The Georgia capital bills itself as the leader of the "New South," a robust economic engine transforming the turf below the Mason-Dixon line into a happening region. Fulton County, Atlanta's home, is ethnically diverse, with solid universities (Georgia Tech, Emory); a great airport; and thriving companies, including CNN, MindSpring, WebMD and Security First Network Bank.
For an insider's perspective, we talked to Evelina Shmukler, former technology reporter for the Atlanta Business Chronicle and current Atlanta correspondent for dbusiness.com, an online business-news service.
Why it's hot: "Low cost of living, relatively cheap labor and a growing number of angel investors," says Shmukler. "The state-funded tech incubator, Advanced Technology Development Center, is helping a bunch of young companies."
What's not so hot: "Still not enough investors and not enough of a risk-taking attitude among them," Shmukler says. Plus, "traffic is terrible."
Hot networking spot: According to Shmukler, "Red Herring's [http://www.redherring.com] Venture Market South brings out the investors."
Power eats: Hit the Silver Skillet near Georgia Tech for breakfast--"it's a greasy spoon popular with techies," says Shmukler. Another hot eatery: The OK Cafe--"you'll see venture capitalists, lawyers, even the governor."