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From the Corporate World to Full-time Real Estate Investor and Author with his Son

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On this episode of the Capitalist Sage, Karl Barham and Rico Figliolini are joined by Rudely Kelly and his son, Jayden. Rudley is a real estate investor, a realtor and an author who with the help of his son, wrote “Real Estate with my Daddy”, a children’s book that explains the ins and outs of real estate to kids. Listen in on the inspiration behind this book and hear Rudley’s expert insight into the real estate industry.

Book on Amazon
Website: K1HomeSolutions.com
Phone Number: 404-877-8088
Social Media: @RudleyKelly

“I’ll have a conversation with the seller and just get an understanding of what is their true
motivation, what are they looking to gain out of selling this property? Because at the end of the
day, you don’t want to walk away with someone feeling as if they were taken advantage of, or
didn’t understand the process or anything like that. For me, I like to sleep well at night and I
want to make sure whoever I’m dealing with sleep well at night as well.

Rudely Kelly

Timestamp:
[00:00:30] – Intro
[00:03:09] – Inspiration Behind the Book
[00:04:03] – Rudley’s Background
[00:05:26] – Educating Children in Real Estate
[00:08:36] – Finding Properties
[00:09:56] – Next Steps in a Property
[00:11:30] – Making House Flipping Profitable
[00:12:54] – Working with Contractors
[00:15:47] – Exiting Properties
[00:17:07] – Pros and Cons of Airbnb
[00:18:07] – How COVID has Impacted Business
[00:19:50] – Next steps for Rudley and Jayden
[00:26:22] – Closing

