Generally accepted wisdom has it that humankind's greatest achievements
have been the product of opposable thumbs. That ability to build
and maneuver tools, weapons, pencils, keyboards, cell phones and
wireless Web devices has also equipped our species to plan ahead
- to create the future of our dreams. Further proof of this truth
can be found in Savannah today, where the rudder that steers progress
toward a diversified, high wage regional economy bears the thumbprints
BETA is the Business, Education
and Technology Alliance of Coastal
Georgia and South Carolina. Founded in 1995 by business
leaders and visionaries certain that - anchored by Savannah's business,
education and technology infrastructure - the richly historic and
scenic region can enjoy the benefits of a thriving technology economy.
With certainty and opposable thumbs, this group set about the work
of achieving its vision for the future.
Today, approaching its tenth anniversary, BETA's
member roll has grown, its Board and Advisory Board are a who's
who of community leadership, its intensely active volunteer corps
spearhead local initiatives that support its mission, and its success
has earned the reputation for making things that matter happen.
BETA has played a key role in the development
of a Savannah-based Georgia Tech Regional Engineering Program (GTREP)
campus and the creation of an innovative ICAPP (Intellectual Capital
Partnership Program) that provide higher education opportunities
targeting engineering students with an interest in regional employment
BETA instigated and supports the Advanced Technology
Development Center technology incubator at Savannah.
BETA was pleased in 2001, when Savannah-founded
H.O. Systems (now VeriSign) was selected as the first non-metro
Atlanta Yamacraw Design Center Company. At the time, VeriSign vice-president
Hart Williford was the Coastal BETA's 2001 president, and now continues
to serve Coastal BETA through its Secondary School Initiative subcommittee.
BETA is a community-membership organization
for businesses, educators and technology groups that share the vision
of Savannah and the coastal region as a relevant technology center
offering a high wage growth economy to its citizens.