As we have moved into the new year, we at Four Athens have attempted to codify our mission statement and core values, that which defines what we are trying to do and how we are trying to do it.  The mission statement was relatively easy: “Discover startups. Build community. Connect creativity. Accelerate growth. Invest in success.”  Putting our core values into clear and concise terms was harder.  We have come up with five core values, which we will be discussing over the next year, but the key value, the basis of our organization which will guide not just Four Athens but our mentors, members and the community as a whole is “Give without Expectations.”

This has been a guiding principle from our first conversations about Four Athens two years ago.  We began building this community and connecting techies without any expectation of return or gain on our part.  We knew that if we did not give time, energy and shared knowledge to create a community out of these scattered technology professionals without a mercenary motive, it would not happen.

Creating a technology hub in Athens is a long term project.  We envision a twenty year journey from individual developers working in their dining rooms all over Athens to a true technology hub.  We envision a technology hub where old hands and new students can get the support and assistance they need to grow their ideas into scalable companies.  We envision a technology hub that will educate our children and citizens to work for these companies, earning a living, middle class wage.  We envision a technology hub which will provide sustainable economic prosperity for Athens and the entire region.

The only way this vision is going to become reality is if the community wraps itself around these startup companies and gives of itself to nurture them in the way a family nurtures their children.  Families do not ask what they will get out of nurturing their children to adulthood.  We as a community and individuals should not ask what we will get out of nurturing these startups into economically viable companies.  We realize that their health and growth equals health and growth of the greater community.  That is the heart of the matter and why we give without expectation.

Ginny Morris
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