Survey results confirm your priorities and our coverage

teknovation-teknoBy Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.

We recently asked you to give us your candid feedback on how well we were doing with the content for as we approach our 30-month anniversary. We sincerely thank you for your support, readership, and valuable feedback as we seek to improve our service to meet your needs and interests.

To make your input as meaningful to us as possible, we used local start-up Survature to conduct the survey. The company has been the subject of a number of articles on this site and most recently placed third in Launch Tennessee’s “The TENN” finale. One of the features that we particularly like about Survature’s approach is the ability to analyze survey takers’ responses and learn what matters the most to them. In other words, Survature can predict priorities among opinions.

It was also rewarding that a number of you who took the survey told us in separate conversations that you were pleasantly surprised by the survey’s fresh look, feel and ease of use.

So, since you were so kind to complete the survey, we want to share with you the more insightful results we gained from your input, particularly the top priorities for our community and the core segments in the community according to the different things that matter the most to each segment.

If you recall the survey, you will remember that our first question asked you to rate the coverage by in several categories.

“The results are one of the best set of results we’ve seen for any business or organization,” Survature Co-Founder Jian Huang said. He was commenting on the alignment between what you – our readers – view as your top priorities for articles and what we actually publish on a regular basis.

So, you might be asking, “What are the most important stories to our readers?” They are articles that focus on local and regional start-ups and local and regional successful entrepreneurs. With that, the survey has confirmed what we thought was most important to our readers when we launched in January 2012.

“The community appreciates what you do a lot.” Huang said. “Your readers are truly interested in local stories about entrepreneurs and about their passions, their hopes, and their lessons along the way.”

Additionally, we confirmed something that we had always believed, but never had the data to support the hypothesis. That is, although’s readers as a whole care the most about local and regional entrepreneurs, there is a core group whose priorities are to stay up-to-date with news about the University of Tennessee (UT), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), technology trends, and government issues.

We also asked your opinion on a set of policy issues that could be considered critical for the future of our local community. Not surprisingly, two-thirds of you said that support for local entrepreneurs was the top issue, followed closely by a broader investor pool. For those of you that place a high priority on learning more about the latest research at UT and ORNL, you suggested that supporting specialized industries is a top issue.

Regardless of your primary readership interests, we learned that the majority of you who completed the survey are located in East Tennessee, again not surprising given our intentional geographic focus. We also learned that you read an average of three times a week and that three-fourths of you are long-time readers, having subscribed in 2012.

These findings have provided much needed data, information and insights about our readership. Our mission at is to reach the right balance among distinct priorities and to do so in a targeted way that makes best use of the time you spend reading every week.

As we continue to work to make an important resource for you, do not hesitate to share your ideas with us. Simply send an email to

Stay connected with us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Article ideas and other suggestions should be sent to Include the name and contact information (phone and email) for follow-up.