Larry Williams, President and CEO of Technology Association of Georgia Interviewed on Atlanta Tech P
All right rich Casanova, here for the pro business Channel studios we're actually in our serendipity, Studios here in Buckhead with our billion-dollar view and this. Is the inaugural episode of, a brand new show we're bringing to the platform, into the audience around the world as obviously as well as here at Atlanta and we're. Very excited to release and announce this and this is now the launch, of, Atlanta. Tech podcasts, ATP, so you've heard of OTP, and, ITP. If you live in if you live in the metro, Nevada you've heard about that we're, now officially launching, today Atlanta. Tech podcast and we're very honored to have a distinguished guest a great person, to really kick. This off and make this possible we're. Delighted to welcome to the studios actually, the president and CEO at, technology. Associated Georgia, also known as his tag Larry Williams welcome to the show rich delighted, to be here thanks for having me so. We. Get asked your first impressions, kind of rapid fire, and. Lanatech, podcast, you think this guy has legs and I think it's most relevant topic, that we have going on and really is a global topic, but it's you know it's, a white hot topic, right here in Atlanta so you're you're onto something well you're a little bit biased being the president see Technology, Association. All. Right so before we jump into today's. Topic about, tag and so forth tell us a little about yourself your. Background what did you do in a former life um. You, know economic, developments, really been in my background and I've done it in some of the most some. Of the richest innovation, areas. In the United States and had a chance to work around the world so. Places, like North Carolina if you think about RTP, a. Little. Place called Seattle, if you think about some of innovation, coming out of there, you. Know economic, development, right here in in, Atlanta down. In Miami and if you think about the regional hub that Miami is is the best place to do business in Latin America but, truly the, innovation, hub and what's. Really struck, me and what really led me to tag in this this. Great privilege that I have to lead this organization right, now is, how, innovation, drives the economies so, it's always important, that we think about what the drivers of a 10 car team economy are what, the job creators are and its innovation, is really what leads. The way it, creates new companies. It's new ideas, that are creating, the next generation of ingenuity and it's. Really about. Those. Companies that grow up to, be small, to be midea medium-sized. Company and then they get to be globally, dominant companies, and we've got so many examples of that right here in Atlanta it's a really a fascinating place to do the, innovation, is what drives it all so. Multilingual. With international, experience that's. Correct so. Latin, America is a lot of my background, especially. At the beginning of my university. Career as well as professionally. So Spanish. And then some Portuguese. But, really. Global perspectives so if you think about some of the markets that I've represented. You. Know Miami, and the East Coast heavy, in Latin America Europe and then, over in Seattle big, focus on Asia and obviously, a lot of innovation, and collaborations. That are going on and all of those markets. He. Also mentioned, about global. Talked. About the partnerships, you developed, in, private, public. And private enterprises. Well. You know it's it's what makes it you know Drive it's it's. Companies that create jobs, and. There's companies that create new ideas so, the, collaborations, that we've had through the organizations. That I've had whether it be state government, or. Public/private, partnerships, or even private chambers, it's, really about the business community coming together it's, really about creating an ecosystem and think about all the drivers that drive innovation so. It, is the large companies, is the small companies, it's, the new ideas, it's the great ideas that can be commercialized, and a lot of those are coming out of universities, it's, the, capital that's needed to fuel companies, cause every, company needs capital. Government. Plays a role in it and then the nonprofit, areas so, some of those collaborations. Have been everything. From leading, a, mobility, initiative. Here, in Atlanta, about really positioning, us, Atlanta. As the mode as the center in the hub of global, mobility, if you think about the wireless. Assets. That grew up here but then as the evolution came it. Became. The place where we.
