlanta Technology Angels; and Mark Gilreath, president and CEO of EndoChoice, a platform-technology company that provides devices, diagnostics, infection control and imaging for the medical field.

"Atlanta has a very entrepreneurial spirit, a steady stream of start-ups and successful companies, and multiple top-tier universities that make it a great place to start and grow a business," said Katie Kirkpatrick, MAC's senior vice president for business and higher education. "The panel's comments really dovetail with our new initiative at MAC to fuel job growth through our universities, high-growth firms and incubators in key industries," Kirkpatrick said.

The panel underscored the growing importance and desire to create new firms; more than 70 percent of American undergraduates want to start their own business and be their own employer. They highlighted successes and opportunities in metro Atlanta such as Pardot, a marketing automation startup that was sold to ExactTarget last year for nearly $100 million, and offered perspective on university, start-up and funding connections.

Start-ups in Georgia recently received a boost – Governor Nathan Deal signed House Bill 318, which authorizes the creation of a $100 million state-backed VC fund to help technology start-ups, into law this week.

The program was hosted by Syracuse University and Paul Hastings LLP.

About the Metro Atlanta Chamber

Everything we do at the Metro Atlanta Chamber is about building our economy and creating prosperity to help Atlanta thrive. Our board is made up of Atlanta's top business leaders. Our professional staff serves 4,000 member companies that employ nearly 1 million workers. We focus on helping small businesses and mid-size companies grow and recruiting companies nationally and internationally in our key industries. For more information, visit

About Syracuse University

Syracuse University is a private coeducational institution offering a rich mix of academic programs in arts and sciences, public affairs and citizenship, communications, engineering, architecture, computer science, education, and management.  Founded in 1870, Syracuse University is located in the heart of Central New York.  The total enrollment at Syracuse is more than 21,000 students, representing all 50 U.S. states and 126 countries.  Find out more at

SOURCE The Metro Atlanta Chamber