Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
February 11, 2021 | Tom Ballard

Entrepreneurs share impact of COVID-19, optimism for 2021 at yesterday’s “Founders Meetup”

FoundersForge held its first “Founders Meetup” of 2021 yesterday with both in-person and virtual options. More people took the first option for the event held at the Johnson City office of ActionVFX and delivered via Zoom to remote attendees like yours truly.

Rodolphe Pierre-Louis (pictured here in a screenshot from yesterday), Founder of ActionVFX, kicked-off the roundtable discussion that included Northeast Tennessee entrepreneurs sharing how COVID-19 had impacted their business during 2020. \

  • One that was not impacted negatively was Spark Plaza, the co-working space operated by Shannon and Jose Castillo. He said that they had pretty much maintained full occupancy and were exploring expansion, both in Johnson City and beyond.
  • David Nelson, Director of FoundersForge, discussed how one of his businesses – Brew Fund – was adversely impacted by the pandemic because of the venues that used its services, while his software consulting business saw an increase in demand as companies sought new tools like websites that helped them be more competitive with the new ways of living and working.
  • In the case of Edwin Williams of Zenhammer, described as the “pocket office for contractors,” late 2020 saw release of the company’s app in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Regardless of how negatively impactful the past year was, all participants who commented shared optimism for 2021.

During the event, Nelson also reminded attendees that applications close March 1 for the “Startup Bootcamp” that was announced earlier this week. More details are available here.

Like what you've read?

Forward to a friend!

Don’t Miss Out on the Southeast’s Latest Entrepreneurial, Business, & Tech News!

Sign-up to get the Teknovation Newsletter in your inbox each morning!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

No, thanks!