podcast transcript

Karl: [00:00:30] Welcome to the Capitalist Sage Podcast. We’re here to bring you advice and
tips from seasoned pros and experts to help you improve your business. I’m Karl Barham with
Transworld Business Advisors. And my co-host is Rico Figliolini with Mighty Rockets, Digital
Marketing, and the publisher of the Peachtree Corner magazine. Hey Rico, how’re you doing
today?
Rico: [00:00:47] Good karl. It’s a great day.
Karl: [00:00:49] Absolutely. Why don’t you introduce our sponsors for today’s episode?
Rico: [00:00:53] Sure. Our sponsor is Hargray Fiber. They are an internet company that
provides services to small and large companies. And they’re a main component in every
community they go into. So we’re excited to have them as our sponsor and not only for this
show, but our other podcasts that we do and also support our Peachtree Corners magazine. So
what I want to tell you is that they have the Hargray Economic Stimulus plan, their own stimulus
plan. So if you qualify for it, you get one year free business, internet, and phone service. So you
should check them out and go to Hargray.com/business/economic-stimulus. Great partner to
have. They are not like the cable company and they’re there when you need them. So check
them out. Thank you Hargray.
Karl: [00:01:50] Thank you so much, Rico for introducing our Sponsor Hargray today. Today’s
guest is Rudley and Jayden Kelly. Rudley’s a real estate investor, a realtor and an author. And
today we’re going to talk a little bit about how to teach your children about investing. Real estate
investing, other types of investments, to our children. You’ve recently just launched and
published their first book, I’ll kind of show it here. This is “Real Estate with my Daddy”. It’s
available on amazon.com. A very fun book for you to go through with your children and talk
about real estate. So we’ll talk a little bit about this today and share some of the thoughts around
that. Hey Rudley, hi Jayden, how’re you guys doing?
Rudley: [00:02:34] Good, doing great. How are you all doing?
Karl: [00:02:36] Oh, we’re blessed. Thank you so much. And thank you for taking time out of
your busy schedules to be on the podcast with us today. Jayden how was school today?
Jayden: [00:02:48] Good.
Karl: [00:02:49] That’s good. You’re probably pretty used to doing your schoolwork and keeping
up with stuff. How did you get time to write a book with your dad?
Jayden: [00:03:00] Cause we were just home one Saturday afternoon. Went shopping, so we
just wrote a book for fun.
Karl: [00:03:09] Oh, that’s fabulous. Rudley, why don’t you tell us a little bit what sparked you for
doing that? Writing this book and introducing it to everyone.
Rudley: [00:03:19] Yeah, first and foremost,I appreciate you guys inviting us on this podcast.
It’s a great venue here to kind of talk about business. But yeah, the whole premise behind the
book was to just help share the knowledge of real estate amongst, you know, younger children.
Kind of similar to the opportunity I had when I was younger to learn from my older brothers and
sisters and older cousins that invested in real estate. So my son, you know, obviously he’s been
coming with me on looking at various properties, distressed properties and whatnot, since he’s
been about two years old, right? And so we just wanted to kind of put it in the language of a
child for them to get a high level grasp of what investing in real estate is. And you know, we kind
of wrote it together and came up with something pretty cool.
Karl: [00:04:03] Yeah, it’s definitely fabulous. Why don’t I start by, how did you get into real
estate and what made you, what’s your background and what brought you to where, what you’re
doing today?
Rudley: [00:04:14] Yeah, so I started real estate. I’ve been heavily investing in real estate in the
past six years, but really bought my first property about 14, 15 years ago. And what kind of got
me started in that is, you know, kind of what I was mentioning a little bit prior to that I had some
good role models. My brothers, sisters, some older cousins, my parents, that all had some type
of footing within real estate. So my thing as a younger adult always wanting to try to figure out
how do I accelerate that and how can I get to that level sooner. So it started off with me buying
my first property right out of college. Primarily because I didn’t want to move back home with my
parents at that time. So that was my motivation at the time, but kind of snowballed from there.
Got my real estate license and you know, invested in quite a bit of education on the flipping side
of the business. And just kind of took it from there.
Karl: [00:05:04] Oh, that’s fabulous. I wonder Jayden, what’s your favorite part of working with
your dad when looking at properties?
Jayden: [00:05:14] I get to help him build things.
Karl: [00:05:15] What’s your favorite? Is there a particular room that you work on a lot? Kitchen,
bath, living room?
Jayden: [00:05:22] I usually work downstairs.
Karl: [00:05:26] Oh, that’s fabulous. So as you started getting started in this, what are some of
the things you found that when trying to help educate your children about investing, you found
were some of the things, the challenges in doing that?
Rudley: [00:05:42] You know, I guess some of the challenge is in maybe some of the language
and the dynamics of what real estate is. So I think for me, what helped educate Jayden on it and
the rest of my children as well is just, you know, putting it in as, mostly in terms as possible. And
trying to equate it to maybe toys or things that they play with and understanding buying
something versus investing and saving and those types of things. But I think the biggest
challenge is just putting it in a language that resonates with them best. So it was fun for us to
write this book together so he can kind of help me along as I’m writing it to say, does that make
sense? Checking in with them and you know, getting a good understanding that you know, this
is something that a seven-year-old can understand
Karl: [00:06:25] Jayden, what do your friends think about you helping your dad out?
Jayden: [00:06:30] They haven’t all checked the book out yet.
Karl: [00:06:35] They haven’t checked it out? Well, we have to do something to help get them
the book a little quicker and get them into schools and everything else. One of the things that’s
always fascinating, there’s an aspect of this that goes around wealth building. Creating a legacy
and generational wealth. That, there has been a lot of discussion around that. What place, what
do you recommend for parents to start instigating that curiosity in their children? What are some
of the things you’ve been doing and what would you recommend to other parents that want to
get their kids interested earlier into business and/or investing.
Rudley: [00:07:14] Yeah. I mean, I think some of the biggest things is truly just exposing him to
it first, right? I think, exposure is the key. I know growing up you know, as looking at my parents
older, typically as parents, you’re like, you know, this has grown folks business. Or this is, you
know, this is for adults, but I tend to not do that typically. I want to bring them into the fold. I want
to show them like, all right, this is what this costs. You know, how do you think we should go
about paying for this? You know, if you’re having discussions over bills or things like that. Once
you get a little bit older, maybe not Jayden’s age, but you know teenagers are a little bit older,
like sit down at the table with them and go over the bills and show them where their account is
coming from or where the funds are coming from and how to save and do those types of things.
So I think number one is exposure. Don’t shy away from having those conversations, even
though they may not necessarily be a hundred percent ready for it yet. And then number two is
just continuing to get them excited. Find a piece of wherever in that education that you provided
them. Find what motivates them, or find something that they’re interested in. And push them
towards that direction to learn a little bit more. So even if it’s about stocks or anything like that
stuff that they buy all the time, you know, if it’s Nikes, or they love Disney movies. Pull up the
Disney stock, take them through that, you know, let them learn a little about those things. So
find something that they resonate with and have that conversation about the investment part of
it.
Karl: [00:08:36] I’m going to ask the question about maybe a recent project that you guys
worked on together. How did you find a property, a particular example of property? What are
some of the ways you search for them? And is there an interesting one that you found in an
interesting way maybe with Jayden involved or others?
Rudley: [00:08:58] Yeah. So, you know, as you mentioned, I’m a realtor and investor. So from a
realtor perspective, I’m able to find properties on what’s considered the MLS on market type of
properties. But from an investor perspective and kind of what we touch a little bit on the book,
I’m typically finding off-market properties or distressed properties. So some of the ways that I’ve
learned to go about finding those properties are certain lists that you’ll purchase. Such as
people that are in distress situations, foreclosures, maybe probate, someone that’s inherited a
property that lives out of state and they don’t have anything to do, don’t want anything to do with
the property. You know, eviction lists, tired landlords, all different types of lists that you can use.
I have a team of folks that make those calls and follow up and take action on those. And that’s
pretty much how I go about finding the properties. But everything really falls into the follow-up
and making sure you’re getting direct to the sellers and just establishing your credibility and
relationship with those sellers.
Karl: [00:09:56] Once you find a property, what happens next? If you identify a property and an
owner of the property, what do you typically do next?
Rudley: [00:10:06] So if I had the address and had the information at first, do some kind of
desktop analysis look at the area, look at the comps. If there’s pictures, I try to look at the
condition of the property and run some preliminary numbers on where it makes sense for me to
purchase this property. But once I get to that point, I’ll have a conversation with the seller and
just get an understanding of what is their true motivation, what are they looking to gain out of
selling this property? Because at the end of the day, you don’t want to walk away with someone
feeling as if they were taken advantage of, or didn’t understand the process or anything like that.
For me, I like to sleep well at night and I want to make sure whoever I’m dealing with sleep well
at night as well. So I really try to get a good sense as to what are their goals. If it’s a probate
