I decided to move my company, Banyan, to Chattanooga Tennessee. I know that may sound radical, but Chattanooga has a thriving startup scene. It reminds me alot of Austin, before Austin blew up. I personally feel like its about to explode here, and Im lucky enough to have gotten here at the right time.
Chattanooga has a lot of really awesome things about it, here are a few:
- Booming startup scene with dozens of startups all close together & growing quickly.
- Low cost of living. I pay about 1/4th of what the average cost of an apartment in the valley is, for a beautiful loft located right in Downtown ( I ride my longboard to work everyday)
- Amazing outdoor scene for rock climbing, kayaking, hiking and more
- The local government & the state of tennessee are investing heavily in the tech scene (see gigcity)
- Big & active angel investment scene. We raised money here & in the valley with no problems. The quality & integrity of investors here is also very high.
- A very high quality of designers. Chattanooga is a very hip & art inspired place
- Just an hour and a half from Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Nashville, & other larger cities
- High quality engineers at a low cost w/ great cultural fits for us ( they like whiskey & working hard)
Im working on a few initiatives to bring some more attention to whats going on in Chattanooga over the next few months. I would be happy to answer some questions & would honestly tell anyone who is serious about moving their company somewhere for growth or looking for somewhere to set up shop to really consider coming here.
We (and I) need to do a better job getting the word out! Any chance you're coming back? I work out of Lamp post group & I would love to introduce you and any other hackers to the group of startups we have working here.
I was there visiting some family. Which I will visit next summer. Will make sure to make the trip to Chattanooga again. Beautiful place full of very friendly folks. Best cup of hot chocolate I ever drank came from there. I'd be happy to meet the group of entrepreneurs from that area. May you send me an email? (in profile).
After checking out The Gig City site, I noticed that your company won last year's GigTank. It seems like a great opportunity, and I will probably apply as a student. What advice would you give me (in terms of if I were to get accepted)?
I think that depends on a lot of factors. Some programmers are willing and able to work remotely. If you have no ambition to become really huge, some people will find a place off the beaten path to be an asset rather than a liability.
You might try making two lists, one which lists things you personally need to thrive and the other which lists things you believe are necessary resources for your business. Then do some digging and see if you can find a place which adequately fits both lists, keeping in mind that some criteria are more make-or-break than others.
I'd be careful with this statement. The quality (bandwidth, latency, MTBF) of Internet connectivity varies greatly from place to place.
Right now, I'm working with a smaller town of 5-6K to convert to a muni telco. Why? Because the ILEC's early '90s era backbone from their CO in town to their NAP 15 miles away is near capacity. And the ILEC will not upgrade it. In practical terms, this means residents can only get 1.5-3 Mb DSL max (first come, first served); it means businesses have difficulty adding even a T-1, let alone Metro Ethernet or other advanced services.
The town has had several economic development opportunities from businesses wanting to locate there pass them by, because of the network issue. They've had enough.