Our team here at the co.lab, is consistently out in the community advocating for start-ups in Chattanooga. Most of our time is spent locally, but we also spend quite a bit of time talking with investors and entrepreneurs in other parts of the state and country. One theme that we hear over and over again is that “you can’t raise money for tech companies in Chattanooga.”
The guys over at LifeKraze have just proven all those people wrong (and have shown that we’re not crazy or liars!), by bringing in over $1.25 million in the last six months. In a recent post, we mentioned they were on a hot streak and it certainly appears that was correct.
After reflecting on what LifeKraze has just accomplished, we think that being in Chattanooga may have actually been a competitive advantage on raising this capital, 80% of which was raised in town. A fresh idea in a hot vertical led by a passionate team should be able to find capital, but that’s not always the case. We had an experienced VC from Atlanta in our space today. He mentioned with the popularity of social media and gaming, VCs and Angels are seeing a ton of start-ups in a similar vein as LifeKraze. The fact that they are in Chattanooga means that local investors have not become overwhelmed with social media start-ups, and really stood out as a unique opportunity when compared to other concepts.
Ben Wagner, CEO, said, “LifeKraze is about linking online social networking with the real world, the world offline. Make real connections, post real activities, earn real points, and use these points to compete with others and redeem rewards.”
The company is led by two recent graduates from Covenant, Ben Wagner and David Nielson, and one from Clemson, Michael Brooks. All three founders were collegiate soccer players, too. Maybe there’s something in the Powerade…
We will certainly be following these guys closely over the next few months, especially after their beta launch on 1/11/11. Stay tuned and let’s hope for big things in the future for LifeKraze!
Good luck fellas!