Tatango's Johnson makes top entrepreneurs list

The Bellingham Business Journal

Members of the Bellingham Angel Group, an early-stage investor organization, are proud to announce Tatango’s recent recognition by BusinessWeek’s 2009 Best Young Entrepreneurs list. Tatango, which provides an online group text messaging service, received early funding from the Bellingham Angel Group.

Formerly known as Network Text, Tatango was founded by Derek Johnson, 25, as a way to allow groups to stay in constant contact via bulk text-message technology. What began as a small, two-person operation in Johnson’s parents’ basement has ballooned into a highly popular service and a profitable business.

Johnson’s hard work and 100-plus hour workweeks have paid off, earning him recognition as one of the nation’s best young entrepreneurs by BusinessWeek.

“While this recognition has my name on it, it really is a testament to the great team I have supporting me at both Tatango and Derek Media,” Johnson said. “Without them, this recognition would have never been possible.”

Along with his hard-working team at Tatango, Johnson is quick to recognize the Bellingham Angel Group for the support the organization has offered the company along the way.

“The Bellingham Angel Group has been very instrumental in getting both companies where they are today,” Johnson said. “Not only is the capital valuable, their experience, mentorship and guidance have been critical to our success.”

This year mark’s BusinessWeek’s fifth inception of the annual Best Young Entrepreneurs List. BusinessWeek readers were asked to submit their votes for outstanding candidates aged 25 years and younger who were running their own businesses. After receiving more than 600 different nominations – a record for this award – BusinessWeek editors narrowed the list down to 25 of the most impressive candidates, including Tatango’s Johnson.

Bellingham Angel Group encourages others to go to BusinessWeek.com and vote for Tatango in the Best Young Entrepreneurs contest. Those receiving the most votes will be announced at BusinessWeek.com on Nov. 9.

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