New hire is part of ATDC’s outreach to Georgia startups in FinTech initiative.
Michelangelo Ho is the financial technology expert who is joining the Advanced Technology Development Center to lead its FinTech accelerator initiative. Ho will work with FinTech startups in Georgia and help guide their growth and development.
The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) has named Michelangelo Ho its financial technology catalyst, and he will lead the agency’s effort to focus on Georgia-based startups in that sector.
Ho is expected to start on April 20, and the announcement of his hiring is the first significant step in ATDC’s financial technology accelerator initiative.
In March 2015, Worldpay, a global payments technology and services company, gave $1 million to the Georgia Institute of Technology to create a financial technology accelerator at ATDC. The gift, which will fully fund the accelerator for the next three years, called for the hiring of a FinTech expert to mentor startups.
ATDC, a program of Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, is a statewide technology startup incubator and is charged with helping entrepreneurs build and launch successful companies. It is one of the oldest university-based incubators in the country.
“The FinTech startups in Georgia are really underserved, so this is a great opportunity for us at ATDC and it’s a unique challenge for me,” Ho said.
The focus on financial technology is strategically important to Georgia because the state is a leader in the space. Indeed, the American Transaction Processors Coalition says more than 70 percent of all U.S. payments are processed in Georgia and more than 60 percent of the industry’s companies call metro Atlanta home.
That’s led to the creation of a sizable number of FinTech startups in Georgia and increased interest from entrepreneurs who want to launch their own companies in the sector, Ho said.
“From my perspective, it’s a great opportunity and that opportunity is huge because of the volume of startups out there that ATDC has a chance to help and accelerate.”
Ho, who has deep experience in FinTech, has been involved with a number of innovative companies and projects in the sector, including Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX)/CurrentC, Google Wallet, and Isis/SoftCard.
An entrepreneur himself who founded two companies, GoSpring and Veritas Product Group, Ho led innovation and strategy efforts at First Data Corp. and as a consultant for AT&T, among others. As a mentor at ATDC for the past three years, he has advised a number of entrepreneurs and startups.
A Tech graduate, he holds a Master of Management Executive MBA from the Institute, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Mercer University.
By Péralte C. Paul