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Member Profile: David Cole

David Cole headshotI joined Conexx when I decided to visit Israel in November 2016. I had heard Israel was the center of innovation and business development and I thought it made sense, if I was going to travel with Conexx, that I should be part of their program. Through Conexx I was able to travel to Israel on their Technology Expedition. Over a 6 day period Conexx provided access to every accelerator, innovation lab, and R&D program in all of Israel’s major cities. I could have never arranged this business trip on my own. The experience was a life changing event for me and Conexx is now my gateway to Israel’s technology community.

I expected the trip to be part business development and part vacation/sightseeing. The “expedition” was 12 hour days of meeting CEOs, CIO’s, PhD’s, and innovation leaders. Our group had non-stop introductions where we were greeted, welcomed, and embraced. I knew then that Conexx meant business. Conexx also meant opportunity, international exposure, and limitless talent. I learned that traveling with Conexx is not a vacation – it is non-stop business development. It is the absolute best business trip I have ever taken.

Today, I continue to attend as many of the events as possible. Every event has been incredible, well attended and well organized. In addition every event I attend features “C” level speakers. There were so many incredible events and all of them were pertinent to my business. I now arrange my business and personal calendar around Conexx events and gatherings.

I lead the technology practice for the commercial real estate firm, NAI Brannen Goddard. I began the technology practice 10 years ago, providing construction program management for the first LEED Gold Data Center in the Southeast. I have since grown the practice to include film studio, and innovation/R&D facility construction program management and brokerage. Most recently I represented the group that was selected to develop the Georgia Tech High Performance Computer Center for the Portman Coda Project. I am also representing Tyler Perry Studios in the sale of their Greenbrier Studio complex.

My overall practice has worked with “High Tech” manufacturing, telecom, FinTech, and sports innovation labs for site selection, and development.I am a Georgia Tech graduate class of 1983 and I founded the GT Commercial Real Estate Alumni group within the GT Alumni Association. I was a scholarship athlete on the GT basketball team playing for Coach Bobby Cremins and I am active in the GT Athletic Association serving both the new Athletic Director and the Basketball program.

Through Conexx, I have discovered the brilliance and entrepreneurial culture of Israel. I have also discovered this brilliance wants to have a presence and a relationship with Atlanta. Coca Cola and Turner Broadcasting already have a joint innovation center in Israel – I would have never known this unless I traveled there with Conexx. I have also found an incredible community of Israeli born businesses currently practicing in Georgia because of Conexx’s work. Most importantly I have this sense of confidence that I can travel to Israel and bring their business, talent, and brilliance back to Atlanta. Personally I am looking forward to bringing my family to Israel. There is no way to describe the experience other than extraordinary.

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