Homesteading (Chickens)


Posted by Leonard Knight | Posted in Homestead Life | Posted on 25-09-2022


In May I ordered four Rhode Island Red chicks from tractor supply company. We recycled some pallets into a nice covered roosting area. The chickens prefer roosting on the top step of our deck. This will need to change. I’m now doing more work on their coop to make them feel more safe in it. hopefully we can work out a deal so they begin roosting in their coop. We should get farm fresh eggs every day as soon as they hit five or six months old.

Doing what I love!


Posted by Leonard Knight | Posted in DBR Systems | Posted on 24-02-2017

So, when people ask me what I do, I always answer I’m an Automation Engineer. I have an electrical engineering degree from the University of Tennessee and have been building automated solutions for manufacturing clients since 1991! I do wear lots of hats…I own a software company, a technical support company, and do a little real-estate developing but my true love is designing, building, and starting up control systems.

Over the last 16 years, I’ve been doing 4-5 projects a year in my “free time”. Recently, I asked myself what I love to do and I kept coming back to Industrial Automation. So, I’m working hard to get my other companies on autopilot so I can focus most of my effort back on DBR Systems. I’ve also reached out to a buddy of mine about building a world-class systems integrator together. He already has a great start with his packaging company, DasPac! I’ll be joining the team to add engineering and integration to the mix. I’m looking forward to spending more time in the automation world.

ACG Knoxville President!


Posted by Leonard Knight | Posted in ACG | Posted on 20-04-2015

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2012-Annual-Report-817x525You may recognize these two fine looking gentlemen as Jeff and Sam McCamy. Sam invited me to Angel Capital Group back in 2008 and I’ve loved every minute of being involved with this organization. I’ve seen many presentations and had the opportunity to invest in many startups via ACG! ACG is kinda like the TV show, Shark Tank, except there’s no camera and we’re much kinder to the entrepreneurs. Early stage investing is more akin to gambling. Members of ACG are accredited investors, enjoy helping entrepreneurs with their startups, and don’t mind losing money on these VERY risky investments. It’s more about the ride. Instead of being a shareholder in Apple today and hoping for some growth, it’s like you were hanging with Steve Jobs and Woz in the garage and they hit you up for $50k for 25% of the company. It’s like a backstage pass. It’s much cooler than just investing and making money.

So, how did I come to be President of the Knoxville Chapter? Well, I met with the CEO, Eric Dobson, and provided some constructive criticism. Eric responded, “Leo, those are great observations and even better suggestions for making improvements. How would you like to take the role of Chapter President and make sure those items get addressed?”. So, if you don’t like the way I’m running the Chapter, just tell me and maybe you could be the next President.


Neighborhood Nerds Update


Posted by Leonard Knight | Posted in Neighborhood Nerds | Posted on 21-02-2015

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gizmo_cmyk_flippedG’day mate! Well, It’s been a wild few years! I started Neighborhood Nerds with a dream of helping people use their technology to improve their lives. It was slow going at first since the model was foreign and very different from any other Technology companies out there. We are a very different animal…hence, Gizmo (our platypus mascot). We aren’t like other IT companies. Other IT companies use a “break/fix” model. Your stuff breaks and they get paid to come fix it. We use a membership model which allows us to make sure your technology is ALWAYS working for you and you’re always HAPPY!

In just three short years, we have grown to 300+ clients (both home and business) and six Nerds (Linda, Leo, Mark, Tommy, Tyler, and Joshua) in our Sequoyah Hills office. Also, we turned a profit in 2014! 2015 is going to be a great year!

Our plans are to continue growing the Sequoyah Hills family of clients and open additional shops around Knoxville. The next shop will be in West Knoxville near Gettysvue, Whittington Creek, Montgomery Cove, Jefferson Park, or Turkey Creek since we have many Neighbors in these neighborhoods already. Now, more than anything we need Nerds…but…good platypuses are hard to come by. If you know any young, energetic, renaissance type entrepreneurs, please send them our way. We are now hiring our future shop owners. We plan to have 9-10 shops in Knoxville with each serving around 1000 clients (home and business).

