Entrepreneurs of Knoxville was started in 2008 by Leo Knight and Chris Austin with the simple goal of encouraging Members to share best practices. Leo & Chris both wanted real-world rubber-to-the-road stories from other Entrepreneurs to help them shape their businesses. The first meeting was at a Panera Bread on North Peters Road in Knoxville, TN. Each week the group of 8-10 would meet for one hour. Each week one of the Members would be in the “Hot Seat” and would be grilled by the other Members. It was basically a round-robin interview of the Member. It was beneficial to the one in the hot seat and the others participating.

Word got out about our little club and we quickly grew from the 8-10 regulars to 350 in the first year. Then, 750. Then, 1200. It’s still growing today.

We’re trying to stick to what got us here by putting Members in small groups to support each other. Over the years, we added meeting space, pub nights, crowdsourcing, quarterly workshops, and more.

Chris and Leo are both big fans of Ayn Rand and her book Atlas Shrugged. They believe the Entrepreneur is the innovator and job creator of the world. You are in the select few who create and innovate.