Grit and Growth: The 2018 Tennessee Tech Census

Chattanooga • Knoxville • Memphis • Nashville

The latest insights into Tennessee's startup growth, workforce, fundraising, companies to watch, and uniquely gritty tech culture.

Download the Tennessee Tech Census

About the Report

On August 7th, the Powderkeg national innovation network launched a data initiative called The Tennessee Tech Census. Over 200 tech founders, employees, investors and other tech leaders from Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville weighed in on the growing tech community they call home. The resulting data answers questions such as: 

  • How do Tennessee's startup growth rates stack up against national benchmarks?
  • What are the top three core values of Tennessee's tech communities, and how do they live them?
  • Why does Tennessee's growth and affordability set up some of the best venture opportunities in the country?

Tennessee Startups Are On an Impressive Growth Curve

Over 30% of Tennessee startups reported growth of more than 80% in 2017

Lee FarabaughCo-Founder, Startup Ninja

The environment here in Tennessee is very collaborative. Our customers are winning, our employees are winning, and therefore we’re winning. When you create that sort of environment, no one says “no” when you bring new ideas, because everyone wants to win.

Tennessee Founders Are Finding Capital

Charlie BrockFormer CEO, Launch Tennessee

We’ve worked hard at Launch Tennessee to help plug the gap with early stage capital. We’ve added significant tools to our kit, including the Angel Tax Credit, SBIR Matching Fund, and our own Impact Fund. 

65% of founders in Tennessee have raised capital, which is the greatest percentage among communities surveyed.

Tennessee's Startup Culture? Integrity, Innovation, Collaboration

Employees value their company's culture more than the leadership team, benefits or compensation

Louisa ShepherdDirector, Collective Impact at Epicenter Memphis

In Memphis, we’re intentional about cultivating entrepreneurs in a way that reflects the rich diversity of people who live in the region. We’re fortunate to see successes from both women founders and founders of color on the rise.

The Tennessee Tech Census is a collaboration of the following corporate and local partners