situation, perhaps, you know, they have other siblings in the family and maybe they need as
much money as they possibly can to split amongst those siblings, right? So I want to try to give
them the best possible offer I can. Or it could be someone in a situation that’s like, I really don’t
care about the price, I just need to get this out of my name as soon as possible. So that’s
another motivation or a motivating factor that I can help them with. Okay, I can close within a
week if you need me to and get this burden off of you if you’ve got bills piling up all of those
types of things. So it really depends on the customer or seller first and start from there and work
my way backwards to seeing where we can, you know, where it makes sense for both parties.
Karl: [00:11:30] I’m curious as, once you acquire the property, there’s a lot of people doing
flipping now especially in Georgia, in different cities, around different States around the country.
What do you, what are some of the things you’ve learned about doing it profitably when it comes
to once you’ve acquired the property?
Rudley: [00:11:51] Yeah. I mean, I think once you acquire the, well I just say, going a step back
even before acquiring the property, it’s really just knowing your numbers. That would be the
advice I would give to any newbie investor out there or someone that’s looking to flip homes, is
that try to take the emotional attachment out of it of just wanting to do a deal. Because that can
certainly hurt you in many different ways. And just be cautious as to what you’re, what you’re
going into, because there’s a lot of shows, station TV. It’s a lot of things out there and make it
look very glamorous, which you now it certainly can be at times, but know your numbers and
understand what you’re getting into. And then once you actually do acquire the property,
continue to do your due diligence, continue to do your inspections. Work with your contractors
and always leave yourself, even whatever your budget do you come up with, have a
contingency. Because as much as you evaluate that property beforehand and do your desktop
analysis, once you open up the walls, you just, you never know what you’re gonna run into. So
have a contingency. I like to have 5, 10% contingency overage in my budget for things that may
pop up.
Karl: [00:12:54] Are there things that you get to do and Jayden gets to help you with that you do
yourselves versus pushing out to contractors, subs?
Rudley: [00:13:05] I mean, pretty much we sub everything out to contractors or, you know,
general contractors that oversee the entire project. You know, there are a few little things here
and there that I may do just in essence of time. But I really want to focus my time on finding the
next deal, find the next opportunity or working with my buyer or seller clients on the realtor side
as well. So once I get a property, I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve been able to systemize it,
where I don’t necessarily have to be there all the time, although I still have a pulse on it. So the
whole idea of getting into this business was to build a system. Where I just got more time to
family and do stuff like this, write a book with, you know, with the kids and do things like that?
Karl: [00:13:47] Can I explore a little bit into that? Oh go ahead Rico.
Rico: [00:13:50] Yeah, I just wanted to be able to ask about, because someone trying to get into
this that has no experience, right? I mean, you have a few years experience doing this stuff,
right? So someone’s going to come in and they’re going to hire a subcontractor that may be
overpriced, may take advantage of them. You know, they’re putting down flooring, but maybe
the sub floor is supposed to be a certain level of subflooring. They might do something else.
How do you keep track of these things? Especially if it’s out of state, like you’re licensed in Ohio.
If you did that in Ohio, how would that work?
Rudley: [00:14:30] Yeah, great question. So, I mean, it’s really about vetting out your
contractors. That’s probably the hardest part of this business is just getting trustworthy, reliable
contractors that are insured, know what they’re doing, and I have some integrity to them.
There’s plenty of them out there, but you know, we have to find the right one. So the way that I
vet them, I have a very thorough process of certain questions that I ask. I want to make sure
that they’re insured, that they truly are licensed. I can go on a specific website to see if they are
truly licensed, as they’re saying. And then probably the best part of it or the most important part
is getting recommendations from others or from their actual work of people who have actually
worked with them. But not only just calling, you know, potential clients that they worked with
before in the past, if you’re a local go to the site, go to their job sites. If they don’t have any
current projects that they’re working on, that’s probably not a good sign.
Rico: [00:15:24] Sure.
Rudley: [00:15:25] Yeah, so I like to go on site and look at what they’re doing at someone else’s
flipper property, or even just a residential renovation.
Rico: [00:15:33] And I imagine as you do this, you probably accumulate a stable of contractors
that you can go back to.
Rudley: [00:15:39] Yeah, I’ve got a pretty good list of contractors that I use pretty consistently.
Rico: [00:15:46] Cool.
Karl: [00:15:47] I’m also curious about the exit of these properties. What are the different
options? I know one of the most obviously is you could sell it to someone for their home. What
are some of the other options you’ve explored and some of the pros and cons of those?
Rudley: [00:16:03] Yeah. So part of the reason why I got my real estate license was that I
wanted to just add another tool to my tool belt. You know, I started off as an investor first and
then got my real estate license. But I look at every opportunity as there’s several different ways
to monetize that. So an exit strategy, number one, obviously could be doing a flip or selling it,
but it could also be doing it as a rental property or holding it as a rental property, or it could be
doing Airbnb. Or it can be a burst strategy, which I’m not sure if, your listeners maybe aren’t
familiar with that. But burst strategy is basically buying the property, renovating it, renting it out,
and then refinancing it to get your cash back out that you initially put into the property. Because
once you renovate the property, you now raise the values of the property and you can refinance
and recycle that same catch. So there’s many different exit strategies and you can do all of
those strategies. But yeah, it really depends on going back again to the numbers. What do the
numbers tell you to do with this property? And then start from there.
Karl: [00:17:07] What’s the pro, I’ve heard people talking about Airbnb. Pros and cons of doing
that versus just a regular rental?
Rudley: [00:17:15] Yeah. So for Airbnb, they typically say you can receive anywhere from two to
three times the typical rent that you would get in a traditional rental market. So, you know, I’ve
been doing that and it’s pretty accurate. You know, there is additional cost of doing that cause
you have to purchase furniture. You know, in most cases you’re going into paying the utilities
and things like that. But it does give you a little bit more velocity in terms of cashflow as well as
the ability to check on the property a lot more than you would a tenant that you may have in
there for a year, and you can’t get in there for an entire year. Barring any type of extenuating
circumstances. But with Airbnb it’s constantly getting cleaned up after every guest, you can
check in on it and see if there’s any repairs or maintenance that needs to be done. So I love
Airbnb. It’s been a great model for us that we’re continuing to just scale.
Karl: [00:18:07] I’m curious, on this past year with the pandemic, how has it impacted your
business? Flipping rentals, Airbnb, has this helped or hurt or is it? How did you navigate through
that over the past year?
Rudley: [00:18:21] Yeah I mean, different parts of the business definitely had different impacts.
So from a rental perspective, COVID definitely had an impact just based off the moratorium in
terms of not being able to evict or, you know, having a pause on that. So that definitely had an
impact, but I think what allowed me to not really be impacted as much is because of scale, I
have several properties. So when you have that economies of scale, it’s not as much of an
impact as someone that may just have one property. And that tenant is out which leaves you
with a hundred percent vacancy. So that’s helped me from that perspective. Airbnb you know
last year, I guess, right around this time now, Airbnb pretty much put a pause or a halt, at least
in the city of Atlanta for a period of time. So quite a few people, I’m sure. Kind of felt that a little
bit during that time, but right after that period, we actually kind of saw a significant increase
compared to last year’s numbers. Just being that people there’s just so you know, kind of
bundled up in house for so long that they were just ready to just do anything and just get out.
And what we found is that people aren’t necessarily traveling, you know, miles and miles away.
They’re literally booking Airbnbs down the street in their same neighborhoods just to get out of
the house and do something a little bit different. So the numbers of Airbnbs and, you know,
outside the perimeter in the suburbs and actually includes quite a bit.
Karl: [00:19:50] I know, it’s especially, you know, the hotels have been hit hard. People have
flipped over to Airbnb’s. And there was a section in the book that I saw where you kind of were
going through some of the numbers with Jayden. Jayden, I’m curious, I’ve got a question for
you. How comfortable are you in math and the numbers so far? Do you like doing math and the
numbers? So can you help your dad with figuring out which are good investments and not? Do
you like doing that part with the numbers? I’m curious, do you have any ideas, what you wanted
to do? Do you want to do this type of stuff when you get older or do you have some other other
aspirations?
Jayden: [00:20:41] I wanna do what Dad did.
Karl: [00:20:50] Good, why?
Jayden: [00:20:50] I don’t know.
Karl: [00:20:51] Well, most people do what their dad and mom does. And so I think, you know,
Rudley you’ve been doing a great job of setting an example for not just Jayden, but with the rest
of the family and even in the community. And seeing how well people can do in shifting. I’ve got
another question around, you know, what are you seeing in the next five, six years? How does
this play out over time? Both for you and even as Jayden gets older, what are some of your
thoughts and wishes for him as you continue this journey?
