On August 27, after seven months of preparation, we officially launched Ketner Group Nashville. I don’t mean this as hyperbole: our launch week was one of the best weeks of my life. It started with a bang and ended with magic. To really soak up all the goodness, I think it’s only fair to offer you up the day-to-day highlights and takeaways.
Storytelling Truths: Monday, August 26
In celebration of our launch, we hosted an all-female panel about storytelling, which featured some of my favorite women in Nashville (and one from Austin): Nicole Delger, Kelley Griggs, Brittney Oliver and Catherine Seeds. The panel was a fantastic mix of real, actionable insights for generating press, such as signing up for HARO and Qwoted, which send subscribers regular emails requesting sources for stories journalists are working.
But additionally, the discussion dug into more inspirational topics such as the ability storytelling has to generate unique opportunities. Brittney shared an example of a tech startup she covered who procured the funding they needed after earning a great article in an important magazine.
On a personal level, it was emotional to see so many people from Nashville – who have and who will make such an impact on our success – show up to celebrate our launch with us!
A Spectacular Splash: Tuesday August 27
On our official launch day, we were thrilled to see some fantastic local and national pick up regarding our news! Local to Nashville, our launch was featured in The Nashville Business Journal, The Post and by The Nashville Technology Council. Austin media got in on the action as The Austin Business Journal featured our launch news. Nationally, we were excited to earn coverage in O’Dwyer’s and Bulldog Reporter.
With Catherine Seeds in town for the week, we headed off to the 36|86 VIP Launch Party in a fun speakeasy in Printer’s Alley, Dirty Little Secret, to celebrate over a glass of champagne.
Winning Press and Earning Influence: Wednesday, August 28
Wednesday morning, we kicked off 36|86 with a panel featuring Ben Kurland, Lisa Roberts and me. Seeing a packed room excited to learn how to win press and influence customers thrilled me. The engaged audience asked some great questions, including, what exactly is “the wire?”
Lisa and Ben dazzled with their insights about the best ways for entrepreneurs to highlight their stories to the media. Lisa recommended data as a great approach, a soundbite highlighted in a Nashville Entrepreneur Center blog: “Looking to win press? ‘There’s nothing that will get reporters’ attention faster than compelling data that tells a story.’ This will build trust and credibility.”
Then we wrapped up the day getting a chance to speak with Clark Buckner for the 36|86 podcast. So, stay tuned for that great content!
Learning and Magic: Thursday, August 29
Finally, on the last day of 36|86, Catherine and I attended separate sessions to learn as much as we possibly could from the experts in attendance. The vulnerability and openness of the speakers blew me away.
A number of female venture capitalists (VCs) spoke about the challenges for women founders and women funders. Kerry Rupp of True Wealth Ventures and Jessica Peltz Zatulove of MDC Ventures, among others, highlighted this theme in their sessions. In fact, did you know that only 15% of venture capital funding is allocated to female founders, despite female founders outperforming their male counterparts (more stats in Forbes)?
But my favorite session was “How I f*cked up and you can too!” The panelists spoke candidly about the challenges and joys of entrepreneurship. Marcus Cobb of Jammber brought me to tears as he emphasized that we are all made of creative magic.
And with that, Catherine and I headed off to experience Nashville’s House of Cards and to celebrate the week with a little bit of magic ourselves.