Entrepreneur gets a big break for his small business

A breakfast Thursday is an opportunity for companies of all sizes to learn about contracts available with the City of Knoxville and how to bid on them.

One of last year's attendees made a successful bid and is working on a project for the city.

He has a beautiful view from his apartment in the Old City where he lives and works.

"I love downtown and the Old City because there's just such a vibrant mesh of energy that's all the sudden happening and it's a real creative and real fun time," Haseeb Quereshi said.

Haseeb Quereshi describes his career as a zip zag. He grew up in Virginia, earned business and psychology degrees at Carnegie Mellon, dabbled in web programming, played the guitar, and headed to the University of Tennessee Law School.

"So when I got through to the law school program, at least between the second and third year, I had a really cool opportunity to go to Los Angeles and I managed a mastering lab where I got to talk to record labels every day and it was just amazing. Offered full time but then I wanted to come back and finish my law degree," he said.

His zig zagging career led to managing some musicians, working with designers, and teaching himself computer programming code.

"Bottom line I was able to create a website from scratch and I was able to work with some designers and I rolled that into a business that I've taught myself how to do," he said.

It's a small business called Avenue Factory he runs out of his home.

Last year, the guy whose willing to try just about anything saw a blurb on Channel 10 about a free business breakfast to learn about bidding for City of Knoxville contracts, and he went.

"They had break out sessions and one was by the communications department and they were pitching the new website redesign. And my ears sort of perked up like there was a reason I am supposed to be here," he said.

He had the best bid so now Avenue Factory is part of a team upgrading the City of Knoxville's website. It's a big break for a small business.

Haseeb Quereshi plans to explore even more opportunities in East Tennessee. He's not going anywhere.

"This is my home. I love biscuits and sweet tea. Those are two of my favorite foods ever. Go figure," he said with a smile.

This year's free Business Breakfast is June 12 from 7:30 to 11:30 at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum.


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