KnockNOW is the brainchild of long time entrepreneur Stephen Meade and former governmental commissioner Bob Gerometta. It was created in August of 2000 and the first event was held in September of the same year.
The premise behind the organization was to create a collaborative network of executive level decision makers for the purpose of facilitating and growing successful technology companies.
As Chicago entrepreneurs, both Mr. Meade and Mr. Gerometta noticed there was something missing in the local technology scene. In their opinion, it came down to a discernable lack of understanding of the startup process and business support in and among the many different groups and sectors that are necessary for an entrepreneur to be successful in this painful process.
In order to create a viable technology community you need a combination of factors:
- knowledgeable and experienced entrepreneurs
- early stage capital investment
- support of the local governmental community and most of all;
- customers for the technology companies.
KnockNOW was created to bring together the executive decision makers from 5 key sectors necessary for successful technology companies to be built:
Service Sector (Accountants, Attorneys, Consultants, Marketing)
P/P/A (Politicians, Press, and Academics)
Investment Community (Angel investor through institutions)
Each of these sectors has its strengths and weaknesses. It is only by combining this pool of talent, increasing the connections between all of the decision makers, and fostering an environment of collaboration and support, that we can take on the task of creating great technology companies.
This is the mission of KnockNOW: To create a support system to make this possible and to combine the critical aspects into one cohesive group.
Therein lies the formation of the name KnockNOW. It was created as an acronym using the first letter of what we feel are many of the key ingredients needed to be a success.
With increased Knowledge and shared networks we have the Opportunity to Connect (and Capitalize on the Contacts and Customers of our members bringing increased Credibility and Capital to early stage technology companies), including the feeling that there is a reason (Kismet) for us to be together and that positive Notoriety is good, then we will take upon ourselves the Obligation to create Winning technology companies within our community.
Thus was born KnockNOW.