The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at Georgia Tech has named veteran entrepreneur and business executive Michael Hersh as the new leader of the internationally-known technology startup company accelerator.
During his 30-year career in the software and financial services industries, Hersh has become known for his entrepreneurial approach to managing large project teams and to driving the growth of innovative startups. In 1999, he helped launch ZC Sterling, a financial services company, where he built one of its business units into a $200 million entity with 350 employees. ZC Sterling was subsequently purchased by QBE, a top 20 insurance company based in Sydney, Australia. Earlier in his career, Hersh worked with GE Capital and Accenture, developing several sales-force automation and expert system software applications. Most recently, Hersh has focused on helping innovative startups as an angel investor and mentor.
When Hersh takes the reins as ATDC’s new general manager, he will direct its array of services designed to help technology entrepreneurs start and build companies that are the backbone of the Georgia’s high tech economy. Recently named to Forbes’ 2013 list of top “business incubators changing the world,” ATDC currently has 34 ATDC Select companies in its incubator program and 250 member companies statewide.
“I look forward to helping build more bridges between Georgia Tech, other Georgia universities, the business and investment community, and economic development entities within the state to fully leverage the amazing talent and assets we have in Georgia,” Hersh said. “My job will be to provide these savvy entrepreneurs the resources they need to turn their ingenuity into thriving companies.”
Blake Patton, interim general manager of ATDC for the past seven months, chaired the search committee that sifted through nearly 100 applicants for the position.
“We were pleased that so many leaders in the community wanted to be part of ATDC’s growth,” Patton said. “It was tough narrowing down the candidates, but we got feedback throughout the process from current ATDC members, CEOs of graduate companies, and local investors. We think Mike Hersh will be a great resource for our company founders who are building innovative tech enterprises aimed at solving big problems.”
Stephen Fleming, the Georgia Tech vice president who oversees ATDC, noted that the search for a new general manager was conducted in parallel with a major realignment of ATDC that was announced in March this year. “We are adding staff, adding new facilities, and adding programming to support the local innovation ecosystem. We are also going to be building new linkages with the Atlanta business community,” Fleming said. “Mike Hersh is the experienced business leader we need for the next phase of ATDC’s growth.”
Hersh holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and a master’s degree in information systems from the University of Colorado. He will begin his new position at ATDC the first week in August 2013.
About the Advanced Technology Development Center
ATDC is a startup accelerator that helps Georgia technology entrepreneurs launch and build successful companies. Founded in 1980, ATDC has helped create millions of dollars in Georgia tax revenues by graduating more than 140 companies, which together have raised nearly $2 billion in outside financing.
ATDC is part of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) at Georgia Tech, which helps Georgia enterprises improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. ATDC currently has three facilities -- two at Georgia Tech’s main campus in Atlanta and one at Georgia Tech’s facilities in Savannah. It also conducts programming for entrepreneurs online and at other locations in metro Atlanta and beyond.
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