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.
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!
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- Stream by clicking here.
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Quotes from this episode of Igniting Startups:
“A quality education is the key to long-term prosperity and economic growth, not just for individuals and families, but for the populace as a whole.” — Margaret Dolan on @PowderkegCo
“I think we’re going to see a big uptick combining both the institutional knowledge in Tennessee and the new population that’s moving in and getting settled. The next five years is going to be meaningful.” — @MoniqueVilla on @PowderkegCo
“If you understand the general scope of your job and our company and who our customers are, I want you to bring some independent thought into the process.” — @james_horey on @PowderkegCo
“To help drive Tennessee into the innovation economy as winners, we have to diversify what’s happening in Nashville beyond health technology, and I think there are plenty of great founders doing that.” — @agoldner on @PowderkegCo
“I’m a fan of culture expressed in very concrete ways. These aren’t values printed on a T-shirt or put on a wall. They’re things you can walk around and point to that are happening every single day.” — Clint Smith on @PowderkegCo
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
Companies and organizations:
- Rise of the Rest
- United Way
- Ingram Industries
- Saint Thomas Health
- Hashed Health
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Nashville Software School
- Girls Who Code
- Campaign Monitor
- SOMAVAC Medical
- Cirrus Insight
- Scripps Networks Interactive (acquired by Discovery, Inc.)
- Studio Science
Venture capital firms:
- University of Tennessee
- Vanderbilt University
- Belmont University
- Middle Tennessee State University
- IU Kelley School of Business
Igniting Startups episodes:
- Margaret Dolan (LinkedIn)
- Monique Villa (@MoniqueVilla)
- Bryan Mayes (@bryan_mayes)
- James Horey (@james_horey)
- Andrew Goldner (@agoldner)
- Clint Smith (LinkedIn)
- Christian Paro (LinkedIn)
- Charlie Brock (@cebrock)
- John Lanahan (@jlanahan)
- Steve Case (@SteveCase)
- Marc Benioff (@Benioff)
- Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
- John Bass (@JohnGBass)
- Julia Hartz (@juliahartz)
- Scott Jones (@chachaman)
- Jay Baer (@jaybaer)
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.
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