Paul Judge Is A Finalist In The Atlanta Magazine Groundbreaker Awards

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Written by Dana Sanchez

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Paul Judge, considered a godfather of the Atlanta tech scene, has been named a finalist in the Atlanta Magazine Groundbreaker Awards, which shine a light on the people and projects whose innovation and new ideas make the city a better place to live.

An inventor, investor and entrepreneur, Judge’s motto is “build something from nothing.” That’s one of the first things you see when you visit his website.

A graduate of Morehouse College and Georgia Tech, Judge earned a doctorate in network security. He has been developing, leading, and launching new tech companies in Atlanta for close to 20 years, according to Atlanta Magazine.

Atlanta’s burgeoning Black tech community draws engineering talent from area universities and offers a strong support system for entrepreneurs. The city is home to Georgia Tech — one of the highest ranked public universities in the U.S. —  Georgia State University, Emory and the historically black colleges and universities Morehouse, Spelman and Clark.

Atlanta could soon be competing with Boston, Los Angeles, and New York as a top U.S. tech city behind Silicon Valley, Judge said in a Guardian interview. Thanks to (Atlanta’s) airport, “I can leave here at 10 a.m. and be at a lunch meeting in San Francisco,” he said.

Judge is the co-founder and partner of TechSquare Labs, an early-stage venture capital fund in Atlanta that has raised more than $300 million in VC. He founded Luma, home-network security and bandwidth management for increasingly connected families. The startup sold to Newell’s First Alert for more than $10 million this year. As an angel investor, Judge runs Judge Ventures and has invested in companies such as robotic bartender company Monsieur and Ionic Security.

Atlanta “is the place,” says Barry Givens, an entrepreneur and engineer who founded Monsieur. Givens is working on a company that will connect affluent African Americans with opportunities to invest in startups. “You have the money, the skill-set. If there was a Wakanda, this is it.”

Judge describes himself as a serial entrepreneur — starting one company, finishing it, and then doing the next. However, he told Atlanta Magazine he sees a lot of parallel entrepreneurship, working on multiple companies simultaneously.

Judge started out helping found CipherTrust, an email security company, in 2000. After that firm was acquired by Secure Computing in 2006, he co-founded Purewire, managing cloud-based web security. Barracuda Networks purchased Purewire in 2009, and Judge stayed on as chief research officer and VP. Simultaneously he helped start Pindrop Security, which protects phone networks and call centers. Recent projects include launching TechSquare Labs and co-founding Luma, which was acquired this year.

Other Groundbreaker Award finalists include the following individuals and tech companies:

  • Jeff Arnold, who founded WebMD because he thought health should have a homepage.
  • John Yates, who moved to Atlanta to practice law and realized that elements of the Silicon Valley ecosystem would benefit Atlanta and the Southeast as a whole.
  • Jeff Sprecher, CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, credited with demystifying financial assets trading.
  • David Cummings, founder of Atlanta Tech Village.
  • Mike Cote, president and CEO of Secureworks, an information security services company and Dell Technologies subsidiary.
  • Mailchimp marketing automation and email marketing.
  • Kabbage providing funding sources for small businesses.
  • Engage Ventures, a hybrid venture-capital fund and business accelerator.
  • Advanced Technology Development Center, a Georgia Tech launchpad that is one of Atlanta’s oldest.
  • Venture Atlanta, whose conference is the city’s version of ABC’s “Shark Tank”, where fledgling entrepreneurs pitch to investors. Mark Cuban delivered last year’s closing keynote address.
  • The Weather Channel, which used augmented reality technology to transition weather presentation from narration, archival footage, and basic graphics to computer-generated imagery and live content.
Paul Judge
Paul Judge, Ph.D. Inventor, Entrepreneur, Investor. Cofounder of @pindrop @techsquare. Photo: Twitter