Traits of a Platypus… Platypuses are patient, Platypuses are kind. Platypuses do not envy, Platypuses do not boast, Platypuses are not proud. Platypuses do not dishonor others, Platypuses are not self-seeking, Platypuses are not easily angered, Platypuses keep no record of wrongs. Platypuses do not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. Platypuses always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere.
Platypuses are renaissance people… outstandingly versatile and well-rounded. The expression alludes to such Renaissance figures as Leonardo da Vinci, who performed brilliantly in many different fields. Platypuses have a passion for technology and experience utilizing it in a variety of situations and circumstances to accomplish real-world goals and objectives.



Posted by Leonard Knight | Posted in Entrepreneurs of Knoxville | Posted on 24-04-2014

Networking People

Lots of people networking

I learned something today and would like to share with you.

I’ve always been eminently opposed to the idea of “networking”.  I’ve always associated networking with “fake” or a “false sense of value”.  You’re forcing a relationship…just doesn’t feel right.

BUT…members of EOK keep saying this is the best “networking” organization they’ve ever experienced.  So, I say…hmmmm…maybe networking isn’t a bad thing.  Maybe there is a right way to network.  For EOK, it happens VERY organically and over a long period of time.  You meet someone, you see them again at a pub night, you see them at a crowdsourcing event and hear some of their ideas, then you see them at a member spotlight.  All of the sudden, they become a real person with great ideas and an interesting story.  And you think…this is someone I’d like to spend more time with and perhaps do business with.  The RIGHT way to network.

So, as you might guess, I’ve always been opposed to referring to EOK as a networking organization.  It just makes my skin crawl when I hear “EOK” and “Networking Organization” in the same sentence.  Mainly, due the to the fact that I’ve attended many “Networking Organization” meetings over the years.  Chamber events, BNI, REO, etc. and have always thought it just felt forced and a little useless.  I launched my first company back in 1995…I have worked my whole life but launched a real business in 1995.  None of these meetings, events, or other “networking” did me any good…or…did it.  Everyone who meets me comments about how outgoing I am and how I seem to know everyone.  It seems that through my opposition to “networking” for the sake of networking, I’ve been doing something right.  I’ve spent time getting to know a lot of people.  I’ve also learned to listen a little more.  I’ve been networking my entire life…I just didn’t know it.  I network at my kid’s sports, my Church, my Rotary club, and even EOK meetings and events.

I’ve learned a few things over the years and want to share them with you.

  1. Listen more than you talk (you’ll learn a lot more about the other person)
  2. Care about what the other person is saying (Seriously, this helps)
  3. Be the conduit (Connect the people you just met to people you know)

So, LISTEN, LEARN, CONNECT…that’s my advice for events, parties, church, civic clubs, etc.

Another aspect of speaking to new or existing contacts; Speak in terms of benefits to them and their clients.  You know…bring value to the conversation.  So, when you’re not listening…and the other person has just asked your opinion on something or for your input, share something valuable with them.  Give away as much as you can in those next few moments.  Something they can walk away with and be better for having met you.  A tip, tool, referral, quote, etc.  I always have some software tool I’ve been experimenting with to share…just ask.  Believe me, they will remember you and seek you out at the next event.

Anyway, I started into this latest rambling in an effort to tell you I learned something today.  One of my recent startups is Neighborhood Nerds.  Yes, they’re a sponsor of EOK…that’s just how we roll.  Anyway, one of my contacts I’ve made through EOK, Dan Rawls, reached out to me about a week ago.  Dan, if you didn’t know, is the Executive Director of BNI TN.  I have always respected Dan but have never seriously considered joining a BNI chapter…until now.

Dan had never strong armed me or given me much of a sales pitch for BNI.  He sings its praises if you ask but NEVER pushes it.  Dan said BNI was starting a new chapter in Bearden and thought Neighborhood Nerds would be a great fit.  He quickly explained BNI at a high level.  Since I do respect Dan, I agreed to attend this first meeting.  To my surprise, I very much enjoyed the meeting and learned a great deal about how BNI isn’t “fake” or “forced”.  Their vetting process is serious.  You don’t get in unless you’re good and you’re going to play by the rules.  Also, they are intent on you getting to know your fellow BNI members.  They do this through “One-to-One” meetings.

So, Neighborhood Nerds is completely onboard with joining BNI and we’re VERY excited about this new chapter!  If you’ve looked at these organizations in a negative light like me but want to try again, let me know…maybe this new chapter is just what you’re looking for?

You know…I may even go to a Chamber event sometime…maybe I have them all wrong.

