Media accelerator driving into Chattanooga to help startups

Authored By chloe.morrison

A group of young entrepreneurs who travel the country helping startups is coming to Chattanooga. 

“I started [making videos for startups] as a side hustle as a student, and [later] I brought on two of my friends that were better at making films than I was,” Out There Productions co-founder Erin Miller said. “They helped me develop the idea.”

If you go 

What: 1 Million Cups, Out There Productions

When: Wednesday, March 1, 9 a.m.

Where: Edney Innovation Center, 1100 Market St. 

Last February-after crowdfunding to buy an old school bus that serves as a mobile office-Miller, Losa Meru and Johnny Rosa launched their media accelerator. They travel the country with their business venture. 

Videos are the most tangible offering, but the group also does web design, social media training and public speaking, Miller said. 

They also often do business consulting. That happens organically, she also said. 

“[A lot of people] just need this rejuvenation of youth to get their idea going,” she said. “They realize, ‘My biggest blocker is my own brain.’ Sometimes we just become cheerleaders for people who are building businesses.”

On March 1 at the Edney Innovation Center, the trio will give a six-minute pitch about their business and work to make local connections. They want to meet with the “movers and shakers” of the city, as well as connect with people at area universities. 

They will stay for the month to help startups who need their services, which they aim to price fairly to meet budgets that are often small for new businesses.

“We work with people’s budgets because our target audience is people who are broke and they are trying to build something out of nothing,” Miller said. 

The group goes to places that have the program 1 Million Cups, and they are often midsize cities that have great talent but might be overshadowed by other areas, Miller said. 

They started in California and have been to Albuquerque, New Mexico; Waco, Texas; and Fort Worth, Texas. 

They choose a southern route because they’ve been “scarred” by the New York winters, Miller said. 

“We are super-stoked to come to Chattanooga; none of us have been there before,” she said. “We want to help the city grow while learning about it while we’re there.”