Brain Power to Business Power

Mr. Sridhara Gutti has possessed entrepreneurial ambitions from a young age and was consistently focused on the goal of leveraging his full intellectual potential to work on building something impactful. He started his career in the geospatial field and furthered his education at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Mr. Gutti eventually started his own company, Essnova Solutions, Inc., in 2005, which held the original mission of providing innovative solutions for power companies and utilities.

Mr. Gutti knew he wanted to expand the scope of his business at Essnova past geospatial work, so as the company continued to grow, it further expanded and diversified itself. Today, Essnova provides a wide variety of technology and programmatic support services to the federal government including cloud migration, robotic process automation, human centered design, customer experience and GIS/environmental services. Mr. Gutti takes pride in his team, explaining that Essnova ignores limitations that normally hold companies back and highlighted how his team asks the tough questions in order to move forward and excel for clients.

Mr. Gutti originally came into contact with the Atlanta MBDA Business Center after attending a National Small Business Association Conference in Atlanta, and he began working with the Centers in 2019.

The Atlanta MBDA Centers’ programs and trainings have been a wonderful resource for Essnova. Our company has been fortunate to take part in industry-specific training programs that have helped our business thrive. When things like federal compliance requirements are updated, we know we can count on the support of the MBDA and their larger corporate sponsors to help us get up to speed. We have an ecosystem of resources at our fingertips, and Donna Ennis was a big part of making that happen for Essnova. Our company has the ability to continue learning thanks to the partnerships created by the MBDA. – Mr. Sridhara Gutti

Essnova greatly values its relationship with the Atlanta MBDA Centers, noting the resources provided by the group are invaluable to businesses and their teams. Mr. Gutti also commented on the PPP funding Essnova received through the CARES Act, stating that his company was able to continue to grow and pull in new business in 2020, even in the midst of a pandemic.

Recently, Essnova Solutions was ranked No. 20 on the Financial Times list of Fastest Growing Companies in the Americas. Due to Mr. Gutti and his team’s hard work and aligned vision, Essnova has enjoyed triple-digit growth. Essnova continues to add roles like proposal managers, business development, program managers and technology talent as the company continues to expand in federal contracting, education and commercial, state and local sectors. To further facilitate exponentially growing and expanding services into various federal agencies, Essnova is looking to establish relationships with strong mentors through the SBA Mentor-Protégé program. As far as physical growth goes, Essnova is currently looking to open satellite offices in Washington D.C., Huntsville, Atlanta and, possibly, Colorado.

To learn more about Essnova Solutions and Sridhara Gutti, make sure to visit LinkedIn @Sridhara Gutti and Twitter @SriGutti. Or you can visit to learn more about the company!

A Dream Driven to Reality

In 2012, David Walker Esq. was working as a successful business attorney in the Atlanta area, but one day, he decided to pinpoint for himself his ultimate life goal. After a period of personal evaluation and analysis, Mr. Walker came to the conclusion that his ultimate dream is to one day own an NFL Superbowl championship trophy. However, as someone who can no longer play or coach in the NFL, Mr. Walker decided to set his sights on owning his own NFL team. With an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Mr. Walker began to explore opportunities in various industries which he felt could help him scale himself and his capital to the point of one day purchasing an NFL team.

After reaching out to one of his clients that sells equipment to beverage companies, Mr. Walker found himself intrigued with the mechanics and principles of the bottled water industry. Soon with an offer to develop a brand and distribute 100,000 cases of water, Mr. Walker collaborated with a salesman who specialized in beverage sales. In 2014, StarWalker Industries opened its door and began manufacturing and selling a brand of purified and spring water known as Integrity. Then in 2017, StarWalker Industries released its second brand of bottled water, Positivity Alkaline Water. With a 9.5 PH alkaline level, this premium brand of bottled water is geared towards those trying to achieve higher alkaline diets.

While StarWalker Industries continues to grow their two brands of bottled water, they have also pursued creative endeavors to build their own manufacturing plants and help streamline the manufacturing process. Mr. Walker noted that his model behind StarWalker Industries centers on reducing the amount of shipping involved in the bottled water process by establishing small, local, and efficient manufacturing sites in the cities where their products are sold. Compared to the industry standard of large manufacturing sites producing products and distributing around the country, Mr. Walker’s model mirrors that of the craft beer industry focusing on local economies and work forces while reducing shipping cost and transportation emissions.

