Founder of reddit discusses tech startups outside of Silicon Valley

Sloss Tech is today!

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alexis Ohanian has love for Shipt. The reddit founder, who was final speaker at Birmingham’s 4th Sloss Tech forum Friday, shouted-out the Birmingham startup when he was asked what he’s most excited about in tech.

Shipt founder Bill Smith sold to the company to Target for more than $500,000,000 last year.

“It truly is an inflection point, because then it becomes this proof not just to outside investors, but also the inside community that it can be done here,” said Ohanian. “Plus you get the added benefit of newly minted money that knows what it takes to build a fast-growing startup here.”

Ohanian, who also now invests in startups, said Shipt is also indicative of the growing attractiveness of tech companies getting started outside of the California Bay Area.

He says while San Francisco is littered with networking events, the culture of southern tech companies seems less geared toward being seen at events and getting work done. But he says that makes it all the more important to lift up people who have valuable ideas and match them with those able to help them achieve.

Ohanian also says he’s learned from elite athletes including his wife, tennis superstar Serena Williams, that most tech CEOs need coaches just like athletes do, and should also, like athletes, value time away from the intense demands of their work.

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