Rudley: [00:21:27] Yeah, I mean, I think over the next five, six years you know, Jayden will
obviously, I’ll continue to bring them along on the projects that I’m doing. And, you know, I think
obviously the information will start to be retained even a lot more so over time. And introduced
him to even books, you know, on a higher level for him to start reading himself. But yeah, the
next five or six years, you know, want to continue this trajectory. I want to continue to scale the
Airbnb side of the business, rental properties, continue to do flips to a certain extent. You know,
no one really for the most part, I can’t speak for everyone, but I don’t think people want to do
flips for the rest of their life. Because that’s more active income, right? And definitely have to be
there and hands-on. But the idea is to take that active income and put it into passive income,
like rental properties and Airbnb property. So that’s, that’s what we’re focused on over the next
five to six years, continue to just work towards that financial freedom and more of that passive
income so we can spend more time with the family.
Karl: [00:22:23] Yeah. I speak to a lot of people who are trying to get out of, you know, being
employed by someone else and becoming their own boss. Because we use the term often
BYOB, be your own boss. And part of that is creating, first it’s taking the leap and starting
investing in starting the business and starting those. But at some point over the evolution, I’ve
noticed some business owners creating a system around what they’re doing. And it’s always
interesting to watch, you know, folks that are spending a lot of time in church activities and
charities, sometime playing golf in the community. And you wonder how can they run a complex
business and yet have time to do that. And I think some of it is, they figure out that way to one,
generate passive income, is one strategy is be able to do that. But two is building a system that
would be able to be able to let go of some of the day-to-day stuff. And they build a team and the
systems around to be able to do that. How far do you think you are in that journey and how
much further you gotta go?
Rudley: [00:23:36] Yeah. I mean, I think I’m getting close to that point where it’s, you know,
pretty systemized. But being transparent, right, it’s still a lot of hours still. A lot of time to put into
that. But that is the goal to get it a hundred percent systemized where, you know, you can take
or basically fire yourself, right? You want to fire yourself from your business at some point. So
yeah, no one, you know, I’ve recently, you know, left my corporate job and moved into doing this
full time. So, you know, no one wants to go from a job to another job, right? And that’s
essentially what you’re doing. You’re more the technician, if you’re hands-on and doing all the
work still at that point. So for a period of time, you have to do that to build up the business and
get things going the way you like it and build those systems. But at some point, you know, you
have to, you’ll get burnt out if you don’t don’t fire yourself. So the goal is to fire myself at some
point.
Karl: [00:24:29] And Jayden might be ready to take over the mantle on some of that stuff. And
you could delegate to him.
Rudley: [00:24:35] Yeah, exactly. He’ll be the systems manager.
Karl: [00:24:39] Well, that’s fabulous. You know, I want to thank you and Jayden for coming in
and talking a little bit. Again I want to re-introduce, it’s Rudley and Jayden Kelly, “Real Estate
with my Daddy”. It’s available on Amazon. I think there is a website that should be up soon as
well. But if you want a nice fun book to just start introducing real estate investing and numbers,
to have a nice book to read to your child at night. It’s a great read and, and really I’m glad that
you got a chance to do this with Jayden. And you’re building a legacy for your family that allows
you to do more stuff like this. So that’s really, really good. So tell me about any projects you’ve
got working on or are there any new things you’re working on currently?
Rudley: [00:25:29] Yeah, there’s still properties. Every day, seeking out new opportunities our
Airbnb is going pretty well. So that’s going to continue to be our focus for this book. You know,
we’ve got a great reception from it. So we’re going to make this into a series and start
introducing some other aspects of real estate that, you know, younger children, or even adults
may not be familiar with so many different avenues of real estate to participate in. So we’re in
the process of doing that as well. But other than that, building the business. As I mentioned, I’m
a realtor as well, so working with plenty of clients. So gives me the opportunity to kind of share
my investor knowledge as well as from a realtor perspective and work with these clients that are
looking for investment properties or just residential, so I can offer both avenues. So the focus is
realtor side, investing, and writing more of these books.
Karl: [00:26:22] That’s fabulous. Well, we’ve known you and Jayden and the rest of the kids for
quite a while and enjoyed being part of your journey through this. So we’re always excited to
see when you post another project completed through social media and other. How can people
reach out and contact you if they wanted to learn more?
Rudley: [00:26:44] Yeah, they can find me on Facebook under K1 Home Solutions or directly
under Rudley Kelly. Same thing on Instagram, under Rudley Kelly. Phone number business line
(404) 877-8088. And also our website, K1HomeSolutions.com.
Karl: [00:27:02] Awesome. Excellent. Well, thank you again very much. Jayden, I appreciate you
coming on the podcast today and look forward to seeing you again soon alright? Thank you.
We’d like to thank Rudley and Jayden for joining us. Rudley is a real estate investor, a realtor as
well as an author of “Real Estate with my Daddy” available on Amazon. Just want to thank him
for sharing some of his insights into his journey, into real estate investing. You know, as we talk
about on the Capitalist Sage very often, there’s a lot of different paths to becoming your own
boss. And whether it’s acquiring a business, whether it’s real estate investing, we like to bring
different perspectives of people in our community that are doing these things. So as you can
see, not only has Rudley made the leap into doing this full time for his corporate job, he’s
bringing his son along and his children along to learn about real estate investing. That’s
something we can all learn from and start to do whenever possible. Rico, you’ve got some
experience with that. I think some of your children follow along in your pursuit as well, so.
Rico: [00:28:10] A little bit.
Karl: [00:28:12] So that’s something that runs in the family. But what do you have going, coming
up Rico?
Rico: [00:28:18] Well, we just put out the latest issue of Peachtree Corners Magazine. It should
be hitting the mailboxes right about now.
Karl: [00:28:28] Faith in Sports, that’s a great, great subject. Really good job again, Rico.
Rico: [00:28:34] Yeah, thank you. We’re getting good reactions. It’s online, it’s on digital also,
right now. But 19,800 homes are getting the magazine this week in the mail. So between the
Faith and Sports and roller hockey and Girl Scouts, there’s a whole bunch of other stories about
artists, local artists and stuff like that. So it’s a full issue of content that I think people will be
interested in. They’ll find something in there that will interest them. So we have that and then
we’re also planning some more podcasts. So in the future, there’s going to be one on Wesleyan
Artist’s Market and the business of running a virtual art festival, right? And we’re also doing
another one on Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, which is the business of running a film festival
virtually, right? So it was kind of neat. Well, those things will be coming up. So I’m excited.
Karl: [00:29:31] Fabulous, fabulous. Well I’m Karl Barham with Transworld Business Advisors of
Atlanta Peachtree. Our business advisors are available to consult with business owners.
Whether you’re looking to improve your business, the value of your business, you’re ready to
take a vacation or retire and you’re looking to sell your business or you’re looking to acquire. It’s
a great time right now to acquire a business. The SBA as part of the care act are allowing some
unprecedented support for the economy to assist with small business. If you want to learn more
about that, ease the theater, reach out to me, KBarham@TWorld.com. Or you to go on our
website, www.TWorld.com/AtlantaPeachtree. We’ve got information around different lending
options that the SBA is doing including they are paying six months of a new SBA loan signed
before September. For anybody that closes on business acquisition using the 7A program.
That’s just one of the many ways the SBA is helping support small business and keeping people
employed as we navigate through the pandemic response. So we’ll be doing some more
webinars on those. We’re out in the community. We’re talking to folks and we’re just trying to
help people navigate through this and find a successful exit when they’re ready or grow through
acquisition. Rico what about anything going on, on the digital marketing side?
Rico: [00:31:05] Sure. Well, Mighty Rockets, my company is still doing a lot of consulting,
creative services, graphic design work. We just picked up another client. That’s actually a
publication, they put out two publications a month here in the Metro area. So we’re handling all
the creative work. So you know, anytime someone’s looking for product videos, content work,
social media, or graphic design creative services, we’re there. So feel free to go visit
MightyRockets.com. Or find me Rico Figliolini on linkedIn. Connect with me, send me a
message. I’d be more than happy to talk to you. So it’s been a busy year in 2021 so far. So as
bad as things may be out there, it’s not been a bad economy for us.
Karl: [00:31:54] Yeah it’s good change. You know, there’s a lot of change happening. So the
things change. People gotta communicate and get out there in their community. So grateful for
all that you do to help support that here locally in the community.
Rico: [00:32:07] I’m grateful for all the things I learned. Not only from you, because I’ve learned
a lot from you. And I know how to exit, I think my business at some point. But listening to people
like Rudley and his son and other people. I mean, these are great shows. I’m hoping people get
a lot of good, actionable things out of these episodes. And it’s just a good thing. I look forward to
every episode now.
Karl: [00:32:29] Absolutely. Well, we’ve got more to come in the new year, so stay tuned
everyone. Thank you for joining us on the Capitalist Sag