Consuming, All data was on the mobile platform, so, and, in. With great companies and there's that intersected, with FinTech. Is that intersected, with. Digital. Media with great companies like Turner and all of its brands, but, also the security that was required and then the transactions. With the FinTech so. Great. Ways to pull together. The. Ecosystem, to really move something forward this. Mobility initiative. Has really evolved into an IOT initiative, so again it is about connected, technologies, and how we really move connected, technologies, and, how we consume data and how that's really you, know. Benefiting. All of us it's helping. Businesses. Connect. And be able to use technologies. To be able to do more innovative, work, but, it's also really changing the way that we live for the better you. Mentioned nonprofit, intrigued. By that we just launched a passion project in the studio called nonprofits. Radio NPR, don't. Tell the other NPR about it. Can. You give an example or story how like nonprofits, you've engaged in, and how. You've helped in their technology, what their challenges are that might be unique to other enterprises, or. There's. You. Know different, applications, I think usually, nonprofits. What they do what we've done is really about pulling together the ecosystem, as well you. Know we're all businesses, now and today and age every company is a technology, company so we have to leverage technologies. To be able to you, know efficiently, run our businesses, but also to reach our customers our members and. Ability. Platforms, to be able to do that has always been an important part of what, we do and, then. A. Little. Bit earlier about the. Cellular. Mobile, industry. And we. Just had in the studio recently there's, a association. That represents. All. The global partners around the world just. Yeah. We, just had a Miss to do and there, wrong with their their North American headquarters is. Now you're okay yeah. They're actually so. Their, global headquarters for, all of their events outreach. Is based here in. There. They. Actually. And. They run straight, shows. Yeah. We're. Moving. Right. Now backyard, it's. Fascinating, conversation, the things that go around that. You don't realize are happening right. Okay. So now. Let's. Turn our attention to the actual Association so uh off. A note is tagged right. This is a great name the Technology, Association of Georgia so. Your mission is as you mentioned educate, promote influence, unite Georgia's, technology. Community to foster innovative, and connect the marketplace that stimulates and answers. It were to attack, based economy, now. There's. Other similar associations but.
Your Claim to fame is astounding. Some. 35,000. Members that's, correct, when it puts it in what we're the largest statewide. Technology. Association in the country, all. 50 states. And. I think that's great point of pride for all of us Georgians, and it really is an example about how we come together to. Move something forward and if we think about technology and, what it represents here, in Georgia is a phenomenal, story, you. Know sometimes I say that you know southerners we tend to be understated, you, know. You, know we're gonna dominate but, we're just you know we're just gonna say we're not gonna beat self-promoters. That a lot, of other areas are maybe, we should be a little bit more but, we have a lot to brag about but. With confidence not arrogance. We've. Heard our Spurs in this place and, our technology, story really goes back decades I mean, we were some of the leaders of these leaders in network and, Internet. Enterprises. It, really started a lot of gorge attack. But. I've always described Georgia's where technology, meets the real world we. Don't always have the shiniest new gadget. Business. Using. Technology, than anywhere else driving, revenue. You. Know we, lead in areas like thin tech so. You, know 70%, of, all debit, credit reward, transactions. Are processed through. Georgia. Which. Is phenomenal so that, is lined as a very is a multi-billion. Dollar. Business. In itself but, they're running you know over, trillion dollars worth of transactions. Through, their platforms. So if you got 51 percent market share your number one if your 70 percent you dominate, and we dominate, in that area and that really does provide that intersection, that we have with a lot of other industries that we build on cybersecurity, is another area that's absolutely. Fascinating. We've. Been building that up you know back since my mainframes. SecureWorks. That, became part of Dale. All. The way up as we kept up with the trends, a great, company grew, up here called AirWatch yeah, their watch was, the first. Mobile. Security application. The iPhone led him to this platform, as. Soon as that happened, rich. That's. What the consumer picked so people. Credit era, watch was putting the BlackBerry, out of business. Right here Georgia. The. Black bear anymore, with a fascinating, story but, it didn't happen by accident didn't, happen. Of, the industry. Right. I mean, the numbers are staggering when you look at the, growth and what it represents and I concur with you that, it. Like I said it may be as, exciting. Or sexy but they're. Driving, the revenue driving, dollars driving the economy, it's. Amazing. The back story on tag so how. Long ago to start and at one point it was just a couple hundred members right. Right. So. We're proud. About. That. New, time so you mentioned a FinTech south that's. An annual event we mentioned but, you hosted an event and. Most recently was that the, ladies man Stadium you got it. We. Grew up and. Then last year we because. Of our dominance, in this area of FinTech we, really we. Put. Some heat to it right, now Mercedes. You. Know hundred, speakers keynotes. And panelists. We. Took over the field absolutely. Sold. Out had to cut off. Registration. And I just just let me take the picture for you a little bit on. The whole field the, first habit an incredible. Stage main. Stage of keynotes, great. Audience for the roundtables. Very. Confidence right we, lit, the place up now halo board was there I. Was there yeah we were there. It. Was. The first time in the stadium. We. Had nine companies. We. Had six countries represented. International. Exhibitor. Space to, set for Zarqa nobody, took over all of the Suites, and even, though. It. Was absolutely phenomenal we. Awarded, it they are the largest undiluted. The non equity, related. Innovation. Awards. This. Is phenomenal it was it was great a. Great. Entrepreneur here, in town, was. Inducted into the FinTech Hall of Fame I mean it was it. Was an action-packed, day and, a half and. Just. Full. Of content and we were so, looking forward to the. One coming up this year yeah. We actually had our, co-founders, and started a podcast we had the guys the team from poins early.
