East Tennessee has three start-ups participating in this year’s “The TENN.” We highlighted the thoughts of the two Knoxville-based companies about this week’s trip to California in a post yesterday. We follow-up today with the thoughts of Lucy Beard of Feetz who, ironically, relocated her company from San Diego to Chattanooga after last year’s “GIGTANK.”
Thus far, how would you characterize your experience as one of “The TENN” companies?
“The TENN” program has provided the perfect balance of support for a growing start-up and collaboration with a peer network to access on common questions and hurdles we all have. When I scratch my head and say, “I wonder . . .,” I can send an email to “The TENN” team of experts who often can point me to a person with a solution to match.
We also have some fun, too. I had a first time experience watching Ice Hockey last month. Very cool.
If you had to pick one or two highlights, what would it or they be?
I was trying to get a potential partner to respond and after four months, I asked “The TENN” team to help. I got a phone call within 24 hours. Amazing!
Another is the quality and diversity of the network that “The TENN” bring in as advisors and mentors. I’ve met people that worked not only in software but also retail, fast food, and consulting. The breadth of their experiences has really helped to shape strategy for Feetz.
As you prepare to travel to California this month to be in the Silicon Valley, what sorts of expectations do you have about the ways in which the trip will benefit your start-up?
A trip such as the visits to San Francisco and New York provide the opportunity to look outside of your current network and build new relationships. In the case on these two locations, there are 20+ events a day (and night) to be able to meet people to share your company with or find new partnerships. Many larger companies also have an office in these two locations so you can combine investment meetings and customer meetings into the same trip. Great efficiency!