About the SUMMIT


ETSU Martin Center
Johnson City, Tennessee


October 25-27, 2023

We put EARLY and Mid-stage startups first

We Equip You to Take Action
The organizers of this event are entrepreneurs, just like you. If you are going to spend your time at an event, it needs to provide incredible value to help you move your venture forward. Thats why every speaker is curated to provide actionable information that you can use.

Inspiring Places and People
Our summit is designed to create inspiring spaces for you to meet a new mentor, entrepreneur, or maybe even the next investor.

Everything we do is for entrepreneurs like you and we know you’ll feel the difference at the Startup Mountain Summit.

Meet the Organizers

FoundersForge is a 501(c)(3) non-profit in Northeast Tennessee that believes in the underdog entrepreneurs of the Appalachian Highlands and in helping them on their startup journeys.

A diverse group of entrepreneurs came together to launch FoundersForge and we continue to be an independent entrepreneur led organization. Our focus is on providing startup community events, 1-on-1 coaching, and other impactful programming to our region’s entrepreneurs and beyond.

We’re excited to be connecting the Southeastern entrepreneurs to each other and in the beautiful mountains of Northeast Tennessee.  Learn More About FoundersForge

Join Us In the Mountains

The mountains of Northeast Tennessee have been calling and entrepreneurs have been answering. Over the last few years, an exciting new startup community of innovators has been developing. Now the mountains are calling you to come see what our region has to offer, even if it’s just once a year.

At the Startup Mountain Summit, hosted in Johnson City, Tennessee, you will also have a chance to experience our city’s best assets. With hikes, bike rides, brewery tours, and even a little axe throwing you’ll be having a blast while you network!

The Venue

East Tennessee State University’s College of Business and Technology is hosting this year’s summit at the University’s new Martin Center for the Arts.

The 93,000 square foot facility provides an excellent venue to host our speakers and to connect everyone in our hallway track.

The City

Johnson City, Tennessee is in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains and continues to build on his history of innovation. From the forges that lit the city in an orange glow to the rapidly growing innovation economy startups, entrepreneurship has always been a part of our region. With a heavy investment in our region’s best assets, the mountains, the word is spreading fast and the region’s rapidly the next innovation hub in the Southeastern United States.

Our region has come together to provide unique opportunities to help you experience what our region has to offer. Each day, after the conference sessions, you will have the chance to hop on a bike, join a group hike, or visit one of our breweries for a little networking.

Top 100 Best Places to Live

Natural beauty makes Johnson City a beloved home base for outdoor enthusiasts, and a low cost of living (and high quality of life) earned the city a spot on our list of the Most Affordable Cities in Tennessee.

Johnson City Named a Remote Work Haven

“Coworking facilities have sprung up or expanded, catering to people who like the bucolic life but still need a quiet desk or an occasional conference room to get things done.”

Top 10 Most Diversified Metros in the US

Johnson City has been investing in its outdoor offerings, including the Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park that includes 40 acres of wooded terrain and a ridgeline overlooking the Appalachian Mountains.

Johnson City named Remote Work Hotspot

“The data shows that working remotely is an option in many different fields, which can be great if you’re in a location you like and are unsure about moving to a new city,” says George Anders, a senior editor at LinkedIn.

Sponsors & Partners

Directly engage with the southeastern startup ecosystem

The Startup Mountain Summit is a unique experience that attracts startups from across the Southeastern United States and beyond. Investors, mentors, and other attendees create an atmosphere of innovation. Your company and brand can directly engage with this often untapped demographic to grow your existing business.