Senior Project Manager
Don Betts is a Senior Project Manager with Georgia Tech’s Center for Economic Development Research (CEDR) and has broad experience in developing and delivering innovative economic and community development programs. He is a persuasive communicator who likes finding new solutions and can bring together teams to accomplish a community’s economic goals.
Recent efforts at Georgia Tech have involved leading the Georgia Centers of Innovation program which unites university and industry thought leaders and uses business incubation to grow six important industry sectors. Don also developed initiatives to identify, connect, and energize early-stage angel investors throughout the state. He served on the national Angel Capital Association’s Education Committee. Don developed Georgia’s Entrepreneur Friendly Community Program and also led a team of seasoned engineering entrepreneurs to help young manufacturing startups.
Don also works with Georgia communities on innovative healthcare strategies and he helps employers operate an employer led organization called EmployersLikeMe which is a peer-to-peer learning network to help employers provide better health care for employees. Don has experience with Georgia’s various health organizations and has also worked with the prestigious Institute for Healthcare Improvement on employer led population health initiatives. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle recently appointed Don to serve on the Rural Healthcare 180 Taskforce to help with tax credits for rural hospitals and to explore ways to make rural healthcare sustainable in Georgia.
Prior to joining Georgia Tech in 2001, Don served in numerous key leadership roles with community economic development agencies, private business, and the U.S. Navy. He has been a board member on numerous regional and statewide economic development organizations.
Don has obtained the International Economic Development Council’s certified economic developer designation and the certified incubator manager designation from the National Business Incubation Association, and is a certified Facilitator for CEO peer-to-peer Roundtables by the Edward Lowe Foundation. Don graduated from Emory University in Atlanta and is a 1992 graduate of Leadership Georgia. He has also served as a senior fellow with the Rural Policy Research Institute’s Center for Rural Entrepreneurship and has been an international speaker on entrepreneur development and business incubation.