Building and scaling a company takes determination. It takes a team with an indomitable spirit who won’t take “no” for an answer. The same is true for tech communities. To grow and thrive, a community and all its members must display perseverance and confidence in the face of obstacles and hardship. In a word, rising tech communities need grit.

The tech communities of Tennessee have grit in spades. In just the last decade, the cities of Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville have grown their tech sectors tremendously, attracting skilled entrepreneurs and talent from across the country with low business and living costs, plus excellent quality of life. The innovative startups and tight-knit communities here share a powerful culture of entrepreneurial pluck—mixed with a healthy dose of Southern hospitality—that has been a secret weapon on their combined journeys toward success.

The Powderkeg team recently traveled to Nashville in Middle Tennessee to unveil the 2018 Tennessee Tech Census Report, our fifth and final census report of the year. During a special reveal event at the co-working space Center 615, we dove into the findings with six influential members of the community. We came away with a better understanding of the unique culture that has supercharged Tennessee’s tech sector and where it will lead these communities in the future.

Download the 2018 Tennessee Tech Census Report


In this episode with some of Tennessee’s top tech entrepreneurs, investors and thought leaders, you’ll learn:

  • Meaningful ways heartland cities can invest in their tech communities.
  • How changing investment dynamics are benefitting rising tech hubs.
  • Why a good company culture is the best hiring asset for a startup.
  • What to look for and what to avoid in a corporate partnership.
  • Ideas and strategies for building a culture that goes beyond lip service.
  • Some of the most innovative startups in Tennessee to keep on your radar.

Please enjoy this conversation with some of Tennessee’s brightest entrepreneurs, investors, and tech thinkers!

If you like this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. You can also follow us on Soundcloud or Stitcher. We have an incredible lineup of interviews we’ll be releasing every Tuesday here on the Powderkeg Podcast.

Quotes from this episode of Igniting Startups:

Links and resources mentioned in this episode:

Companies and organizations:

Entrepreneurial organizations:

Venture capital firms:

Co-working spaces:



Igniting Startups episodes:



What stood out most to you in this episode of igniting startups?

For me, it’s the meaningful ways heartland cities can invest in their tech communities.

You? Leave a comment below.


To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:

Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes.
Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed).

If you have a chance, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and its ranking in iTunes incredibly! Thank you so much!