McKinney partners with Google for Entrepreneurs tech hub American Underground

November 15, 2017

First up: McKinney will invest $100K in marketing and brand consulting for   select team at American Underground’s Startup Stampede 2018

Durham, NC, November 15, 2017 — McKinney, an advertising agency recognized for creativity that drives extraordinary results, has formed a partnership with Durham, North Carolina-based American Underground. One of 11 Google for Entrepreneurs tech hubs, American Underground is broadly recognized as one of the most dynamic and diverse startup communities in North America.

McKinney will target promising, high-growth companies and help platform the local startup community through creative storytelling and narration of the ecosystem. The first effort McKinney and American Underground will undertake is Startup Stampede, American Underground’s annual incubator that identifies and supports startups focused on developing consumer products. The agency will invest $100K in expert brand guidance for a select team at the conclusion of the program.

In addition to the generous support from McKinney, Startup Stampede also received funding from NC IDEA to bring the project to life.

Quote from Adam Klein, Chief Strategist, American Underground

“This partnership will offer a Startup Stampede team a once-in-a-lifetime leg up by working with one of the world’s most creative advertising agencies to develop their brand and marketing strategies. In addition to the winner, all participants will benefit from the insight and experience offered by the McKinney team.”

Quote from Brad Brinegar, Chairman and CEO, McKinney

“We’ve watched with pride as the American Underground has grown from a bold experiment — literally in the underground of our headquarters building — into the most vibrant startup ecosystem in the Southeast. We look forward to working with American Underground and their other partners to raise national awareness of what’s happening here in Durham. And we’re excited by the opportunity to help promising consumer products startups unleash their full potential by harnessing the power of marketing to accelerate their growth, through our participation in the Startup Stampede.”

About McKinney

McKinney is, pound for pound, the most effective agency in America, with a consistent 15-year record of outpunching its weight at the Effie Awards since the agency began entering in 2003. Cannes, The One Show, D&AD, ANDY, CLIO and The Webby Awards have also recognized McKinney’s creativity. Most recently, the agency won a Graphite Pencil at the D&AD’s Impact Awards, which recognize the best global work in social good, sustainable and ethical advertising. McKinney’s clients include Sherwin-Williams, CarMax, Samsung, ESPN, DuPont, Crocs, Norwegian Air and Marpac. The agency also does pro bono work for Urban Ministries of Durham and the Ad Council/Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s No One Gets a Diploma Alone campaign. McKinney is headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, with offices in New York City, and is part of leading global communications network Cheil Worldwide. Visit to learn more and follow McKinney on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

About American Underground

The American Underground — one of 11 Google for Entrepreneurs tech hubs in North America — launched seven years ago in the basement of an old tobacco warehouse at the American Tobacco Campus. It now encompasses close to 125,000 square feet of space at three locations in downtown Durham as well as a strategic partnership with open source leader Red Hat to offer an office in Silicon Valley. Founding partners include Google for Entrepreneurs, Lincoln Financial Group, Coastal Credit Union, Duke University, Fidelity Labs, and Capitol Broadcasting Company.

About Google for Entrepreneurs

Google for Entrepreneurs provides financial support and the best of Google’s resources to dozens of coworking spaces and community programs across 125 countries. We also create Campuses: physical hubs where entrepreneurs can learn, connect, and build companies that will change the world. To learn more about Google for Entrepreneurs, visit or follow us on Twitter (@GoogleForEntrep).


Janet Northen

Greg Behr
GBW Strategies
(919) 272-5621