Co-Founder/CTO - Moontoast
Co-Founder/CMO - Jumpstart Foundry
Board Member - Nashville Entrepreneur Center
Nashville CTO of the Year - 2013
Leadership Music - Class of 2012
Awarded Two US Patents
I believe in innovation and the power of human hustle above all.
Marcus Whitney is Co-Founder and CTO of Moontoast, the leading Social Rich Media platform today, as well as Co-Founder and CMO of Jumpstart Foundry, the leading tech accelerator in Tennessee. He founded Barcamp Nashville, Southern/Alpha and Clariture Health and serves on the board of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and Belcourt Theatre. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, but he planted his roots and blossomed in Nashville, TN.
I showed up in Nashville, TN in 2000 with a small but growing family, and a desire to remake myself for the benefit of my two boys. Nothing more. But I did bring my Brooklyn hustle with me.
By reading every book I could on web technology, I went from waiting tables 7 days a week, to getting my first job as a programmer at Healthstream. Within a year I went from a Junior Programmer to a Senior Engineer at Anode, designing and building the server application for their flagship platform, Firesign.
After a great time with that gang, I went out on my own in search of contract opportunities that could stretch my horizon and found myself as one of the first employees at one of the best places to work in the world, Emma. After my first year, where I collaborated on a complete rewrite of the platform, and rebuilt the programming team from scratch, I was made a partner and promoted to Chief Architect. I spent the next three years helping the founders there grow to a multi-million dollar company with 10x employees and much more than 10x the customer base. I also became a very, very strong web technologist, writing a mailing engine from scratch using open source technologies that could send over 3MM emails an hour, and get them in the inbox, not the spam folder.
In 2007, I went to SXSW Interactive for the first time. I got a Twitter account, connected it to my phone, and realized Social Networks and Mobile Devices were going to change everything. I also drank beer with Matt Mullenweg at Barcamp Austin and realized Barcamp was cool. First things first, let's bring beer and geeks together in Nashville, we'll get to the Social / Mobile stuff later.
I left Emma and started a venture technology firm called Remarkable Wit, where our team provided technology services for a cash/equity split. Common now, not so much in Nashville in 2007. It was in doing this that I met Joe Glaser and Bucky Baxter, my co-founders in Moontoast. We launched in 2009, got funded, and the rest is history, or at least can be read on our company blog.
Also in 2009, I partnered with Vic Gatto and 18 other startup enthusiasts and launched Jumpstart Foundry, a rag tag group of startup enthusiasts to start helping startup founders in Nashville. Every month, we'd all gather, eat pizza, drink beer and listen to founder's pitch their idea. At the end of the night, we'd vote on one, give them $15K and assign a small group of us to mentor them.
Four years later, I'm still with Vic, and we've turned those monthly meetings into a 14 week cohort that launches 7-10 companies a year. 28 companies in all have raised over $11MM dollars to date, and contributed to the transformation of Nashville into a true tech startup city.
I feel like the story is just beginning. Let's keep writing it, shall we?