Sep 28

Why I Came Home to The Farm


The Farm

It’s been said you can never go home again, but here I am, home again in Atlanta where I grew up. Even better, I’ve been given the opportunity to help build a new home for entrepreneurs from the ground up.

When I accepted the position of Managing Director of The Farm, I was excited to join a team with NBCUniversal and Boomtown to help create the future of Atlanta business. While startups of all sizes and kinds are one of the largest engines creating jobs in our economy, I also know how it feels when you’re the underdog. At The Farm, our “entrepreneur first” attitude ensures our teams will not feel like underdogs, but know they have a strong team behind them, have unparalleled access to the right mentors to move them forward and always have unfettered access to the support they need to build a strong organization.

I realize most of you reading this don’t know me yet — but I can’t wait to meet you! A little about me: I earned a chemical engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Harvard and have remained active in both of my alma maters. After college, I held management positions with Rohm & Haas Company (a Fortune 500 organization acquired by Dow Chemical Company in 2009), as well as Bain & Company, Temple, Barker & Sloane and Proctor & Gamble. I’m also passionate about giving back and have served on the Wissahickon (Pa.) School District Board of Directors, Montgomery County Intermediate Unit Board of Directors, the President’s Council of Gwynedd Mercy College and as chair of the Black Alumni Association for the MIT Alumni Association. I’m looking forward to finding some good fits for my skills and passions here in Atlanta, and hope you’ll reach out if you’re looking for someone like me to help your organization.

I have four primary goals:

  • The Farm will be a place of learning, collaboration and empowerment in the tech/startup ecosystem, both in Atlanta and globally.
  • The Farm will represent, through its staff and selected teams, the world in which we live, including the wide diversity of thought, experience, culture and demographics. Everyone and anyone is always welcome at The Farm.
  • The Farm will be the place for entrepreneurs and to always make them the heart, hero and focus of every decision we make.
  • The Farm will promote, communicate and expand the commitment Comcast NBCUniversal has made to continue as an innovation leader.

 

So how do we get there?

Much like the entrepreneurs we’ll nurture here, I’m running a startup too. And much like our selected startup teams, I have an amazing team behind me and beside me, and if I need resources, all I need to do is ask. We’ll provide that same level of support to the entrepreneur community, whether the team is part of a cohort, borrowing some lab or office space or attending an community event. Through these programs, we’ll provide tailored curriculum, constantly evolving and adjusted to teach founders how to be successful even as the marketplace continues to move at light speed. We’ll provide the opportunity to leverage the Comcast NBCUniversal relationship and provide access to world-class technology, world-class talent and world-class resources.

I have been honored with the stewardship of an amazing opportunity, but as with any great endeavor, it takes more than one person to make it happen. We have been and will continue to assemble the most skilled team who are focused on proving the best possible experience entrepreneurs.

If you’d like to join us at The Farm, I invite you to visit our website at www.thefarmatl.com. Applications for our first cohort, planned for Q1 2018, will open soon, and we’ll begin hosting events and offering co-working space as soon as our brand new space at The Battery is complete later this year.

I think I’ve found my home here at The Farm, and I hope you will too. If I can be of any assistance, answer any questions or help you in any way, please contact me directly at burunda@thefarmatl.com. I look forward to meeting you very soon.

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