A supplementary focus of StarWalker Industries is their availability and dedication towards recycling. Whereas plastic water bottles could be recycled into a subsequent generation of water bottles after use, traditional recycling plants will instead manufacture the plastic bottles into either furniture or clothing. By opening their own local recycling facilities, StarWalker water bottles are received and recycled into their water bottle manufacturing process known as closed loop recycling. It was through this process of trying to secure funding for his manufacturing and recycling plant that Mr. Walker first came into contact with Jennifer Pasley and the Atlanta MBDA Centers.

Mr. Walker noted that Jennifer immediately began setting up meetings for Mr. Walker with fundraising specialist, marketing agencies, and realtors. Mr. Walker spoke that it was through this partnership that he was really able to develop a game plan for how he would secure the resources necessary to make his plants a reality.

“I think the Atlanta MBDA Centers is a fantastic organization for any sort of company, especially if they are getting into manufacturing. The resources are all sort of lining up. For me, I have nothing but wonderful things to say, and I look forward to working with them further in the future.” David Walker

By the end of March 2021 StarWalker Industries will be launching on an equity-based, crowd funding platform to build StarWalker’s first recycling and manufacturing plant in Atlanta. They are also currently in discussion with the Cities of Atlanta and Flint Michigan to further develop their manufacturing potential. To learn more about StarWalker Industries, please visit their website.

Mr. Walker is also one of the Atlanta MBDA Centers’ clients who was recently accepted into the Ernst and Young Accelerator Program. This online program assists entrepreneurs in launching their own products and learning more from industry professionals.

Georgia Tech Resources Available for You

Over the next several weeks, the Atlanta MBDA Centers will be highlighting individual resources and services provided by Georgia Tech for companies and industry leaders to further engage with the university. As a client of the Atlanta MBDA Business Center or Advanced Manufacturing Center, individuals not only have access to a developed network of industry professionals with top-notch expertise in accelerating business growth, but companies also take a step into the greater Georgia Tech community and the multitude of benefits that can only be accessed by partnering with a leading research and engineering institution.

The Atlanta MBDA Business Center and Advanced Manufacturing Center operate within Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2). EI2 is currently the largest university-based business outreach program, and it prides itself on offering its clients primary expertise in business and industry assistance, technology commercialization, and economic development. The Enterprise Innovation Institute’s vision to redefine the service role of the technological research university in the 21st Century economy parallels the greater mission of Georgia Tech which is to develop leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition. As clients of the Atlanta MBDA Centers, business leaders around the country have the opportunity to adopt a new role as partners in Georgia Tech’s overall mission.

Today, Georgia Tech bolsters a colorful array of rankings, which only validate the tremendous and innovative initiatives that occur on campus every day.

According to the US News Georgia Tech Ranks

  • #35 in National Universities (tie)
  • #4 in Most Innovative Schools
  • #8 in Top Public Schools (tie)
  • #4 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs
  • #5 in Computer Science (tie)
  • #3 in Co-ops/Internships
  • #19 in Senior Capstone (tie)

These rankings can only partially capture the ingenuity and drive that defines Georgia Tech faculty, students, and alumni. All those who have at one point or another cheered on the white and gold continue to pursue lasting legacies for years to come. Over the next few weeks, the Atlanta MBDA Centers will be highlighting different ways that our clients can engage further engage with the Georgia Tech community. Readers can expect to learn ways to recruit Georgia Tech Interns, Co-ops, and recent alumni as well as how to further engage in professional development and research opportunities through the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute.

Georgia Tech Career Center

The 2011 Georgia Tech Career Fair was held at the Campus Recreation Center (CRC).

The Georgia Tech Career Center is a multifaceted group that not only engages Georgia Tech students and alumni, but it also serves as a resource for employers looking to hire interns, co-ops, and recent graduates from Georgia Tech. By helping distribute internship and co-op opportunities via CareerBuzz (Georgia Tech’s online career portal), allowing companies to purchase student resumes, and hosting recruiters at a handful of career fairs throughout the year, the GT Career Center is an amazing resource for employers to engage with the current Georgia Tech community.



Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute

The Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI) is one of Georgia Tech’s

Advanced Manufacturing Facility on 14th St.

11 interdisciplinary research institutes (IRI’s), and an integral part of the broader Georgia Tech research enterprise. As an IRI, GTMI works with all of Georgia Tech’s colleges, other IRIs, including the Georgia Tech Research Institute, and affiliated programs like the Enterprise Innovation Institute and the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership in a cross-discipline way to fully harness GT’s strengths and resources.

To learn more about all the different opportunities to engage the Georgia Tech Career Center as well as the GTMI, make sure to check out the resource section of the Atlanta MBDA Centers’ newsletter as well as our blog.