Future’s so bright

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, April 22, 2009

FRANKLIN—When it comes to business, Tim Bradshaw doesn’t let a little thing like age get in his way.

The entrepreneur, who turns 24 today, has been in businesses since he was a freshman in college, so he’s got some experience to bolster him.

“I don’t really think age is that important,” he said. “The work I have done speaks for itself.”

Bradshaw is founding partner of Bradshaw-Kimbrel Technology Group, LLC a Web site design and development group that relocated Monday from the Franklin Business Incubator to 105 W. First Ave., the former law office of Saunders Barlow Riddick and Babineau.

“We needed more room to grow,” he said.

“We are delighted that Bradshaw-Kimbrel is locating in downtown Franklin,” said Teresa Beale, executive director of the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce. “This company is owned and staffed by young professionals and their business will be a great addition to the downtown community. Graduating from the incubator program has provided them with a solid foundation. Their new visible location will be an asset to them and to their clients.”

Bradshaw studied business administration and management at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond for three years.

While there, he began GamePlasma Network, an online publication that provided news to the gaming community. In addition to attending college, he employed several writers and editors for the site, making money from ad revenue.

“We were getting half a million to one million page views each month,” Bradshaw said.

Because of that success, the young businessman said he was ready to get out of school and get on with life. He left VCU to continue his business interests.

“I felt like I needed to get out there and get going,” Bradshaw said.

In 2006, Bradshaw turned the business over to staff and began training for a management position at Blockbuster. He also helped his father out with his Bradshaw Country Store.

On the side, the talented Web designer, who had been building pages since he was 12, took on freelance jobs.

“It was sporadic work,” he said.

Meanwhile, his partner Josh Kimbrel was working in the electronics department in a Georgia Wal-Mart but had developed a popular development content management system that caught Bradshaw’s attention. The two began to commiserate about what was needed in the industry.

“I always wanted to start a business in the technology sector,” Bradshaw said. “I know the possibilities are unlimited.”

Bradshaw took the three freelance clients he already had and invited Kimbrel to become his business partner.

“I already knew we had the capability and we worked well together,” Bradshaw said.

Bradshaw and Kimbrel had an innovative idea about starting their business.

Rather than going to the bank for a loan, they took what they already had and began from there.

“A lot of the problems with businesses is that they borrow a lot of money and gamble on whether or not they succeed,” he said. “I started this business with $100. Our business model was to work with what we had.”

Another must was having the owners of the company roll up their sleeves and work alongside employees.

“We know how to do the work and we do a lot of the work ourselves,” Bradshaw said. “Josh is the lead programmer and I am the lead designer. If we were building buildings, I would be the architect and Josh would be the engineer.”

Right now, Kimbrel works from his Georgia office. Six people work at the downtown location and a satellite office is located in Portsmouth.

Bradshaw estimates that he can bring in more than 100 jobs within the next 10 years.

The company has immersed itself into the Franklin community. Bradshaw, who grew up in a military family but who has ties to Carrsville, said he loves Franklin.

“I’ve never had a place I could call home until I moved here,” Bradshaw said. “Franklin will always be our headquarters as long as they want us to stay here.

“I’m in this to build a business that will continue past my lifetime. Franklin needs a stable industry for its future.”