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July 23, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Two new Knoxville start-ups helping clients grow their own businesses

Longtime sales executive Chuck Wilson is the Founder of Venom Strategies and the Co-Founder of HumanAI.

“I’ve done all kinds of things . . . construction, car sales, and even the metal recycling industry,” says Chuck Wilson who grew up in Seymour and graduated from Fulton High School.

Today, he’s the Founder of one start-up – Venom Strategies – and the Co-Founder of another – HumanAI. The former is a year old, the other less than two months old. Both share a common tie to helping clients improve their sales.

One might say that Wilson has experienced the sales process from all perspectives. He was a Yard Manager for a local metals recycler for about four years before shifting to the purchasing side where he bought 100,000 wheels a month.

In 2015, Wilson joined GRIDSMART Technologies Inc. as a Regional Sales Manager before becoming Senior Business Development Manager and later Director of Business Development ITS for nearly one-half of the country for Cubic Transportation Systems that acquired GRIDSMART.

“In June 2022, I decided it was time to jump off the train,” he says, leading to the founding of Venom Strategies. “It was an exciting but dangerous decision.”

The focus is on businesses of all types – from start-ups to established companies – that are developing and scaling a sales team. Venom Strategies utilizes a hands-on approach to accelerate this journey and make the owner’s vision a reality.

“Salesmen are the CEOs of their region,” Wilson explains. Yet, he adds that “many times salespeople are placed in the wrong roles. As I have experienced, companies tend to group sales professionals together and fail to match the hire with the opening and then wonder why it didn’t work out. Matching natural talent with the stage of company and market are key for long-term success.”

He described salespeople as ranging from the “lone wolf,” which is what a start-up needs, to those that are account managers, responsible for inbound sales, true sales engineer that has significant product knowledge, and business development person who is focused on helping the company build for the future.

To best serve its clients, Venom Strategies has built a sales assessment tool to understand what the customer needs and match those requirements with the potential hires. “It’s important to find the right person for the right job at the right time,” Wilson says.

The start-up is also a distributor and reseller for, a participant in Cohort 1 of the “Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator.” That company is focused on using the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to gain insights, identify areas of improvement, and determine the path to success for sales meetings.

In addition, Wilson notes that one of the significant advantages of using Spiky.AI is its automated transcription feature. Spiky.AI can transcribe audio and video content from online meetings into text automatically, saving time and effort while eliminating the need to manually transcribe meeting recordings.

HumanAI, which Wilson co-launched in late April, empowers business owners and influencers with AI to help clients plan, generate, and manage entire content campaigns (social, blog, and email) in clicks, not days.

“You can plan and write a month of posts in minutes,” Wilson says. “They (clients) don’t have to generate the content, only approve it.”

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