Calling all techies and tech leaders in Atlanta—TechCONNECT is all you need to stay up-to-date on all things business and technology in the Southeast and beyond. Today we’re covering the entire month of June, with stories from top players like Google, Metro Atlanta Chamber, and more. Be sure to subscribe to TechCONNECT to get all the latest tech stories delivered to you.
Top Atlanta Stories
Atlanta Continues to Produce Unicorns at Unprecedented Pace
Powered by the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC), Backed By ATL announced the addition of 14 high-potential companies this month. The Backed by ATL program provides customized assistance, including talent recruitment, sales and marketing, public policy, leadership development and more, to a select group of scaling middle-market companies to accelerate growth and fuel economic impact across the metro Atlanta region. The 2021 Backed by ATL inductees—some of the most promising enterprises from a region that saw more than $2 billion in venture capital investment last year alone—include CallRail, PuffCuff, and Vital4. With more than 60 successful entrepreneurial exits over the past five years, metro Atlanta ranks among the top three cities in the nation for startups. Backed by ATL companies have raised over $1 billion in capital and created more than 3,600 jobs in metro Atlanta since the program’s inception in 2017. Learn more about this initiative and see the full list of inductees.
Google is Looking for Engineers to Staff its Midtown ATL Office
As part of its $25 million investment in Georgia in 2021, Google is looking for engineers to staff its Midtown office. The expansion is part of a nationwide plan to invest more than $7 billion in its offices and data centers and create at least 10,000 full-time roles in New York, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Atlanta by 2025. With about a third of all U.S. Google users living in the Southeast, the company wants to increase its engineers in the region so its products reflect the needs of its customer base. Plus, as Danny Berlin, Google’s director of software engineering, explained, most of Google’s talent in the machine learning field are from Atlanta, so it makes sense to set expansion goals in a city already teeming with techies. Click here to look at what jobs are available.
Music Matters Productions XR Stage Puts Atlanta on the Map for Virtual Production
Hollywood’s interest in virtual production is increasing because of technology breakthroughs, more accessibility, competition between streaming platforms and film studios, and the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a Deloitte analysis. Filming on extended reality stages is part of this transformation, and the Music Matters Productions XR Stage, which opened in Peachtree Corners last month, is helping put Atlanta on the map and providing another resource to capture the state’s booming film and entertainment industries. The Music Matters Productions XR Stage has large LED walls, similar to giant TV screens, to create 360-degree virtual backgrounds. The walls can be shaped differently depending on the production needs, plus the stage is portable and can be transported to use for music performances. Learn more about this new extended reality stage and the many opportunities it affords production crews.
Trending: Top National Tech Stories
Is Clubhouse Still Cool?
When the invitation-only audio app launched last year, it was touted by tech heavyweights as the “next big thing” in the social media space. The numbers, however, suggest the hype period is coming to an end. According to data from Sensor Tower, Clubhouse was downloaded roughly 900,000 times in April. That’s down more than 90% from the peak of February, when the app was downloaded 9.6 million times. Perhaps as theaters, restaurants, sporting venues continue to open up, the allure of listening to what could be called “live podcasts” is a little less enticing. With no fewer than seven tech companies having announced they are working on a feature like Clubhouse, perhaps the mystery is fading. See how Clubhouse is already seeing growth slow dramatically.
Woebot Health Launches Prescription Digital Therapeutic for Postpartum Depression
Roughly one in ten mothers experiences postpartum depression, but despite the prevalence and associated risks, a significant portion of mothers never receive a diagnosis or treatment for the condition. In the U.S., most new mothers are discharged from the hospital two days after childbirth and oftentimes don’t see a healthcare professional for follow-up for another six weeks. Even then, the visit tends to focus on the physical aspects of care, including breastfeeding and birth control options, so the emotional or coping needs are rarely met. Fortunately, digital mental health company Woebot Health has landed FDA Breakthrough Device Designation for its postpartum depression digital therapeutic, WB001. WB001 combines cognitive behavioral therapy and elements of interpersonal psychotherapy with the company’s conversational chatbot, Woebot, to deliver treatment directly through patients’ phones. Designed as a prescription digital therapeutic, the eight-week program treats symptoms of postpartum depression through lessons that attempt to normalize and contextualize the postpartum experience. WB001 is designed to significantly reduce barriers to PPD care that often thwart help-seeking and treatment engagement behaviors including lack of time, childcare issues, stigma and fear of loss of parental rights. Learn more about WB001’s FDA Breakthrough Device Designation.
3D Geolocation is Disrupting the World of Location Technology
3D geolocation is about to transform gaming, service delivery, and more. Until now, the location technology commonly used in mobile apps and games has been restricted to a flat, 2D world. For the first time ever, these new geolocation technologies are able to accurately determine vertical location at scale—so accurately that it can pinpoint what floor you’re on in a skyscraper. Check out this VentureBeat webinar that discussed the transformative impact of 3D location technology.
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