(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a two-part series on Andrew May, a West Coast transplant who is growing a well-respected mobile software development business while also giving back to his adopted hometown.)
By Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.
“Knoxville has given me a chance to grow my company,” Andrew May of ADM Software Consulting says. “It’s time that I turn around and help others grow.”
For May, it is a true calling, one based in part on the fact that many individuals have helped him since he relocated to the region in 2006.
“The knowledge I’ve gained needs to be given back to the community,” he explains.
May is a mentor for the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center. He’ll be helping with the upcoming “MediaWorks” accelerator and was very active in this year’s “What’s the Big Idea” 48-hour launch. In fact, May helped develop the app for “Sing and Spell,” the winner of the January competition.
“There’s a real need in the community to connect developers and entrepreneurs,” he says emphatically. “There’s so much talent here.”
Those beliefs are helping drive planning for another of May’s “volunteer” activities – the annual CodeStock technology conference. This year’s event is set for July 10 and 11 with its hashtag – #GoBig – connoting exactly what May and the planning team – Co-Chair Don Den Uyl and Board members Arlene Gray, Adam Byram and Ben Farmer – are striving to achieve.
May says that CodeStock will clearly build on the foundation laid by Michael Neel, its Founder, but a variety of developments – from the demise of Chattanooga’s devLink Technical Conference to capacity challenges at the previous location – are driving some changes.
There’s a new and larger venue – the Knoxville Convention Center. It will increase the capacity from 500 to 800 attendees, allow for more sessions and a wider range of speakers, and make the logistics much better.
“We’ll have a real lunchtime for the attendees to network,” May said. In the past, sessions had to be staggered to feed the participants.
One of the changes May thinks will produce big dividends is the addition of entrepreneurship-focused sessions.
“We’ll have entrepreneurial talks that cross into development,” he says, noting that “many developers are entrepreneurs,” just like him. “We hope to pull entrepreneurs interested in networking into the event.”