When A. Anthony Gee was a kid in Springfield, Massachusetts, he watched his mother ascend from hairstylist to owning her own salon. There, he would greet clients, clean up and answer phones to help out. More than that, though, he acquired a passion for business and an entrepreneur’s spirit.
He traveled a dynamic path—the University of Massachusetts, IBM, AT&T, a cutting edge think tank, business school at New York University, executive positions on Wall Street and finally Carthage Venture Fund, the venture capital fund he launched in 1999 that was one of the nation’s first Black-owned of its kind.
All of that led to his exciting recently launch Atlanta enterprise: Koncept House, which he describes as a “micro-studio, micro-warehouse, micro-manufacturing, micro-showroom space for the creative and maker entrepreneurs that need a lot more than a desk and a chair.”
His open-air space—a converted warehouse that features hardwood floors, exposed brick walls and loads of natural light—affords businesses a range of opportunities, including a place to produce, package and ship products. It also serves as a showroom for ecommerce businesses.
And it is off to a roaring start, the 55-year-old Gee said, with more than 30 businesses utilizing the artsy venue. After the Covid-19 shelter-in-place mandates were lifted, “We started to get companies that needed a place where they could make it their own,” he said. “The raw, converted warehouse vibe became their blank canvass. They could bring in everything from liquid filling machines to a coffee roasting machine. They could set and shoot their video content. They appreciated everything about it (including) the noise and the energy of the city.”
So far, primarily Black women entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the space. Their businesses range from fashion to beauty to logistics to wellness. “It’s perhaps one of the largest concentrations of Black female entrepreneurs in the country,” Gee said. “We are looking to expand in Atlanta as well as throughout the country. Our goal is to expand to 10 cities over the next 3-5 years and work with over 100 companies in each market. I want Koncept House to be a global brand.”
Gee said launching his concept in Atlanta was an easy choice. “Atlanta is the center of the Black world right now. Atlanta is shaping the global culture with music, film and television. The broader Atlanta economy is strong and diverse with large multinational corporations such Porsche to Home Depot to a growing set of start-up companies,” he said. “Black entrepreneurs and leveling the playing field.”