Lessons From Augusta: How One Group Is Bringing The Tech Industry To Georgia

Maybe you’ve never thought about visiting, let alone setting up a business, in Augusta, Georgia. Fifteen minutes with Tom Patterson will change your mind. The Chief Trust Officer and VP of Global Security at Unisys, Patterson is working with a group of four other business leaders to transform downtown Augusta into a technology hub.

Dubbed the iZone, Patterson and his friends are converting two blocks of downtown Augusta into an incubator and a place where tech entrepreneurs will want to come to live, play and build new businesses.

“It’s a lovely little town,” says Patterson, who recently moved to Augusta from Northern California. “It’s a beautiful way to live.”

Patterson is focused on Augusta because the town is about to get an influx of cyber security experts. Not only has his company, Unisys, moved to Augusta, but the government is moving its cyber command center from suburban Washington D.C., to Ft. Gordon Air Force Base just outside of Augusta.

“I wanted to be a part of the change that is happening there,” Patterson told CALinnovates director Mike Montgomery during an interview for the A Step Ahead podcast. “Anywhere you go there’s a good chance you’re going to run into someone who is either directly in the cyber business or supports the business.”
Patterson believes that the new industry will create the perfect atmosphere to transform Augusta, a sleepy Georgian town best known for its eponymous golf tournament into a thriving tech community. If his plan works, he hopes other smaller cities will use it to build their own iZones.


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