3 reasons Atlanta is Awesome for young entrepreneurs

3 reasons Atlanta is Awesome for young entrepreneurs

By TJ Muehleman, Co-founder and CEO at We&Co

Picture this. You’ve been in college for four years (or 5….or 6?) and now you’re graduating. Society, your parents, your friends all tell you it’s time to get a job.

But doesn’t getting a job sound terrible? Working for someone, working on a crappy or lame product, not knowing what direction you’ll be asked to go in today, tomorrow, or next week doesn’t sound all that appealing, does it?. What’s the alternative though?

How about you make your own job.

That’s what those of us in the startup community do. We make our jobs. We build our own pathways. And there’s no better place to do it than Atlanta.

Everyone will tell you The Valley is the place to go to start companies. Or New York. Or Austin. Atlanta is the unheralded underdog in this fight.  There’s a handful of reasons ATL is the ideal place to kickstart your startup ambitions:


You’re saying to yourself right now “TJ, a beer costs $6 here. THAT AIN’T CHEAP”. While you’re right, we may not be that inexpensive, Atlanta is still far more cost conscious than the West Coast. Housing is still relatively affordable here. Entry-level engineers aren’t making six figure salaries. And with plenty of land, you can venture as inner city or OTP as you need to find cheap office space.


The ability to access smart, hard working people is one of the hardest parts to scaling a startup company (that and access to cash). Atlanta is well poised to address this better than most places. We’re one of the fastest growing cities in the country and we have a university network unlike almost anywhere else in the country. Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Morehouse, Emory, and Spellman are all miles away from each other and graduating some of the best and brightest around. These are the kind of folks you need to access to build your company.


I think this is the most important part of what ATL has to offer. We’re in the south. We take everything a bit more slowly — which is what a new business needs. The west coast seeks to accelerate and grow everything at a rapid fire pace. When you’re moving that fast, it’s not always easy to see how your product is doing or how your new hires are acclimating. Often you need the time to really understand your customer and their wants and needs. This is something that Atlanta affords you the ability to do far more easily than anywhere else.

So give it some thought: would you rather work for someone else or forge your own path here in Atlanta?

About TJ

TJ is an estranged byproduct of Texas and Georgia Tech. An unemployable startup junkie his entire career, TJ is currently co-founder of We&Co, a hiring solution for the hospitality industry, and Standard Code, a software development factory. In his free time TJ enjoys pretending to work in the yard w/ his wife Megan and teaching his dogs Herb and Marv how to do tricks that they will soon forget.

This article is a part of the Learn It From Experience series, where Atlanta entrepreneurs provide business advice learned from their journey in business.


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