Amplify Your Business


Signature Guest

Zack Storms of Startup TNT

For this episode of Amplify Your Business,

we’re joined by Zack Storms, the founder and Chief Organizer at Startup TNT. Startup TNT is an organization of like-minded entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, and community supporters who meet every week to network, have fun, share their stories, and help build companies. 

Since 2019, Startup TNT’s weekly Thursday night happy hours have led to 50 startups raising $7 million from over 200 angel and venture capital investors. 



Startup TNT - which stands for Thursday Night Tradition, an homage to Zack’s weekly gatherings - has between 25 to 35 startup applications each year, as well as 25 to 35 investors. The investors will screen the applicants and select a top 20. That top 20 will have an opportunity to pitch their businesses at the Top 20 Pitch Night, and afterwards, they each go through due diligence where every week some will get eliminated while others will move on. At the end, they have a finale where the top 5 companies pitch again, and the investors make their decisions live at the finale. Each year, at least one applicant receives an investment on Finale night, but typically, they’ll see two or three investments.


This year, the Top 20 Pitch Night is being held on October 6th, and the finale will be held on November 17th.

To learn more, visit

Share this episode:

00:00 - Intro

00:59 - What do you think every entrepreneur needs to know?

03:52 - What was the reason behind starting Startup TNT?

08:00 - How many startups have you seen receive investments since TNT’s inception?

09:14 - What’s the business model for Startup TNT?

12:17 - The shift from academia to entrepreneurship, was that something that you always aspired to?

14:30 - In working with all the startups that have come through the program, what could you have done differently that would have made your first company a success?

16:15 - After having companies fail when you first started, is there anything that you know now that you would have done differently back then?

18:26 - Did you have a vision for what Startup TNT was going to be back when you first started the happy hours?

21:31 - How did you carve out the space that you found yourself in, in this larger ecosystem?

24:45 - What made you choose to make Startup TNT a not-for-profit organization?

27:29 - What does the future hold for Startup TNT?

29:32 - What do you think are some of the biggest challenges to the entrepreneurial lifestyle that entrepreneurs run into?

31:41 - As an entrepreneur, how do you manage a good work-life balance?

35:21 - Do you have anything you want to say to our listeners?

36:21 - Outro

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