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Business

Gwinnett study to establish redevelopment plan of Gwinnett Place Mall

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The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners last week agreed to a funding agreement with the Gwinnett Place CID for a Livable Centers Initiative study of the Gwinnett Place Mall site and surrounding areas. The Community Improvement District has contracted with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., to conduct the study.

The LCI study will establish a plan to guide the redevelopment of the Gwinnett Place Mall area. It will consist of public outreach, strategic development and preparation of final deliverables.

The LCI grant helps cities and communities with plans to connect residents to activities by walking and bike trails. The hope is to ease traffic on roadways.

The study is estimated to cost $275,000.00. The Atlanta Regional Commission awarded the Gwinnett Place CID an LCI grant for $220,000, with the estimated local match of $55,000 being split between the CID and the County. Each party’s share of the local match will be reduced equally should the total study cost less than estimated. 

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Business

Gwinnett Partnership, It’s Influence, What Trends they See, and Resources to Empower Businesses [Podcast]

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Partnership Gwinnett is the economic development initiative behind some of the most exciting business ventures that have started or relocated to Peachtree Corners. Brian Dorelus, project manager with Partnership Gwinnett, is our guest on today’s episode of the Capitalist Sage. Join Karl Karham, Rico Figliolini, and Brian, as they discuss what exactly Partnership Gwinnett is and does for business in our community.

Resources:

Website: https://www.partnershipgwinnett.com
Brain’s Email: BDorelus@ParntershipGwinnett.com

Timestamp:

[00:00:30] – Opening
[00:02:14] – About Brian and Partnership Gwinnett
[00:03:29] – How Partnership Gwinnett helps Businesses
[00:04:34] – Why Businesses Choose Gwinnett
[00:05:47] – Industries that are Thriving
[00:06:59] – Activity in Peachtree Corners
[00:08:12] – Bringing Startups to Peachtree Corners
[00:15:02] – Resources that Partnership Gwinnett Provides
[00:22:12] – Closing

“Partnership Gwinnett is the economic development agency for Gwinnett County. So it’s our job and our privilege to wake up every single day to recruit, retain, and expand industries in our five target sectors… And so what we do every day is just provide resources and be a one-stop shop for companies big and small, so they could continue to grow in our community.”

Brian Dorelus

Podcast Transcript

[00:00:30] Karl: Welcome to the Capitalist Sage Podcast. We’re here to bring you advice and tips from seasoned pros and experts to help you improve your business. I’m Karl Barham with Transworld Business Advisors, and my co-host is Rico Figliolini with Mighty Rockets, Digital Marketing, and the publisher of the Peachtree Corner Magazine. Hey Rico, how are you doing today?

Brian Dorelus

[00:00:48] Rico: Hey Karl, great. Looking forward to this interview right now with Brian.

[00:00:53] Karl: Absolutely. We’re going to talk about what Partnership Gwinnett can do for businesses locally here in Gwinnett county, and Georgia overall. But let’s talk a little bit about our sponsors today.

[00:01:04] Rico: Sure. So Peachtree Corners Magazine is supporting this podcast along with the family podcasts that we do. And we just put our last issue to the printer. It’s coming out in about two days. So keep an eye out for it. Go to LivinginPeachtreeCorners.com and you’ll see the digital version of that print edition that will be coming out this week.

[00:01:24] Karl: Fabulous. Great job with the Peachtree Corner Magazine. Lots of great articles in there, keeping up with what’s going on locally. So I really appreciate all that information that’s shared through that. Today we are going to talk about what Partnership Gwinnett, one of the organizations within Gwinnett county can do to help business owners, large and small. Help drive economic development within the community. Today I’m honored to have Brian Dorelus, who is a project manager with Partnership Gwinnett to talk a little bit about some of the mission of the organization, some of the successes and some of the things, resources that are available to business owners to help them with their businesses. Hey, Brian, how are you doing today?

[00:02:09] Brian: Doing good. Just trying to stay dry in today’s rainy weather, but doing good.

[00:02:14] Karl: Absolutely. No, I appreciate you joining us today. Why don’t you start by introducing yourself to our audience and tell a little bit about yourself and what you do with Partnership Gwinnett.

[00:02:25] Brian: Of course. Thank you. So once again, my name is Brian Dorelus. I’m the project manager for technology and life science with a focus and concentration in entrepreneurs and small business here at Partnership Gwinnett. And Partnership Gwinnett for those of you who might not know is the economic development agency for Gwinnett County. So it’s our job and our privilege to wake up every single day to recruit, retain, and expand industries in our five target sectors. And then as I mentioned, I lead the initiatives for technology and life science, but my counterpart leads the manufacturing and supply chain sector. And our leadership leads the kind of bigger corporate headquarters relocation projects. And so what we do every day is just provide resources and be a one-stop shop for companies big and small, so they could continue to grow in our community. And then prior to this, I was actually a Peace Corps Volunteer at the Republic of Moldova doing very similar work. Doing economic activities with a local mayor focusing on infrastructure and capacity building with the local village that I was stationed at.

[00:03:29] Karl: Oh, that’s fabulous. I’m going to jump in with the first question and thanks for the introduction for Partnership Gwinnett. Can you describe a little bit about how you work with business owners? And I would also guess some of the other city economic development departments, to help support thriving businesses in our communities.

[00:03:48] Brian: Yeah, definitely. So one thing we do is we try to give a concierge level service to businesses and companies in our communities, within our 16 cities. So typically on average day I work with the local economic development managers or city managers in each one of our beloved cities. And just hear about some of the issues that some of our businesses, large and small, are facing and trying to connect them with resources that typically they might not be aware of. And one of the good things about Partnership Gwinnett, is that all of our services are free and complimentary. So if you’re looking for research data, or looking to get connected, or even needing help with business plans or getting exposure. If we can’t do it, it’s our job to hunt down a person who can do it for you.

[00:04:34] Karl: I’m curious, when you think about Metro Atlanta and Gwinnett County, what’s the selling point for businesses to come and thrive here in this community? What have you found to be some of the things that really attract large and small businesses to Gwinnett?

[00:04:50] Brian: I think typically we have some, big pieces of infrastructure and systems in place that make businesses thrive. One obviously being the airport. Being the busiest airport and being two hours flight from all major airports, it really helps the interconnectivity between us locally and internationally, between places of business. But on a more maybe personal and cultural aspect, one thing that Georgia has and in Atlanta that really stands apart is that we are just pro-business and a friendly environment. Ironically, I had a lunch with a couple of international prospects. They literally said the first thing they said that to other international companies is that Georgia is nice. Which you would think is a weird selling point. But I would say as a community, we really have thrived because we’ve worked together really well with other partners within our community, within our cities, and across the Metro Atlanta region.

[00:05:47] Karl: So, when you think about Atlanta and how it’s grown since the Olympics over the last 20 odd, 20 plus years, where do you see industries that are really starting to thrive in the Metro Atlanta region?

[00:06:01] Brian: Just a little more about my background, I went to Georgia State University downtown. I was able and fortunate to see that growth happening almost before my eyes. And so some of the industries that just appeared and blossomed, we can’t talk about Atlanta without talking about FinTech. The financial technical center, it’s called the FinTech capital of the world, just because there’s so many FinTech companies located here. So when you think about entertainment, FinTech, conjoining with the tech ecosystem here, it just became a natural boom. Because I guess before, if you look at Georgia and in Metro Atlanta, we was a huge manufacturing sector. And we still are. When you think of Georgia, you cannot not highlight some of the manufacturing pieces. But within the past 20 years, you’ve just seen a huge boom and kind of major corporations coming to find that talent for that tech pieces and engaging the new generation. With just the amount of startups that are appearing and them just engaging into the market.