On When, they were just kind of getting underway it's, amazing, to follow their journey and. See where. They've arrived at now, so. We mentioned the FinTech South event so what, other events well, first of all let's. Listen share. With our audience the. Website, how would people find you guys online and what's the kind of a call to action or how could they engage or or get involved with tag. Well the websites and. That. Is really a portal, to so many great opportunities so, it's our big events. Ecosystem. To talk about important, subjects we'll be talking about the, future of digital media entertainment, we'll, be talking about FinTech we'll be talking about IOT cybersecurity. Why. This, is all areas that are important, for, Georgia, we'll, be talking about themes that are coming out. Zoologists. The. IOT how it all works together and also, the real the broad applications. Of blockchain, so a lot of people when you say blockchain. It's, one, application. Of a much broader issue, so, people are using it for all sorts of authentication, supply. Chain. Pharmaceuticals. AG tech even. Personnel, in other areas, and we can really be what. We are. We're. Definitely thinking light as as you were speaking I was writing down AI and, machine learning, we've. Incorporated a, I in the studio what, are uh what. Are some challenges with that yeah the fear factor built in and. What's the. Where. Can people win in that space for AI. Drives. New. Opportunities, and new innovation. Utilizing. It for you. Know actual efficiencies. So. More, predictive, areas that we can actually use artificial intelligence, and make. Sure that we're moving further of the value chain and jobs that were creating, and the opportunities. Now. You have like yes special interest groups within tag. Drop. A few of those and, do. They have structured. Events, or how does that work as far as the Association yeah. So great. Question so we have large events like I'm. You're, kind of signature events so. You're, right we have 27, societies. Wow and they're divided, up into three areas so, think about the industry, so all the industry areas that we've already touched, on FinTech.
Digital, Health. Mobility. Data. Science, and analytics which, is the backbone of all. We. Have societies, around that we, have them around functions, business. Process, corporate, development. Product. Development, sales leadership marketing, so, these are all societies. Around this functions, and then all important, is people so, a great place where Georgie is is in, a quote a great, asset we have is, about diversity so diversity and inclusion society, our young professionals, and our women in technology these. Are all about how we pull people and, help make, sure that they're getting a part. Of this great economy, that we have how. Would you describe the balance between the SMEs, and the global. Companies. In their engagement with tag, you know we've got used some great proportion, there obviously they're more. You. Know, the. Large. Corporations, really do look to us as a way for them to get themselves. Their, sea level suite but as well as their employees involved. So. Through. Our societies, there's great pathways, for. People to get involved become thought leaders to contribute. But, they also look to it to build peer-to-peer networks, you. Know to seek, out mentors, to. Look at other people that are that are solving. Problems that they need to solve or have already done it so this. Great collaboration. Both in the. In. The. Trends. You. Know what's. Next. And. Those. You. Know. As. Well as your. Personal. Level, here so how. Long have you been at. The helm here tags, the presidency, oh by the way you're listening to the. Inaugural episode the. Lanatech podcast your. Channels, well of our of our 30 syndicated, platforms. So. Soleri talk to us about, how. Long have you been involved at, that position and. You know let's, talk about the word legacy what, do you hope to achieve during, her reign what, are some of your goals so. Been, here two years okay. I. Was. My. First stint in Atlanta, I was all, the board of directors attack. They. Were looking for you, know. Whatever. Listen. It's really about connecting the ecosystem. You know the ecosystem, is evolving. It continues, to evolve and, what's. Interesting. To me is really how tag has, and, will continue to fuel the innovation, economy we. Connect, people connect. Ideas connect. Opportunities. With, the things that they need or the outlines you know everything. From the new ideas, the. Large companies, the startup companies the incubators, the accelerators. The capital. Services. Marketing, law connecting. All that together so that we can continue to be a leader, in. Technology, as. I mentioned, before every. Company is a technology company no, other point of pride for all Georgians, we, think the one that's not I mean is, it possible another. Point of pride for all Georgians, is Georgia. Was right again. We. Had we had Chris Carr before he was the general, it is the economic, it was part of the night great. Okay. Coca-cola. Converts, more coinage, coins into. Convertible, currency than any company in the world. Around. Little. Bins. And then counting. Them and, doing all that it's, a huge logistics. Company this town was built on logistics yeah this is a phenomenal, they. Get things around but, you know but you, know Home Depot coca-cola, Delta. All of these are companies that are ups. Ups. So. I think about the, very brothers Alan and David. Who. They. Started, Manhattan associates, here grew, up the company great, logistics, company that continues to thrive they. Were the, founders. Along. With John Marshall of air watch Wow. And now they're doing you know now they're into the privacy business. And they're just, as. Well so they're, the ones that continue they start up businesses, they grow businesses, and then, they're doing again and that's, a. So. I got a question I was hesitant about acid or not maybe, pass or play on this but. Why. Would you say I want you tribute, that we didn't get animals on here and is that it was that. So. Was. Made and genius, on Jeff's part right for, heat milk that for two years got all the Intel right, got all the free press India but, we have and, may we compared to talk about the entertainment, industry we have now second, in in, the US for, a film production. Which is a big part of their now positioning, themselves as, a production. Company we had all the resources here for right sure, their. Loss. So. We've watch late as film, good. Even. Even at one sometimes. You. And. A great story of how businesses, work and this, is Georgia was very very smart so people like Chris Carr even before him. Really. Thought through so, a lot of filming, this film. Incentives, were described. As hit and run and I've managed film incentive budgets.
