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April 29, 2024 | Tom Ballard

BioTN and its partners awarded $50,000 in “Growth Accelerator Fund Competition”

With the dollars, BioTN will be able to expand on new workforce training opportunities in the region and actively engage with academic researchers and entrepreneurs to help them to bring their technologies to market. 

BioTN, a statewide non-profit focused on economic and workforce development opportunities through the building of Tennessee’s life science industry, has been named an awardee of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2024 “Growth Accelerator Fund Competition” (GAFC) to further develop the biotech and life science ecosystem in Middle Tennessee. BioTN was awarded $50,000 in prize money for equitable access to entrepreneurship.

By fostering connections between entrepreneurs, mentors, partners, philanthropies, corporations, investors, and other shared resources, GAFC 2024 catalyzes strategic ecosystem partnerships to build community and organizational capacity for the successful launch, growth, and scale of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)-based entrepreneurs.

BioTN will partner with the new organization, Biohub Nash, and Cumberland Emerging Technologies, as well as BioTN’s sister organization and industry association, Life Science Tennessee, to implement the program.

  • Biohub Nash is a nascent life science venture studio located in Nashville with a mission to bridge early stage innovation to start-up success. It is partnering with regional research institutions to identify technologies and develop them to clinical trial readiness. The group seeks to de-risk innovation and assemble an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, research institutions, investors, and service providers in Nashville.
  • Cumberland Emerging Technologies (CET) operates an incubator for area life science start-ups while also developing new biopharmaceutical technologies through its affiliation with Cumberland Pharmaceuticals, a Nashville-based, publicly traded specialty pharma company.  The organization is located in the Baggage building behind Union Station Hotel.

“BioTN and its partners are pleased that the SBA recognizes that the life sciences in Middle TN is at an inflection point,” said Abby Trotter, BioTN Executive Director. “We are seeing more momentum for our industry in the area due to numerous factors, including a renewed focus on technology innovations from our state and local administrations; a keen focus on life science opportunities from our academic institutions, including Vanderbilt and Meharry; more investment in life science companies in our region; an increase in life science investors to our region; and a new focus on workforce training programs.”

Winners of the stage one competition were selected through a multi-tier review panel process with experts in entrepreneurship, business, innovation, and strategic planning both inside and outside of the federal government. Stage Two offers an additional $50,000 to $150,000 in cash prizes for Growth Accelerator Partnerships.

With the award dollars, BioTN will be able to expand on new workforce training opportunities in the region as well as actively engage with academic researchers and entrepreneurs in Middle Tennessee helping them to bring their technologies to market.  The organization will also create a map of the life science ecosystem in Middle Tennessee to help further connect the region’s budding industry.

BioTN also operates a statewide Mentor Network accelerator program for life science companies through funding from Launch Tennessee.

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