T-Mobile and Georgia Tech partner to build a 5G incubator in the Atlanta metro

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The project focuses on startups in Peachtree Corners’ Curiosity Lab smart city technology park working on use cases like autonomous vehicles, robotics, and drones.

Image: T-Mobile

Pioneering Georgia smart city Peachtree Corners is getting another feather in its innovation cap: A new 5G-focused startup incubator sponsored by T-Mobile, the Georgia Tech Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), and Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners.

Located in Peachtree Corners’ smart city technology park, which houses 8,000 people over 500 acres of state-of-the-art connected tech, the 5G Connected Future incubator is described by T-Mobile as “designed to support the growth and development of entrepreneurs and startups as they work to build the next big thing in 5G.”

“Here developers will build and test new 5G use cases such as autonomous vehicles, robotics, industrial drone applications, mixed reality training and entertainment, remote medical care, personal health and fitness wearables and more,” T-Mobile said in a press release.

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Curiosity Lab is the formal name for the smart city region of Peachtree Corners, a city located in the Atlanta metro area. In addition to its sprawling size, the Curiosity Lab features a 1.5 mile, bi-directional autonomous vehicle testing track that intersects with human-driven roads in multiple areas. The Curiosity Lab has been partnered with T-Mobile (and its subsidiary, Sprint) for some time, with T-Mobile being in control of all the 5G data and hardware in the Curiosity Lab area.

Georgia Tech’s ATDC has been closely involved in the Curiosity Lab project as well, according to Curiosity Lab executive director Betsy Plattenburg, “[ATDC and T-Mobile] were instrumental in the launch of Curiosity Lab and our continued collaboration will create opportunities for the next generation of intelligent mobility and smart city entrepreneurs.”

The 5G Connected Future incubator isn’t a new concept for T-Mobile, which took over Sprint’s Kansas City-based accelerator program when the two companies merged in 2020. “Companies participating in the 5G Connected Future program will work directly with technology and business leaders at T-Mobile Accelerator, Georgia Tech and Curiosity Lab as they build, test and bring to market new products and services that unleash the potential of T-Mobile 5G,” T-Mobile said. 

SEE: 5 Internet of Things (IoT) innovations (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

ATDC’s contribution to the project will include startup curriculum, coaching, and access to Georgia Tech resources as well as programming, recruiting and startup evaluation, and staffing of the 5G Connected Future incubator. 

ATDC director John Avery said that 5G entrepreneurs and startups face a number of challenges on top of those faced by other startups, naming federal and state regulatory issues, network security, and integration testing. 

5G is likely to be revolutionary in the coming years, which means 5G innovators will need all the help they can get. The 5G Connected Future lab will give startups a chance to work with experts from T-Mobile and ATDC, who want to “create a unique collection to work with these companies, refine their ideas into scalable companies, and bring these solutions to market more quickly,” Avery said.

5G-centered startups and entrepreneurs who are interested in participating in the 5G Connected Future incubator can apply at ATDC’s website. 

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