Alumni, students, and friends of Emory made their way to the largest brick building in the Southeast to learn more about the revitalization of two Atlanta landmarks in an event hosted by the Emory Entrepreneur Network May 25. A panel comprised of representatives from companies in Ponce City Market and the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership met to share how their businesses have benefitted from being on the BeltLine. Tina Arbes, Chief Financial Officer of Public Broadcasting Atlanta (PBA), served as the moderator.
With space offerings ranging between 180 and 1,000 square feet, Ponce City Market (PCM) offers a variety of potential hubs that can engage teams creatively. Eric Muntz, Vice President of Product at MailChimp, credits the layout of his company’s office at PCM for the increase in collaboration amongst his staff.
“Having everything on one floor makes it so much easier for different teams to interact and communicate in ways that they might not be able to in more traditional office spaces,” Muntz said.
King of Pops co-founder Nick Carse discovered similar benefits of PCM, though in a much smaller space.
“It’s taught us to be efficient,” Carse said, “and being next to so many other businesses creates potential for different types of connections as well as a boosts in credibility for our company. Having a consistent flow of customers gives us the flexibility to try out new products before we send them out into the world on our carts.”
He also enjoys how the Atlanta BeltLine connects his business to various parts of the city.
Successful entrepreneurship requires creative thinking on how businesses work with one another.
“We share everything,” Linton Hopkins 92C said of the many restaurant owners who call Ponce City Market home. It is not uncommon for two restaurant owners to run into each other in the halls and compare ideas for collaborations on products. Hopkins says it can be hard to work together because everyone is so busy, but many of the tenants at PCM understand how important it is they work with each other to ensure collective enrichment.
All of the panelists see the BeltLine as an integral part of PCM’s success, and they agree PCM and the BeltLine work off of each other’s best attributes. Rob Brawner 06MBA, Deputy Executive Director of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, believes the BeltLine’s continued success will require active engagement from the Atlanta community.
“Some neighborhoods around the BeltLine don’t necessarily appeal to developers for various reasons, and it’s going to take people who are willing to take risks. That’s what this is all about,” Brawner said.
Carse echoed the sentiment, saying he sees a great amount of potential in helping underserved areas around the BeltLine and throughout Atlanta as businesses continue to grow and succeed in various neighborhoods. Simultaneously, part of keeping the excitement about the BeltLine and PCM involves special care and effort on the part of the community, as well as programming tailored to the needs and desires of the Atlanta community.