Second Annual National MBE Manufacturers Summit in Atlanta August 15th-16th

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Friday, August 4th, 2017

More than 250 minority business enterprise manufacturers from across the country will be in Atlanta August 15 and 16 for the second annual National MBE Manufacturers Summit 2017.

The Summit, which is hosted by the Atlanta Minority Business Development Agency’s Advanced Manufacturing Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Global Learning Center, brings together world-class leaders in manufacturing and is the premier event that brings industry peers together, facilitates networking and procurement opportunities, and highlights innovation.

BMW Group, Enhanced Capital, FORCAM, Grady Health System, Ingersoll Rand, Novant Health, Siemens, and WestRock are Summit sponsors.

Among the highlights for attendees of the 2017 Summit:

  • One-on-one fast pitch meetings with corporations and original equipment manufacturers.

  • Experiencing the most cutting-edge technologies through on-site “innovation pods.”

  • High-level exposure for companies participating in the second annual “Poster Walk Competition.”

Featured speakers include:

  • Opening Keynote: Theresa Carrington, CEO and founder of The Blessing Basket Project®.

  • Luncheon Keynote: WestRock CEO Steve Voorhees.

“We are building on the success of last year’s inaugural program, and a critical focus of this effort is innovation because it remains a key issue, according to our MBE manufacturers,” said Donna Ennis, Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center director. “Our Summit is designed to facilitate critical one-on-one meetings between our attendees and corporations, as well as provide the opportunity for our MBE attendees to network with one another.”

The Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center is a program of the Enterprise Innovation Institute, Georgia Tech’s chief economic development and business outreach arm. A sister program to the Atlanta MBDA Business Center, the Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center was created via a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce MBDA awarded to Georgia Tech in 2016.

One of four such centers across the country, Tech will receive $1.25 million over a five-year period to operate the Center, which is charged with providing targeted assistance to MBE manufacturers. The funding is designed to help identify, screen, promote, and refer MBEs to specialized advanced manufacturing programs, and provide technical and business development services and assist with access to capital, opportunities and markets.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners, the number of minority-owned manufacturers increased 30 percent between 2007 and 2012 to nearly 107,000. These firms generated $80 billion in annual revenue in 2012. More than 25,000 minority manufacturers employ almost 332,000 workers.

The Summit is an outgrowth of the Atlanta MBDA Business Center’s Connecting Advanced Manufacturing Program, which is now the Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center, Ennis said. “The vision behind CAMP and what led to us creating the Summit is to connect MBE manufacturers in the ecosystem to business opportunities, research, innovation, funding, and critical information they need to grow and thrive as businesses,” she said.

To register for the Summit and for more information, please visit