Those. That portfolio for. States. You. Come, you make a movie you get the incentive, yeah, yeah. You go on. Georgia. Did a great job of, making sure the incentives, incented. Permanent. Job creation, so we build an industry, here so, I was up in Boston recently, and they closed off all the streets and I saw all the film crew and all the trucks. And everything were, from Georgia wow. We. Are really thinking, about you. Know not only. We've. Got some of the largest studios, in the world that Disney, and Sony are all coming to you, know black hole studios, and making, films so we've got the assets, we've, got the talent around the universities, so you know think about the pre-production, the post productions, you know companies, that are so fine companies. That specialize, in the. Credits. And. That's, what we helped it sent and create here as Pro net job growth and, a permanent industry, and, not an easy task not an easy task yes. Production. We have on our floor right here a whole office. There's a whole team of people a whole company that does video. Animation, it's. Very intriguing so this. Film. Ends. And the film starts, and we're, turning them into a lot of other things the other part is very important growing up here is eSports you. Know yeah a major, event here just. Yeah. What, is this huge business, we've got a lot of companies understanding, of teams these, this is a global, trend and, it's already a multi-billion, dollar industry I. Mean maybe it's a generation, thing when everybody actually, we got invited for. Press coverage to be they weren't able, to participate our, colleges. In sync up but I'm still trying experience. To be different but it's just hard to wrap your mind around that. Has. And, how, it's just you, know blown up so we do a couple rapid-fire. At. A time here. And. In entertainment. That. Those sectors. Question. You're so. Exciting. Your 20th anniversary, coming. Up right let's use. What. Is that. That. You're. We're. Going to continue to bring, incredible, content. You. Know to this. Future. Friends. And. Then we're going to be rolling out some other areas. And. Then really pulling together how things. So. You think about is deep rich in content the. Open engagement, platform, for, lots of people to come together and bring ideas our, membership, and beyond and it's. Just going to be a phenomenal year for tag and for Georgia, deep. Rich in content like the rich part yeah, but. So. In, closing here, I was actually gonna talk about a cryptocurrency. In the blockchain I ran at a time so it definitely like to continue, that conversation so. Uh so. How would folks one more time how would they connect. With you guys online what's your best sales pitch elevator pitch just go make a goal org. Is the best place to is, that's our gateway come log in and get involved now are there events people that the general public non-members. Can participate. In or. Come. One come on that's it we do three but we do about 300 events a year. That's. Crazy but we have a lot of volunteers, and we got a lot of people that are engaged so, we want more people to get engaged with what tags doing, and how, we can help you build, your brand and grow your business perfect, well Larry it was our pleasure having you here in the studio on pro business Channel and for the inaugural episode of. Atlanta tech pocket FinTech south we're, done don't, know yeah I actually interviewed Dan Reeves there yeah and it was fascinating his that he's it was the first time he was at the stage it's.
Pretty Crazy I mean you. Got to find out what's happening with tag again that's. Just tag online. Dot-org, everything. You do is gonna be right there Larry thanks again once again rich, Casanova here for the purposes of sandwich absolutely. Our pleasure stay tuned as you, said earlier borrowed, our term stay tuned for the next episode.