[00:06:59] Karl: So I know locally here in Peachtree Corners, Atlanta Tech Park, and in this area there’s been a thriving tech community that’s been developing here. Can you tell us a little bit about some of the past and current activity you’re seeing in this part of town?

[00:07:17] Brian: Yeah, definitely. One thing Peachtree Corners has done really well, is really brand themselves as a city of the future. And a city to engage the technology, not existing today, but existing or will be in a market 10, 15 years from now. So when you think about Peachtree Corners in particular, and some success stories, they’ve branded themselves as I mentioned that city of the future by engaging with that 5g technology or the internet of things. Which is the interconnection between everyday appliance into the interweb. And just because they have made themselves the centerpiece and the tip of the spear in that, now companies are searching and looking to be a part of just kind of the platform and the energy here. And that’s not even talking about that autonomous vehicle track that’s been deployed in Peachtree Corners and what they’re doing with electric vehicles and self-driving cars.

[00:08:12] Karl: Yeah. I know that we’ve heard an announcement about a company that’s really expanding in the surgical, medical space here. Can you share with us just a little bit about that and how does something like that come about? And what role does Partnership Gwinnett play in helping make things like that happen?

[00:08:29] Brian: Yeah, definitely. We were brought in very early into their project as the company Intuitive Surgical was looking to expand and grow. And for those who might not be familiar, Intuitive Surgical is the creator of the DaVinci robot. The small robot that does surgery on individuals. And I’m not gonna lie, I will be the first to admit that I was hesitant to think about having someone perform surgery on me that isn’t a human body. But once you’ve seen the application and seen the success rate and seen what they’ve developed. You just wouldn’t go back to human hands. And so Partnership Gwinnett, in collaboration with the local city administration in Peachtree Corners, and then with our state partners all worked together, hand by hand. And kind of stepping forward, of bringing the company here. And just kind of doing what we do every day, is telling the story of Atlanta and Gwinnett County. Explaining that the workforce here, one thing that’s great about Metro Atlanta, is that we actually graduate more engineers than any other region. So telling them about the great work that’s done at Georgia Tech and Georgia State and Kennesaw, and SCAD. And then combined that with the quality of life then a few corners in the, some, the other innovation hub across the street, across Wynette county, it was a no brainer. And, we really just work well with our community partners, with the local administration. And we brought all the resources kind of bundled together and made a compelling case that, eventually, they decided that this is where they want to be their new home. So it was our team in congruence with everybody else. And we worked hard for this past summer to land a plane. And we’re proud to say that they’ve opened and it’s one of the largest projects in Gwinnett County history.

[00:10:05] Karl: Wow. That’s fabulous, the work that’s being done and seeing so many people playing a role, working together to make that happen. If I could ask a little bit around your area of specialty, when you think of startup companies, technology companies, and so on. What are some of the things that you see that can help bring more of that? How does that work to get more of that ecosystem developed here in greater Atlanta and Gwinnett County in specific.

[00:10:33] Brian: I think when people typically think of startups, there’s a little divide and there’s a lot of misconceptions on what startups will need and what they’re looking for. And the first thing that startups themselves and other people sometimes get wrong. Is that they’re looking for capital, they’re looking for funding. And everybody’s looking for funding. But one thing that we have here in Atlanta that really pushes the needle for these startups to grow is something that I mentioned earlier, it’s that just the interconnectedness between all parties and that mentorship and exposure. We’re in an ecosystem where generally speaking it’s pretty close knit. Even from Gwinnett to Atlanta or from Gwinnett to our community partners. It’s a small knit community where transportation time isn’t that far. And so when talking to these startups thinking about relocating or growing, we just tell him like, Hey, this is an area where innovation is booming fast. Innovation comes from areas where there is a problem and there’s someone looking to solve. And Gwinnett County has set themselves apart, being that problem solution for a lot of the world societal problems. And so these startups, they come here and they find a lot of success and become leaders very quickly because of that.

[00:11:42] Karl: Can you tell us a little bit about any specific startup that you’re watching, some exciting stuff that’s going on? Just to give people a feel of the activity that’s happening here.

[00:11:54] Brian: I could tell about some startups, but even some innovation hubs that we have where these startups are breeding. If we’re looking back on in your neck of the neighborhoods in Peachtree Corners, there’s a lot of startups that are focusing on 5g and cyber security. And one of them that their common conversation is Smart Eye Technology using that retina scanning to scan for security purposes for documents or providing cybersecurity solutions to municipalities. And especially with security and data breaches being something that was talked about maybe 10 years ago, but now being a necessity, these companies, these startups are becoming the face of what it means to protect yourselves in a new digital age. Kind of as you go up Gwinnett County, you have the water tower, which is a water innovation hub. Innovation hub, actually more of an innovation campus, if you really think about it. It’s an area built solely for the innovation of water development technologies and water workforce. And there’s just so many exciting water startups there from providing clean water to the masses using hydro stations that could tell you, not only the level of certainty how clean it is, but pull data about your current water usage and scan for that. To even some startups working on trying to gather water from solar panels. And then if you kind move across from the water tower, up north all the way up through 16 is kind of the biggest and largest innovation hub, which is called Rowan. Recently in Gwinnett county just purchased 2000 acres to build this kind of life science community. Life science community focusing solely on renewable energy. That life, science, and agriculture. And you can most accurately think about it as like adjacent or something very similar to what you see at the Research Triangle Park. And there’s something so similar that we’ve actually hired the COO of Research Triangle Park to run the Rowan foundation, to lead to that development. And so while the development is still ongoing, since it’s such a massive project for Gwinnett County, we’ve just engaged a lot of startups and larger corporations.

[00:13:55] Karl: Gotcha. I’m curious when you’re talking about some of these innovation hubs and so on, what are some of the things that make us more attractive than other cities around them? What infrastructure is in place that entrepreneurs and tech folks can come to Gwinnett County and leverage?

[00:14:13] Brian: One of them is just the level of service that we offer here at Partnership Gwinnett. As I mentioned a little briefly, we like to call ourselves, community connectors. So they’re kind of, the one-stop shop. So we have partners at score or SBDC or SBA and ACE capital who are willing to sit down with these entrepreneurs on one-on-one, and give them that service and that training they need to find capital. To find exposure, to find that mentorship that could really take them to the next level. But also we’ve got some, a lot of resources just around a region that provides that same level of service at very little to no cost. And one thing that’s, the best thing about Gwinnett that’s also sometimes may be the worst thing about Gwinnett, is that it’s so big that entrepreneurs don’t know where to go. And so we could help them point to that direction.

[00:15:02] Karl: Now I wanted to talk a little bit of specific resources. So if I’m thinking of starting a business, whether I’m a CEO of a large company looking to expand into the Southeast, or I’m a tech company, that’s looking to establish operations here locally, what are some of the specific resources and tools you have that I can come to and get help with that most people may not know about?

