Startup Atlanta Selects Clark Atlanta University to Host Annual Atlanta Startup Awards

Clark Atlanta University (CAU) today announced that it will play host to more than 200 startup businesses and entrepreneurs at this year’s prestigious Atlanta Startup Awards. The annual event, which is organized by community non-profit, Startup Atlanta, will take place 6PM Thursday, November 21 at the university’s Bishop Cornelius L. Henderson Student Center.

The Atlanta Startup Awards event celebrates the city’s most successful rising tech companies, startup pioneers and disruptive innovators.  “We’re excited to partner with Clark Atlanta University and the RCIE to celebrate the entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders who make this city great,” said Adam Harrell, Board Chair at Startup Atlanta. “This will be our third annual Atlanta Startup Awards and we’re confident it will be the best one yet.”

The selection of CAU as a venue, which comes as a collaboration made possible by the CAU School of Business Administration and the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RCIE), marks the first time that the Atlanta Startup Awards will take place in Southwest Atlanta.

“We are honored to be selected to host Startup Atlanta’s annual awards program this year,” says Dr. George T. French, Jr., CAU President.  “For more than 150 years, CAU and its parent institutions, Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869), have been pioneers in educating and developing leaders who possess an entrepreneurial spirit and who have created businesses from the ground up.  This collaborative effort is in line with CAU’s five strategic pillars of Excellence, Engagement, Discovery, Creativity, and Service.” 

In addition to hosting the event, the university’s radio and cable television stations, Jazz 91.9-WCLK-FM and CAU-TV, will serve among the media sponsors for the Atlanta Startup Awards. 

Located within a couple of blocks from each other, both CAU and the RCIE are based in Atlanta’s historic Westside, which has seen tremendous activity in recent years. The area is home to major professional sports facilities, convention complexes, and the Atlanta University Center (AUC), which is the world’s largest consortium of historically black colleges and universities. The Westside is also a place with significant cultural and historic assets, residential communities and hundreds of entrepreneurs.

“Imagine the collective and collaborative power of harnessing all of the very best resources in the region to give Entrepreneurs, Startups, and Scaleups the resource, access, and opportunities needed to fly,” said James “Jay” Bailey, President/CEO at the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. ” Startup Atlanta is bringing all the pieces together and RCIE is honored to be a part of it.”

Startup businesses and entrepreneurs from across Metro Atlanta are encouraged to participate in the Atlanta Startup Awards and nominations are now open in eight categories:

  • Scrappiest Startup Award
  • Best B2C Startup
  • Best Growth Stage Startup
  • Community Influencer
  • Equity Champion
  • Best B2B Startup
  • Best Social Impact Startup
  • The Art of the Pivot

Nominations are open until October 24 and can be made here.

For additional information on the Atlanta Startup Awards, contact Kylan Kester at [email protected]

About Startup Atlanta

Startup Atlanta is a community non-profit with a mission to connect, promote, and expand Atlanta’s vibrant startup ecosystem to bolster the creation of jobs, companies and wealth. Startup Atlanta achieves this by producing and publishing the annual Startup Atlanta Ecosystem Guide, a co-created community resource featuring a comprehensive list of entrepreneur support organizations in the greater Atlanta region. Startup Atlanta leads with strategic programming and partnerships: co-facilitating the quarterly Community Partners Lunch, the annual Startup Awards, and Atlanta Startup Week.  For more information, visit

About the Russell Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Currently in the development stages, RCIE will house a 40,000-square-foot, world-class, entrepreneurial innovation and leadership center located in Atlanta’s Historic Castleberry Hill industrial neighborhood. The mission of RCIE is to empower entrepreneurs and innovators to create, invent and learn while being engaged and motivated to develop game-changing new ideas to promote economic empowerment. RCIE will be a collaborative, co-working ecosystem for both aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs, connecting a customized curriculum with corporate experience. RCIE will help foster and grow relationships between venture capitalists and Atlanta’s top entrepreneurial talent while honoring the legacy of Herman J. Russell by revitalizing the area with a hub of innovation, imagination and opportunity for Atlanta’s entrepreneurs. For more information, visit

About Clark Atlanta University

Clark Atlanta University (CAU) is a private, research-intensive, liberal arts institution, offering 38 areas of study at bachelor’s, master’s, specialists, and doctoral levels. Established in 1988 by the historic consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869), CAU continues a 150-year legacy rooted in the African-American tradition and focused on the future. Through global innovation, transformative educational experiences, and high-value engagement, CAU cultivates lifted lives that transform the world. 

The CAU School of Business Administration, provides programs in business management education with a unique, entrepreneurial focus on innovation, ethical decision-making, and real-world problem-solving. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the school is comprised of six academic departments, the Center of innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (CIED).  For more than 70 years, the School has flourished as America’s top producers of African-American business professionals with students from over 40 states and 30 countries.

To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit