Our Team

Ed Rieker - Primary Accelerator Instructor

 Ed is a a life-long entrepreneur, investor, inventor and community builder.  
His accomplishments include:  

  • Founder or co-founder of four healthcare software companies. Successful exits for three, two were acquired by public companies, one by investors and the fourth is still running
  • Two of the software companies were accepted into the Advanced Technology Development Center at Ga Tech (ATDC), one is an ATDC graduate.
  • Previously served as an ATDC Entrepreneur in Residence (4x) and an ATDC Executive in Residence (1x)
  • Venture Catalyst at ATDC between startups.
  • Purchased an online community in 2004, built the business up and sold it to a public company in 2011
  • Owned and operated a private coworking and technology incubator
  • Angel investor - various startups
  • Awarded patent #5,832,447 for an Automated System and Method for Providing Real-Time Verification of Health Insurance Eligibility (co-inventor) 
  • Owner and developer of Tudor Square, a community-oriented, quality, dinning, shopping and entertainment venue, supporting small independent business owners in downtown Avondale Estates, GA

His highlights of his extensive experience with evidence-based entrepreneurship include:  

  • Attended and completed the second cohort of the Lean Launchpad Educators Seminar in Berkeley taught by Steve Blank and Jerry Engel
  • Worked closely with Merrick Furst for three years at Georgia Tech on the Flashpoint accelerator program and Startup Engineering
  • One of the first certified instructors for the Startup Weekend Next program (Customer Discovery) 
  • Taught evidence-based entrepreneurship to MBA and BBA students at Emory University , Goizueta Business School

As a long-time member of the Atlanta startup community he has had the pleasure of serving the community in many different capacities. He regularly participates as a Mentor/coach/teacher in several programs offered by local incubators, accelerators and university business school programs. He is also an angel investor in local technology startups. 

Robert Kazanjian

Robert K. Kazanjian is currently Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Organization and Management. 


From 2010-2017, he served as Vice Dean for Programs, and for part of 2014, he acted as interim Dean. He was also Senior Associate Dean for Executive Education with responsibility for all non-degree programs at Goizueta from 2002-2004. Prior to his appointment at Emory, Rob was a faculty member at the Graduate School of Business, University of Michigan. More recently, he was a Visiting Professor at the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Rob received his Ph.D. in Organization and Strategy as well as an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has an AB in economics (with honors) from Hamilton College.


Rob has authored a number of articles in such journals as Management Science, Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Organization Studies and Journal of Business Venturing. He is the co-author or co-editor of two books: Strategy Implementation: Structure, Systems and Process with Jay R. Galbraith (West Publishing); and The Search for Organic Growth with Ed Hess (Cambridge University Press). Since 1999, he has received 15 Teaching Excellence awards from full-time, part-time and executive MBA students at Goizueta.


Rob has consulted and done executive education work in the areas of strategy, strategic change, organization design and innovation with firms such as SunTrust, General Electric, General Motors, The Home Depot, Boston Scientific Corporation, Goldman Sachs, Honeywell, Singapore Airlines, IBM, Acer, Westinghouse, Abbott Labs, Exxon, Lockheed Martin, Tyco, and Siemens North America. He has regularly taught in senior executive programs across the US, as well as in Asia.


Professor of Organization & Management; Senior Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives

Kurt Ronn

Advisor/Mentor


Kurt Ronn is democratizing innovation-for-all instead of just for monied tech elites. 

His focus is on helping a million women entrepreneurs, working-class individuals, and the underserved live better lives through innovation.

Kurt Ronn founded HRworks as a national recruitment firm in 1998, developed the company's proprietary process and revolutionized large-scale recruiting and executive search.


Prior to founding HRworks, Ronn has held many interesting roles including designing dress and women’s lingerie for Macy’s. He was a principle with one of the East Coast's largest website development companies and is an avid cyclist, reluctant triathlete, enthusiastic, but untalented racecar driver and a pretty good metal sculptor.

Ronn is on the boards of local and national industry, arts, corporations and charitable organizations.


Ronn founded AGD Ventures with a focus on startup for social good. Every day is Another Good Day for good, for profit. www.AGDventures.com


Ronn was instrumental in developing a more reliable innovation process as a Flashpoint @ Georgia Tech innovation Fellow and Partner. He left Flashpoint because he realized that innovation isn’t just for tech elites, it’s for all.