Plans to Significantly Expand Base of 40 Technology Startups and Small Companies
Official Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT) Incubator of Forward Forsyth
Charlotte, NC – February 10, 2021, Ballantyne Strong, Inc. (NYSE American: BTN) (the “Company”) today announced that it is more than doubling the size of its Digital Ignition technology incubator and co-working facility and expanding its services to grow the number of tech startups and small company members at its state-of-the-art space. Digital Ignition, one of the fastest growing technology incubators in the state of Georgia, has provided incubator and co-working services since 2019 and will now occupy over 10 acres and more than 43,000 sq. ft. in Ballantyne Strong’s Alpharetta, Georgia campus.
Digital Ignition (www.digitalignition.com) continues to attract member companies serving industries ranging from healthcare, education, and information technology to robotics automation, cybersecurity and transportation. Digital Ignition has partnered with Georgia Tech’s best-in-class incubator services and is also the official blockchain, AI and IoT incubator of Forward Forsyth, a business development collaboration. The expanded facility space became available with Ballantyne Strong’s recent successful turnaround and sale of Convergent Media Systems, and the subsequent relocation of those operations.
Mark Roberson, Chief Executive Officer of Ballantyne Strong, stated, “Innovation and entrepreneurship have been cornerstones of our success since inception. We launched Digital Ignition in 2019 and have seen it grow to be a successful tech incubator in the Atlanta region. Not only does it generate recurring revenue, but it is also providing us with a first look at many early-stage companies. Inside the walls of Digital Ignition as one example, our team of technologists conceived the technology, incubated the business and eventually sold Strong Digital Media to Firefly Systems, the mobile digital advertising network in which we now have a $13 million investment alongside prominent venture funds including Google Ventures and NFX. We look forward to supporting the greater Atlanta entrepreneurial community as we expand Digital Ignition to meet demand from member companies over the next six to 12 months.”
“We are excited for the opportunity to expand our co-working and business incubator launch pad,” commented Joanne Sanders, President of EWISE Communications and General Manager of Digital Ignition. “We will more than double the space available for member companies, and we plan to expand not only our footprint, but also our initiatives to host pitch presentations, connect members with potential funding groups, and collaborate with area companies to reach new levels of success.
About Digital Ignition
Digital Ignition, one of the fastest growing technology incubators in the state of Georgia, serves as a business launching pad for 40 rapidly growing companies in the region. Located in Alpharetta, Georgia (often referred to as the fintech capital of the world), Digital Ignition’s 43,000 sq. ft. facility offers flexible and oversized co-working spaces, unique access to Georgia Tech’s ATDC best-in-class incubator services, and community-focused accelerator services that match member companies with area businesses looking to innovate.
Digital Ignition also serves as the official incubator of Forward Forsyth (a partnership between the local chamber and the development authority dedicated to driving economic growth to the region). It also serves as a community partner to the American Red Cross and was home of Georgia Department of Transportation’s first hack-a-thon to support their innovative smart city and traffic light technology efforts.
Digital Ignition, known for its futuristic architecture, is located on the GA 400 technology corridor approximately 15 minutes north of Atlanta off of exit 12 (McFarland Road). For more information or to schedule a tour, please visit www.digitalignition.com.
About Ballantyne Strong, Inc.
Ballantyne Strong, Inc. (www.ballantynestrong.com) is a diversified holding company with operations and investments across a broad range of industries. The Company’s Strong Entertainment segment includes the largest premium screen supplier in the U.S. and also provides technical support services and other related products and services to the cinema exhibition industry, theme parks and other entertainment-related markets. Ballantyne Strong holds a $13 million preferred investment along with Google Ventures in privately held Firefly Systems, Inc., which is rolling out a digital mobile advertising network on rideshare and taxi fleets. Finally, the Company holds a 30% ownership position in GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. (TSX: GFP) which has recently completed an investment in a sawmill and related assets and a 21% ownership position in FG Financial Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: FGF) which is implementing business plans to operate as a diversified insurance, reinsurance and investment management holding company.
Except for the historical information in this press release, it includes forward-looking statements relating to the business of the Company that can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “will,” “may,” or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements involve a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those discussed in the “Risk Factors” section contained in Item 1A in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, Part II, Item 1A of the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2020 and the Company’s subsequent filings with the SEC, and the following risks and uncertainties: the negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has already had, and may continue to have, on the Company’s business and financial condition; the Company’s ability to maintain and expand its revenue streams to compensate for the lower demand for the Company’s digital cinema products and installation services; potential interruptions of supplier relationships or higher prices charged by suppliers; the Company’s ability to successfully compete and introduce enhancements and new features that achieve market acceptance and that keep pace with technological developments; the Company’s ability to successfully execute its capital allocation strategy or achieve the returns it expects from these investments; the Company’s ability to maintain its brand and reputation and retain or replace its significant customers; challenges associated with the Company’s long sales cycles; the impact of a challenging global economic environment or a downturn in the markets (such as the current economic disruption and market volatility generated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic); economic and political risks of selling products in foreign countries (including tariffs); risks of non-compliance with U.S. and foreign laws and regulations, potential sales tax collections and claims for uncollected amounts; cybersecurity risks and risks of damage and interruptions of information technology systems; the Company’s ability to retain key members of management and successfully integrate new executives; the Company’s ability to complete acquisitions, strategic investments, entry into new lines of business, divestitures, mergers or other transactions on acceptable terms; or at all; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the companies in which the Company holds investments; the Company’s ability to utilize or assert its intellectual property rights, the impact of natural disasters and other catastrophic events (such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic); the adequacy of insurance; the impact of having a controlling stockholder and vulnerability to fluctuation in the Company’s stock price. Given the risks and uncertainties, readers should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement and should recognize that the statements are predictions of future results which may not occur as anticipated. Many of the risks listed above have been, and may further be, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact on the cinema and entertainment industry, and the worsening economic environment. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements and from historical results, due to the risks and uncertainties described herein, as well as others not now anticipated. New risk factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for management to predict all such risk factors, nor can it assess the impact of all such factors on the Company’s business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Except where required by law, the Company assumes no obligation to update, withdraw or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or changes in factors or assumptions affecting such forward-looking statements.
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