Social Media Subdomains


Posted by Leonard Knight | Posted in Neighborhood Nerds | Posted on 19-02-2014

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SocialMediaIconsI have my own vanity domain…of course, you already know that or you wouldn’t be reading this post right now.  One of the cool things about having your own domain, you can create a bunch of subdomains.  You know, those domains like and point it to somewhere cool.  So, I was thinking…instead of sharing the long, tedious URL associated with my media links.  Why not create subdomains to point to those big long ugly domains?!?!?!  Since I’m a member of Neighborhood Nerds, I enlisted the help of the nerds by sending a quick email to and voila I have a bunch of cool new subdomains I can easily remember and share.


The list could go on and on…so could I…but…I’ll cut it off here for now.  So, if you have a domain and want to create some cool little subdomains for your social media links and other stuff, tell your IT guy or if you don’t have an IT guy, talk to the Nerds 865-622-2422

EOK’s new look…


Posted by Leonard Knight | Posted in Entrepreneurs of Knoxville | Posted on 14-02-2014

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Entrepreneurs of Knoxville – Home Page

As most of you know, the EOK website is built on’s platform.  We are still on the older version of Ning but have updated the colors and layout a little.  Soon, we will be migrating to Ning 3.0 with all sorts of new bells and whistles…plus…it should be more aesthetically pleasing.  If you want to know more about Entrepreneurs of Knoxville or Ning, feel free to send me an email, text, tweet, etc.

My latest venture…


Posted by Leonard Knight | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-03-2013

As you may know, my company, Bright Software helps entrepreneurs bring their software application ideas to fruition.  Not too long ago, a young entrepreneur brought us an incredible product idea.  He needed a little help on the revenue model and market research but the results were well worth our time!  Jay and I discussed the project for a few weeks then decided to engage Augustine in the creation of Fair Mechanics.

A few months and a $100,000 later, we are on the cusp of launching the Fair Mechanics system!  We go live with a Web-based application, iPhone App, and Android App later this month.  We are in the works now loading the system with mechanics and users.

Keep an eye out for our launch…it’s gonna be AWESOME! Application allows “Shoppers” to post their car repair needs and Local Mechanics bid on those jobs!

My latest venture (Neighborhood Nerds)


Posted by Leonard Knight | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-03-2013

Residential and Small Business technical support for a small monthly fee!

I first had a vision of Neighborhood Nerds in 2009 while helping friends with their technical issues.  I quickly noticed a common dissatisfaction with service providers. The common complaint, high cost of service and the low level of delivery (the client wanted more for less).  Many also complained about the ineffeciency of the technicians (the client had to spend time explaining the issues). Another complaint was poor service (the tech just couldn’t fix the issue or they caused additional issues).  Being an entrepreneur, I saw an opportunity for a new business.

My love with technology started in High School where I was first introduced to a TRS-80 computer..and was immediately hooked.  From there, I worked on various machines programming in BASIC, Pascal, Fortran, Assembly, C, and a few others.  I entered UT Knoxville in 1987.  While at UT, I had the opportunity to work with the first IBM personal computers, VAX systems, Iris Workstations, SPARC Workstations, and the first Macintosh computers.

After graduating from UT Knoxville with a degree in Electrical Engineering, I went to work for Allen-Bradley where I engineered, programmed, and installed industrial control systems.  This allowed me to work with the latest technology in computers, communications, business systems, and gadgets of all sorts!

Later I diversified my portfolio while exercising my entrepreneurial spirit.  I launched Russell Knight Properties in 1995 as the family’s real-estate investing company. In 2000 I launched DBR Systems, an Industrial Automation company. In 2006 I launched Bright Software a business incubator specializing in Software solutions.  In 2008 I launched Entrepreneurs of Knoxville to help others with their business startups.  In 2011 I launched Taking IT Home in Sequoyah Hills, a neighborhood in Knoxville, TN.

Neighborhood Nerds (NNerds) is a residential tech support company with a huge focus on the customer relationship. The nerds have a real empathy for their clients and their issues with Technology.  NNerds operates on a membership model where its competitors operate on a break-fix model. By setting up a shop in the middle of a neighborhood, using a membership model, and investing on the front-end, NNerds is able to bring a VERY affordable service to its members

The Company Lab – Chattanooga


Posted by Leonard Knight | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-03-2013

Look what’s happening in Chattanooga! We’ve loved these guys since we first met them in 2008 during an interview with the “Create Here” founders. Check it out and let us know if E.O.K. should be doing similar stuff here in K’town.