[00:15:25] Brian: And if you, as a small business, I would actually first you come to me as the, kind of the first level of inquiry, just get some general questions. And then what we’ll do from that process is kind of. direct you to the next staff. And you could think about this as almost as stages. So first the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce would be the first step, just to network. The community here and all the businesses that’s under that umbrella can really help you brandish yourself and find the market that you’re looking for. And then after that, we’ll probably divert you to Score. Which is an organization built from volunteers to help you with your business plan. To help you figure out what your target market is, what’s your SWAT analysis, who are you trying to aim for and kind of really solidify and drill down your kind of needs for your business. And then depending on your type of business and depending on if you’re a startup, we also have an Angel Investment Network. Where, similar to what Shark Tank has become, you can apply and pitch to Angel investors who are looking desperately trying to invest in startups in the region. To kind of find that next unicorn status startup. So there’s just a bunch of resources here between a lot of the agencies here that can really help you go to the next level.

[00:16:40] Karl: What if I’m a large company and I wanted to move here locally? What are some of the tools and resources available for people that are helping with that type of search?

[00:16:49] Brian: Well, if you’re a large company, the first thing you’re looking for is space. Where am I going to have my production facility? Where am I going to house my employees? Even though you might be an office, there’s the trend of working from home. You want a place where you can build that company and culture. And so one of the things we do is connect you with, well first find a property that kind of fits the parameters of your needs and connect you with our network of brokers. And then after that, pull some data and research into, where’s the best place for you? Are you looking for somewhere close to the airport or close to a major interstate? Or are you looking for a place where the city is, has a lively festival culture? And so we really work hand in hand to make sure that we find a facility for you. And then after that we pull research, we pull our state partners to help with the tax incentives that companies all often qualify for creating new jobs in our region and putting in capital investment. And then after we kind of helped you relocate you, your company, your employees, and their families. We like to do a grand opening and press release to kind of welcome you in the community. And we’ve seen some press releases that have gone and grand openings that are just minuscule. They just want to let the community know they’re here. And then we’ve also seen ones that want to do a whole festival. They want to have a ferris wheel and a barbecue. And what we try to do is have the elected officials, key stakeholders, people in the community that fits the needs and people that you want to get in front of, all at your grand opening. Just to show that the community is here for you. And then after that, it’s not after you’ve landed that we’re just done with you. One thing we always say is that one of the good things about us, that once you find us, we’re always going to be contacting you. So you then after kind of move into our retention program, where we have our director for business retention and expansion kind of keep our eye on you. Do checkups and just make sure that you’re growing and expanding. One of the services that we offer of course, is helping with permitting needs. So if you’re a company here located and you have some permitting concerns, or it’s just trouble getting someone in contact, or you need a Fire Marshall to do a quick survey of your building, we can help facilitate and expedite that process for you.

[00:19:03] Karl: If there was one thing that you, from your perspective, would really leapfrog Gwinnett County into the clear leader for companies of all sorts. What kind of infrastructure improvement would you say would need to be here, put in place so we could develop over the next five to 10 years to really become that easy decision for businesses to come and play here?

[00:19:29] Brian: It would be hard to say, because I feel like a lot of the things that Gwinnett County is already working on. So one thing typically that we’ve talked about internally in our offices, that quality of life piece. But one thing Gwinnett County it’s already one step ahead of me. Is that, you know, one thing of our 16 cities is all of them are developing their downtown area. Downtown Suwanee is very different than downtown Peachtree Corners or downtown Norcross or downtown Lawrenceville. But they all have bubbly activity. And it’s those little key pieces that are really important to the companies that are relocating. Because you have to remember, they are people too. These companies are comprised of people and of employees. And after work, they also want to unbutton their shirt and grab a beer or go to a beer garden. So just having a community that has activities, not only for the older generation, but even for the millennial generation as well. So for them to build their families. And Gwinnett County has led the way in developing that. So I would say, as for Gwinnett County it has continued to grow, we have almost a million people as a population is just to further develop. And redevelop. Which has become a huge thing in economic development, it’s redevelopment. And it’s something Partnership Gwinnett has now taken a role into is redeveloping old areas that have been long forgotten and making those areas of attraction and beauty and entertainment. Where family meets, and friends, and coworkers, and millennials, all alike can kind of enjoy the services.

[00:20:58] Karl: You know, reinvention is always a key part of rebirth. Reinvention, being able to do that. I’m curious, Brian, is there anything coming up that, what are you working on? What are some of the things that are coming up where people can engage in the community around Partnership Gwinnett?

[00:21:14] Brian: Yeah, definitely. One thing that I’ve been working on with my team is how to provide more resources to entrepreneurs. There seems to be a little bit of a gap between small and medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs to the larger corporations. So one thing that we’re working on is how to bridge that gap. How to match make where, a small business can apply to be a subcontractor for a larger company and incorporation. And see, that’s the thing that we’re hoping to try to roll out as a program or a database where larger corporations, not only in Gwinnett County but in general, a large corporation can have our RFI and these small businesses could apply. Can go to the website, apply, and to be awarded I guess a small subcontract work where they could work and kind of bridge the gap. As one thing, working in technology innovation is, innovation definitely comes from within. And it also comes with collaboration with other partners. So we’re actively looking at different ways and methods for that to happen.

[00:22:12] Karl: Oh, fabulous. Well, Brian, I want to thank you. How can people reach you? If they wanted to reach you, what’s the best way to contact you?

[00:22:19] Brian: Yes. Best way to contact me is go on our website, www.PartnershipGwinnett.com, going to teams and under my profile of Brian Dorelus. Or you can go on LinkedIn and reach me there. Or you can reach me by email at BDorelus@ParntershipGwinnett.com.

[00:22:38] Karl: Oh, that’s fabulous. Well, you know what, I want to thank you, Brian. For everybody that is joining us midway, this is Brian Dorelus of Partnership Gwinnett. Sharing some of the exciting things that are happening here in Gwinnett County, and Metro Atlanta, and here in Georgia. From on the small side entrepreneurs, startup community, the resources and the help that they’re bringing to the local cities as well as business owners. But also how they’re bringing large companies into the areas, working collaboratively, across many different stakeholders to make those things happen. Thank you so much for sharing some of the insight and introducing yourself to the local business community. Thank you, Brian. Thank you very much. And I’m Karl Barham with Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta Peachtree. Our business advisors are available to help consult business owners, connect them to folks like Brian and other people in economic development. And if you’re looking for real estate, commercial real estate, et cetera, we have a network of folks that can help people. And also if you’re looking at planning for your business growth through acquisition, if you’re looking at doing something else, we help with business sales and business exiting planning. If you want to contact me, you can reach me at KBarham@TWorld.com. Or visit our website, www.TWorld.com/AtlantaPeachtree. We’re here in the community to help. Rico, why don’t you tell us a little bit about what you’ve got coming up?

[00:24:04] Rico: Sure. Sorry about, I’ve been acting more as an engineer on this episode than anything else. But we just went to press with the printer in Monroe, Georgia. To do a shout out to Walton Press. They do a great job of printing the publication. We’re at 88 pages this issue, the largest issue we’ve had since we started over two years ago. Lots of stuff in it. And the lead feature story is actually about the people that run the day-to-day activities, the five department heads of the city of Peachtree Corners. So it highlights them. Also, Judy Putnam is profiled in there. She’s the communications director who’s retiring. And we have a new communications director that will be taken over shortly. And a lot of other stories in there along with photographs from Peachtree Corners Photography Club. They did a great fall-ish photo spread for us. And it’s also the pet issue. So lots of pet pictures and the end of the giveaway that we’ve run for the last four or five weeks. So check that out and you can actually see the digital edition online at LivingInPeachtreeCorners.com. Other than that, Mighty Rockets is my company as well. A publisher of Peachtree Corners Magazine, the purveyor of these podcasts and other marketing and product videos that we do for clients. So check that out. And if you need to reach me, it’s Rico Figliolini on LinkedIn. You can get me there. I’m probably the only Figliolini short of two others that are my siblings, if you find them. So Figliolini just checked that out and you can reach me.

