As the Startup Southerner team continues its much-deserved holiday break, we thought we’d help close out the year with a look back at the top 10 most popular posts. Here they are, accompanied by a reason you should read each one:
OK, so the title could use some work, but this profile of Knoxville, Tennessee-based founder really resonated with readers. Harper, who founded a natural skincare line after discovering a gap in the marketplace, details her startup journey. “It takes a village when starting or owning a business,” Harper admits. “Nobody can do it alone.” That’s why Harper has sought resources and expertise from organizations like the Knoxville Area Urban League, among others.
Surely you’ve seen those green-shirted shoppers at the grocery store. What you may not realize is that Shipt originated in Birmingham, Alabama. Discover the secret to Shipt’s success, which, according to founder Bill Smith, has a lot to do with listening to customers and incorporating their ideas and feedback into future iterations of your product—or grocery delivery service.
About five years ago, Dr. Brian Fengler found himself in a scary situation. He was working as an ER doctor in a busy Nashville, Tennessee, hospital, when a 36-week pregnant woman with a massive pulmonary embolism came in. He knew how to treat the mother, but was less sure about the impact the treatment would have on her unborn child. So he did what a whopping 86 percent of providers in similar situations do—he turned to the Internet. But he didn’t find the clinical decision support he was looking for. So what does this doctor with an entrepreneurial spirit do? He created it, in the form of EvidenceCare.
One of the first pieces ever posted was this critical piece of the Nashville, Tennessee tech community. Yes, it’s about Nashville, but it can really serve as a lesson to any tech community.
When you think of the North Carolina startup scene, your mind probably immediately gravitates to the Research Triangle, which is internationally recognized as an innovation hub. But if you want to see an example of a community that is quickly making its name for itself in terms of homegrown startup innovation, you’ll have to head to the coast—to Wilmington. That’s home of some really innovative and passionate startup people, including frequent Startup Southerner contributor Jim Roberts.
Social entrepreneur Chelsea Hylton recognized the need to help New Orleans students with PTSD. Her solution? Project Peaceful Warriors, her venture that offers support to students, teachers, faculty and caregivers through trauma-aware yoga and mindfulness practices. Participating—and winning second place—in the PitchNOLA: Living Well competition has helped open doors for funding as well as more partnerships with New Orleans schools.
Our fourth most popular post of the year was a powerful open letter to the New Orleans tech community penned by Josh Cox and Rob Lalka, supporters of New Orleans programs like the Youth Empowerment Project and Operation Spark. In the post, they implore the NOLA tech community to give so-called opportunity youth the chance to get real-world experience and training at their companies while simultaneously working their way out of the vicious cycle of poverty.
This #MyStartupStory about Chattanooga, Tennessee-based Skuid put the fast-growing company’s emphasis on culture and hiring homegrown talent in the spotlight. It also shows that you don’t have to be based in Silicon Valley or some other major innovation hub to be an international startup success story.
Nashville-based Kipkosgei Magut became a startup founder after he experienced a need for better, more nutritious energy bars. The core ingredient in his Tribendurance bars is moringa, a nutrient-dense, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, non-GMO nutrition product with less than half the sugar of leading protein bar.
Companies in Nashville and Atlanta have it made, because they have access to the yummy lunches made by Sifted, a startup that has experienced explosive growth since its founding last year. In their own words, cofounders Kimberly Lexow and Jess Legge shared some of the lessons they learned in how they reached the $1M mark.