Tag Archives: startup

Vendor Registry co-founder says California trip validates his startup

Guest blog by Chris Van Beke, co-founder of Vendor Registry.
Launch Tennessee’s master accelerator program, The TENN, took 10 startup companies –- including my company, Vendor Registry –- to Silicon Valley this week. We have spent the week networking with entrepreneurs, investors and media and working from some of San Francisco’s co-working spaces and accelerators.
It has been a great opportunity for me and other Vendor Registry co-founder, Brian Strong, to talk about our company to a new set of people. We’ve connected with many of the incredible startup folks in Knoxville and throughout Tennessee, but this trip has introduced us to California-based investors and entrepreneurs that we would have been hard-pressed to meet on our own.
This week’s learning events gave us the chance to see the headquarters of Google and Intuit, as well as Microsoft’s Silicon Valley office. We received valuable advice on a variety of topics, but these events also introduced us to more people than we could have ever imagined. We made great contacts through the events Launch Tennessee set up and by working on our own during our free time.
The startup culture in San Francisco is obviously different than Tennessee’s. We have had a great time experiencing the energy that can be found everywhere from co-working spaces and accelerators to coffee shops. We also learned a lot about Tennessee’s strengths in entrepreneurship. The feedback we have received this week definitely shines a light on our great state and the bright future ahead. I think we are all leaving San Francisco feeling validated by our conversations and confident that we can bring a flavor of that startup culture back to Tennessee.
Launch Tennessee is a public-private partnership focused on supporting the development of high-growth companies in the state of Tennessee with the ultimate goal of fostering job creation and economic growth.  Brock can be reached at charlie@launchtn.org or @cebrock on Twitter.

The Tenn’s California trip wraps up with learning event

Guest blog by Charlie Brock, CEO of Launch Tennessee.
We’re more than halfway through our California trip with The TENN, and so far, The TENN founders have networked with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, investors and media. They’ve also had a chance to check out some of San Francisco’s co-working spaces and the headquarters of Google.
Thursday The TENN founders had a chance to visit Microsoft and meet with their venture capital arm, Microsoft Ventures. They talked to several Microsoft domain experts, who gave The TENN more information about their various services for entrepreneurs.
Thursday night, we will attend a learning event at Intuit’s headquarters in Mountain View. Intuit has several big-name brands, including QuickBooks, TurboTax and Quicken. The expert for tonight’s learning event is author, educator and entrepreneur Nir Eyal. Nir writes for his personal blog, NirAndFar.com, and is also a contributor to Forbes, TechCrunch and Psychology Today, where he covers the intersection of psychology, technology and business. He has had two successful startups: Sunshine Business Development, which sold in 2007, and AdNectar, which sold in 2011.
During their free time, The TENN founders worked from NestGSV, an accelerator in Redwood City. This was especially exciting because one of the The TENN companies, Nashville-based Gun.io, is working from NestGSV this fall. It was a great opportunity for Gun.io Founder and CEO Teja Yenamandra to show off his digs to the other participants of The TENN.
We’ll be back with one more post about our last day in California before The TENN returns to Tennessee.
Launch Tennessee is a public-private partnership focused on supporting the development of high-growth companies in the state of Tennessee with the ultimate goal of fostering job creation and economic growth.  Brock can be reached at charlie@launchtn.org or @cebrock on Twitter.

Vendor Registry, Survature experience Silicon Valley

Charlie Brock, CEO of Launch Tennessee and Marci Harris, CEO of POPVOX

Charlie Brock, CEO of Launch Tennessee and Marci Harris, CEO of POPVOX

Rant$ and Rave$ welcomes a guest blog by Charlie Brock, CEO of Launch Tennessee
This week, Launch Tennessee is taking the principals of 10 of Tennessee’s most promising startups – also known as The TENN – to Silicon Valley to meet investors, entrepreneurs and tech media. Launch Tennessee created The TENN as a master accelerator program to help startup companies that graduated from one of Tennessee’s nine accelerator programs, but still need stage two support. Two local startups are participating in The TENN: Vendor Registry and Survature.
Vendor Registry (www.vendorregistry.com) makes local government contracting easier by standardizing and centralizing online vendor registration and bid notifications. Survature (www.survature.com) provides fresh, engaging and interactive surveys that result in more insightful reports into respondents’ behaviors.
In addition to meeting some key entrepreneurship players this week, The TENN will get the chance to experience Silicon Valley’s startup scene and bring some of that energy and knowledge back to Tennessee.
The TENN is working this week out of Bloodhound Headquarters – a co-working space in San Francisco. The space is open and creative with a tranquil outdoor courtyard, allowing The TENN companies to get a feel for the San Francisco startup culture.
Monday, we started with a Q&A with Launch Tennessee board member Marci Harris, CEO of POPVOX, a government communications startup. Marci gave the group some outstanding real-life startup advice and answered The TENN’s questions about investment opportunities, the Silicon Valley startup culture and the importance of thinking about how big your idea can be.
We headed to Hattery for lunch. Hattery is a startup incubator and education and events space in the SoMa district of San Francisco. It’s another one of San Francisco’s co-working spaces, and it was a great opportunity for The TENN companies to meet more Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and get another dose of the local startup environment.
We have a lot planned for The TENN this week, including formal meetings and free time for The TENN principals to do their own networking.
Launch Tennessee is a public-private partnership focused on supporting the development of high-growth companies in the state of Tennessee with the ultimate goal of fostering job creation and economic growth.
Brock can be reached at charlie@launchtn.org or @cebrock on Twitter.