[00:25:32] Karl: And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention, if you want to keep up with what’s going on locally, multiple ways to follow us. Follow us on Facebook. What are some of the other ways that folks can hear the podcast and follow what’s going on locally?

[00:25:46] Rico: Sure. So the video podcast, if you go to Peachtree Corners Life on Facebook or the Capitalist Sage on Facebook, there’ll be streams. We always stream those as a simulcast live stream. Search YouTube channel for Peachtree Corners Life. You can subscribe there and you’ll get notified when we go live on the simulcasts. And if you’re looking to audio podcasts, anywhere that you find the podcast, right? I Heart Radio, Spotify, Apple. Anywhere that you find audio podcasts, you can find us. Just Google the Capitalist Sage Podcast and you’ll pick up all sorts of resources that way.

[00:26:19] Karl: Absolutely. Thank you for that. And the last thing I’ll mention, if you have ideas for stories and articles, is there a way for folks to send that in to you Rico?

[00:26:29] Rico: Great, great question. Thank you. You can send any story, any ideas that you have suggestions to Editor@LivingInPeachtreeCorners.com. And if you’re thinking it’s going to be a great subject matter for the Capitalist Sage Podcast, certainly reach out to that email as well. And we’ll be able to talk to you a bit about that. And quite frankly, let me do this as well. If you’re looking to advertise or be a sponsor of the family of podcasts that we do, which includes the Capitalist Sage, Peachtree Corners Life and Prime Lunchtime with the City Manager, which is a monthly podcast, reach out to me at Editor@LivingInPeachtreeCorners.com.

[00:27:08] Karl: Excellent. How many homes do you reach currently with the magazine?

[00:27:11] Rico: We mailed 19,700 homes, households, get the magazine. And then another 1200 out to about a hundred locations.

[00:27:20] Karl: Lots of reach there.

[00:27:22] Rico: Oh, for sure. And more online because of the digital edition as well. And the weekly newsletters and website and all that, sure.

[00:27:30] Karl: Absolutely. Well, Rico, thank you very much. And for everybody that joined us today, thank you for supporting and watching the Capitalist Sage. We’re going to continue to have great topics for business owners and for people in the community. Let’s talk about business. Well everyone have a great day. Take care.

[00:27:46] Rico: Take care guys.

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Business

French-American Chamber of Commerce Moves In and Brings More Opportunities to Curiosity Lab

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Pictured (left to right): Bertrand Lapoire, VP FACC-Atlanta, Michael Gerebtzoff, Consul General of Belgium, Consulate General of Belgium in Atlanta, Kirk Duguid, Acting Consul General, Consulate General of Canada in SE, Mayor Mike Mason, Vincent Hommeril, Consul General of France, Consulate General of France in Atlanta, John Parkerson, Honorary Consul General & Foreign Economic Counselor of Hungary, Julie Lambotte, Executive Director FACC-Atlanta & Office Manager, French Tech Atlanta, City Manager Brian Johnson

Photos by Jason Getz– Instagram @jasongetz11

A bold initiative involving the French government and its newly unveiled technology consortium, the city of Peachtree Corners and its Curiosity Lab has been launched.

About 100 officials and community members were on hand for a recent ribbon-cutting celebrating the French-American Chamber of Commerce’s move from former offices in the Atlanta French Consulate to the Peachtree Corners lab, where it’s expected to play a key role in helping French technology firms relocate and expand here.

As La French Tech Atlanta President Sebastian Lafon put it, the move will “enable French startups to collaborate with many innovators and prove out their technology in a unique and live environment with real city-owned connected infrastructure that can’t be replicated in a laboratory.”

La French Tech Atlanta is an alliance of start-ups, investors, executives and community builders which is expected to work with the city in helping French firms develop technology in the Lab’s innovative testing environment as they seek to grow their North American footprints. The Atlanta outpost of the consortium was awarded accreditation by the French government in April.

September 9, 2021 – Peachtree Corners, Ga: The French-American Chamber of Commerce moves to Curiosity Lab Thursday, September 9, 2021, in Peachtree Corners, Ga.. PHOTO / JASON GETZ

Member of an exclusive club

City Manager Brian Johnson, who attended the ceremony, said the Corners joins a rather exclusive club, as French officials chose only a half-dozen spots in the U.S. for the venture. Other La French Tech programs have landed in such places as Austin, Texas and North Carolina’s Research Triangle.

Speaking on the “Primetime Lunchtime” Podcast, Johnson said, “It was a competitive process, and we threw our hat in the ring.” He added that officials not only leveraged the technology testing environment of the Curiosity Lab, but also pitched metro Atlanta and Georgia’s advantages as well, including state economic development incentives and the availability of such institutions as Georgia Tech as a resource.

Mayor Mike Mason, who was also on hand, said the initiative will be a signature resource for French firms looking to launch products in the U.S. with its laser focus on smart city technology, intelligent mobility and self-directed vehicles. That seems a hand-in-glove fit with the Curiosity Lab, which encourages companies of all sizes to test and deploy technology using such amenities as a three-mile autonomous vehicle test track.

Mason said a related hallmark of the lab is its ability to create partnerships with private firms and other entities, with more than a dozen current research projects underway there.

“Curiosity Lab has been influential in convincing several large companies to locate here. The old axiom of economic development is that activity creates more activity. This is a real plum for us.”

French business opportunities

Although no French tech firms have made commitments to work with the associated partners yet, French-American Chamber Atlanta Executive Director Julie Lambotte feels that day is coming.

“We are in discussion with a few companies, but there’s nothing definitive yet,” she said, adding that agriculture tech companies and various technology service providers are on the ‘possibles’ list.

The start-ups they’re looking to incubate at the lab complex will join an already respectable list of French firms doing business in the Peach State, Lambotte said. Some 254 firms from the European nation have already set up shop in Georgia, 135 of them in Metro Atlanta, she said. Lambotte noted that those firms are responsible for more than 18,000 jobs.

She indicated that building awareness of Atlanta and its suite of economic offerings among her countrymen has been challenging. “You probably noticed that when you talk to a French person, it’s not the first destination you have in mind when you talk about moving to the U.S. What we are trying to do with the chamber and La French Tech is to put Atlanta on the map,” Lambotte said.

And it’s not just the French who are sniffing around. Mason said that officials from other consulates such as Belgium and Canada attended the ribbon-cutting and officials from Germany and India want to tour the place.

Johnson said “portals” like these create possibilities that wouldn’t have existed otherwise and that the river can run both ways, with American companies establishing partnerships with French firms or perhaps opening facilities in that country.

“The sky is the limit right now,” Johnson said.

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