Two entrepreneurs are working to fill a niche for men’s retail in the downtown area. “Men’s apparel was really lacking in the area,” Russell Barfield said. “There are a lot of women’s boutiques downtown but not too many [for men].” Barfield and his business partner, Logan Leonardson, are working toward opening Scout Boutique, which will feature men’s apparel and footwear. They know each other from school, but neither are Chattanooga natives. Barfield is originally from Portland, Oregon, but his wife is from the Chattanooga area. And until recently, Leonardson had been living in Utah, although he’s originally from Idaho.
When the judges shuffled in for the finale of Startup Weekend, I parked myself in a nearby seat, ready to write the key points covering each up-and-comer’s 72-hour-old idea. Never mind that conducting definitive customer research, creating a solid product, and making some big marketing play over a weekend may not have even reached half-baked status for the contestants. Mark Montgomery, David Furse and Chris Taylor brought their own flavor as reigning examples of what a business could be, what it might be, perhaps what is expected. They came as just that; examples of people who spent time going at it their own way, finding one answer that maybe shouldn’t be copied, because it can’t ever be repeated in the same way.
Jumpstart Foundry (JSF) launched Starting Blocks, today, a new offering that gives cohort companies, alumni, and Micro-Accelerator clients access to vendors in Nashville at pre-negotiated discounted rates. “We’ve worked with a lot of startups and small businesses, and there are always two things founders don’t have enough of: time and money.” said Vic Gatto, CEO of Jumpstart Foundry. “We created Starting Blocks to help founders reclaim their time and make Starting Blocks includes best-in-class vendors in Nashville ranging in services from brand activation to web development to legal services. All deals have been pre-negotiated at most-favored-nation rates in order to give young businesses access to the tools and services needed to grow their businesses at affordable prices.”
A company that Chattanooga-based women’s angel fund The JumpFund invested in recently has expanded its services. Northeastern University graduate Casey Casterline’s business, eDivv, aims to solve a problem within the cosmetics industry. “I was an early adopter to Birchbox, which is a monthly beauty subscription box service,” she said via email. “Although I loved getting my monthly surprise in the mail … after a while, I found a pile of products were accumulating of things I was never going to use.”
Nashville Business Journal
The Music Business Association, a trade group that promotes music commerce, is bringing its annual Music Biz conference to Nashville this May for the first time in its 50-plus year history. Over 1,000 attendees, from brick-and-mortar record store owners to reps from streaming services and major labels, are expected to attend the three-day conference, hosted at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown.
Nashville Business Journal
When it comes to a pool of tech talent, Nashville is nowhere near the top of the list. But we’re on the way. According to a recent report from CBRE, Nashville’s tech talent pool grew by 39 percent between 2010 and 2013, the second-fastest rate for a small market, meaning one with a labor pool of 50,000 or less.
Though Daily Clips is no longer active, you can still get the latest in top news on Tennessee startups, resources, events and more by signing up for the LaunchTN Newsletter.