Six companies and individuals recognized for excellence in imagination, innovation and influence

(GWINNETT- METRO ATLANTA) December 10, 2014—Partnership Gwinnett and Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development held the 2014 Partnership Gwinnett Economic Outlook at Gwinnett Technical College’s Busbee Center. Presented by Jackson EMC, the event highlighted the initiative’s achievements over the past four quarters and was attended by more than 175 community and business leaders.

“Gwinnett County is proud to be closing out yet another successful year in economic development including more than 1,600 new jobs and $125 million in capital investment,” said Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash, who delivered opening remarks.“Our success is a testament to the community’s collaborative approach to economic development through the work of the Partnership Gwinnett team.”

The Outlook conference highlighted Gwinnett’s economic development ‘wins’ in 2014, including a total of 23 relocations and expansions. Almost one third of the expansions and relocations were international companies. Since the launch of Partnership Gwinnett in 2007, 53 of Gwinnett’s 179 business wins were international companies.

In addition to the Gwinnett’s global success story, it was clear at yesterday’s event that the startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem in this community are accelerating. Of the six award winners announced, four were recognized for their contributions to this ecosystem.

Community leaders Eric Van Otteren, Economic Development Manager for the City of Snellville and Dan King, chapter leader of the Gwinnett Angels, were both recognized for their facilitation of startup initiatives.

Van Otteren founded a young entrepreneur alliance that has resulted in a student shark tank and a special class of business licenses for student businesses.

Gwinnett resident and board member of Atlanta Technology Angels, Dan King, led the charge to create a Gwinnett Chapter of ATA. Since its launch, members have seen presentations from eleven companies have invested more than $200,000, with approximately half that figure directed to Gwinnett startups.

In the Innovation category, Jose Hevia, owner of Cheeky Mexican Taqueria in Suwanee, was recognized for the RFID-enabled beer wall concept he invented. DraftServ Technologies has garnered nationwide attention from the likes of Major League Baseball, Good Morning America and even late night talk show host, Jimmy Fallon.

Lawrenceville entrepreneur Sam Tesh was recognized for his innovation as the CEO and founder of Loudfund, a new model of financing artists where fans fund projects and artists share royalties and rewards with their investors. This innovative startup is similar to other crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, but caters specifically to musicians.

“The recognition of our efforts on behalf of Partnership Gwinnett are just another example of the momentum of the tech and start up ecosystem in this community,” said Tesh. “We launched Loudfund here because we knew that Gwinnett’s support of and engagement with entrepreneurs would help maximize the success of our company.”

Eagle Rock Studio Atlanta and Gwinnett County Public Schools rounded out the list of 2014 award winners.

The 2014 Partnership Gwinnett Economic Outlook sponsors and supporters include:

Presenting Sponsor: Jackson EMC
Keynote Sponsor: Wells Fargo
Platinum Sponsors: Gwinnett Village CID and City of Suwanee
Gold Sponsors: Comcast, Merial, Pond & Company, Primerica and Quantum Bank
Silver Sponsors: ADP, BB&T, CAB Incorporated, MetroPower and Precison Planning,
Corporate Sponsors: Atkins, Georgia Power and MDA
Community Partners: Greater Gwinnett Championship and Leadercast

To learn more about the efforts of the award-winning Partnership Gwinnett initiative, please visit

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