Kennesaw State University and the Cobb Chamber have named Metro Atlanta Chamber Vice President of Entrepreneurial Development Nancy Wright Whatley as the executive director of the Georgia Business Success Center, a new business incubator, accelerator and education project.
The Georgia Business Success Center, in partnership with Kennesaw State University, is an outgrowth of the Cobb Chamber’s Competitive EDGE program, which contributes to the county’s economic development strategy by encouraging entrepreneurship and aiding small businesses.
As executive director of the new center, Whatley’s primary responsibilities will be to support the economic growth of Cobb County, the metro region and the state of Georgia by supporting and promoting entrepreneurship and business growth. Whatley will focus on strategic planning, business development, entrepreneur identification, budget management, fundraising and facility oversight. She will report directly to Kennesaw State University President Daniel S. Papp.
“Nancy is a dynamic leader with extensive experience in business development and entrepreneurship,” said Papp. “Her background, combined with the resources of the Cobb Chamber and Kennesaw State, will help position the Georgia Business Success Center as a premier business accelerator, incubator and innovation center for the region.”
The Georgia Business Success Center in partnership with Kennesaw State University will support Georgia’s entrepreneur community by identifying, developing, and providing the resources startups and new businesses need to grow and succeed. The Center will focus on providing entrepreneurs space to innovate and access distinct programming, counseling services and collaborative opportunities.
“Through this partnership, we’re looking forward to bringing new innovations to Kennesaw State, the Cobb Chamber, Cobb’s Competitive EDGE, the county and the entire state,” said David Connell, president and CEO of the Cobb Chamber. “As a successful entrepreneur, Nancy is the perfect fit as executive director of the Georgia Business Success Center.”
In her role with the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Whatley was responsible for generating new business development opportunities for small businesses, creating programming to accelerate small business growth, and creating engagement within the metro area’s startup community. Her professional experience includes owning and operating VantagePoint Staffing Solutions, a certified Women’s Business Enterprise. Before she sold the company in 2010, she successfully negotiated and won contracts with Georgia Power, Southern Company, Turner Broadcasting, Chick-fil-A and Cox Communications.
An Atlanta native, Whatley earned a B.B.A. in management from the University of Georgia, where she serves on the executive committee of the Terry College of Business Alumni Relations Board. She was a member of the inaugural Board of Directors for Startup Atlanta, currently serves on the Atlanta Regional Commission, Innovation Committee, and is a member of Vistage International.
About Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering over 100 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 32,000 students from 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country.
About the Cobb Chamber
As one of the most influential business advocacy organizations in Georgia, the Cobb Chamber is dedicated to bringing the community and its leaders together to create jobs and strengthen the economy and quality of life so businesses and the community can achieve more. The Chamber achieves this by creating jobs and driving economic development; strengthening the community and the region; growing member businesses and nurturing leadership; and connecting businesses, government and the community.