Last fall, Atlanta Tech Village launched Start It Up Georgia with the mission to provide free training, support, and guidance to all Georgians who wanted to become entrepreneurs.


Here are a few stats on the program:

  • 709 people were accepted into the 13 week program.
  • 56% were not in full-time work at the start of the program (either students, unemployed, retired, or part-time).
  • 90% came from Georgia, but they also had participants from California, Arizona, Florida, New York, Maryland, North Carolina, Michigan, Washington, and more.
  • 12 teachers volunteered their time and expertise to teach 12 Lesson Labs.
  • 42 Mentors volunteered to meet with 350+ participants each week to support the founders as they built.
  • 139 new companies were launched!
  • 94% said the program was very helpful in launching their company.
  • 103 people applied for grant funding.
  • 7 startups were granted a cumulative $14,500.


“Start It Up Georgia (SIUG) provided us with the opportunity to connect with other entrepreneurs and business mentors in Georgia at a time when in-person networking was impossible due to COVID-19. Without SIUG we would have felt very isolated. Thanks to SIUG we were able to build a solid network, incorporate our business, and begin the customer discovery phase. Not only did SIUG provide information on the nuts and bolts on how to start a business, but also provided insights into the human side of running a company thanks to the weekly meetings with business mentors.” – Kevin DeMarco and Sergio Garcia, RIF Robotics Co-Founders


Learn more about RIF Robotics and the other grant funding winners below:



Blue Honey Homestead

Blue Honey Homestead crafts artisan products for the home – specializing in breads, soap and “garden-to-table” goods. We consider customers friends. We aim to enrich the lives of our friends, creating connections through baking, soap making and gardening. Get some of Andrea’s amazing bread today by visiting her website!



Concept Factory Atlanta 

Concept Factory Atlanta will be a smart collaborative hub and coworking space and will serve as a pipeline for visual storytellers to reach production studios and beyond while building community, relationships, and professional connections. Learn more about the great things to come from Concept Factory Atlanta today!




Clove’s Customer Hub: Clove gives your customers a central place to access everything post-sale. Increase adoption and renewals by connecting your product with your post-sale platforms. All in one place, beautifully packaged. Check out their website to learn more! 



BLK JOY Coffee & Tea Counter

BLK JOY coffee & tea counter brings BLK coffee & BLK culture back together! They are a mobile counter serving specialty coffee sourced from Black & indigenous farmers steeped in the Black experience. Go see them in South Fulton for a delicious cup of BLK JOY & check out their Instagram today!




READI re-skills low literate adults. READI assesses the team, creates and delivers workforce readiness trainings that address the workers literacy gaps and improves their employability. Elissa & READI are all about paying it forward and helping others. Learn more about the amazing work they are doing today by checking out their website! 



RIF Robotics Corp

RIF Robotics Corp is developing an autonomous mobile robot to help hospital managers reduce costs, errors, and infection rates with a robot that can assemble customized surgical case carts in a collaborative environment for robots and healthcare workers. Learn more about how they are serving the healthcare community here. 



The Rural Urban Connection

The Rural Urban Connection is using eco-friendly (regenerative) agricultural practices to raise grass-fed beef in Georgia and deliver that beef to Metro-Atlanta consumers. You can find the Rural Urban Connection on Facebook!


Congrats to these founders and all the other graduates! And stay tuned for additional feature stories on SIUG winners over the coming weeks.

Founders: Majesty & Elize Gayle

Venture Name: Evo Haven

Impact Focus Area(s): Sustainable Housing; Opportunity Zone Fund

Business Stage: Startup

Year Venture Established: 2020

Business Type: LLC


Evo Group Holdings (EGH) aims to end the global housing crisis and increase the supply of entry-level homes by mass-producing environmentally friendly real estate. In their first year in operations, Majesty and Elize Gayle, EGH’s founders, have generated $1.5 million in revenue, helping them prove entrepreneurs can do well while working efficiently for the good of the community.

Evo Haven is one of their container home developments for working Americans, providing solutions to address housing insecurity. Evo Haven homes are made of shipping containers, recyclable materials and utilize renewable energy sources. There are a variety of floor plans, with a sleek design, energy-efficient HVAC systems, and are equipped with solar and geothermal energy sources. The green community reduces air pollution by reducing carbon emissions and is a solution for modern, sustainable infrastructure and an equitable clean energy future.

Close to 8 million low-income renter households in the US suffer from the burdens of increasing housing costs. These households are spending more than half of their incomes on rent and utilities. While the US has a long history of redlining, segregation, and racist housing policies, this has resulted in Black Americans being more likely to be extremely low-income renters than White Americans.

As of 2020, housing affordability is primarily driven by the gap between household income and the rising home value. For every 100 severely low-income renter households, there are only 36 affordable homes that exist and are available immediately. An overview of real estate trends in Atlanta by property investment site Roofstock shows that the median monthly rent is $1,800, the median home price is $405,000, and the average income is $34,000 per year. The federal government defines housing as affordable when it costs no more than 30 percent of a household’s income. At the average salary of an Atlanta citizen, most can only afford roughly $850 max monthly rent.

Evo Haven’s container home solution provides an affordable, “tiny home” option for budding homeowners. These units are 320 square feet and can be financed for $800 per month. They are an economical pathway to land ownership by appealing to potential residents making as little as $15/hour. This product will be available nationwide as Evo Group Holdings works with local jurisdictions on zoning and land use.

The company also offers an immediate retail-level product that is the synthesis of style, efficiency, and social responsibility. The residential properties are 1,200+ square feet and some units offer features like LEED Certified appliances, large sliding doors, and rooftop patios encased in tempered glass railings. The first Evo Haven community will be developed in South Fulton, Georgia. The units will be available for pre-sale starting March 2021.

“The primary focus of our developments are in Opportunity Zones,” says Majesty. “The goal is to be profitable, energy-efficient, and solve a global crisis; we have a new and exciting way to advance the real estate industry like no other company.” EGH and its products are actively aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

With local support, the company will seek financial and social returns on an array of residential and multifamily developments that are built with exceptional speed, quality, and visual appeal not currently found in the marketplace.



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