Launch Tennessee and Bundled, the Knoxville company started by Courtney Jones, have announced another round of applications for start-ups located in East Tennessee that are ready to move to the next level.
With funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission, five new ventures will be selected to receive prepaid units that will be used for “bundled” professional services from providers who have been vetted. These providers offer a wide range of expertise including legal, accounting, marketing/branding, technology development, and much more.
“The Bundled Initiative is unique because while it provides an immediate impact on the selected startups’ ability to scale, it is also investing in the growth of our Tennessee-based service providers,” Jones said, adding, “Especially in the COVID environment, recovery efforts must be inclusive and generate positive economic impacts.”
Applications are now open with the deadline to apply set at the end of August. Here’s a link to the application. In addition to being located in East Tennessee, applicants must also have an affiliation with one of the Launch Tennessee Network Partners.
The program was pilot-tested with Bunker Labs and has completed a full first-round of engagements with seven East Tennessee firms who submitted applications in February (see teknovation.biz article here). They included 490 BioTech, Aysha’s Friends, BeforeWeBegin, EDP Biotech, Origami Day, PowerUp Fitness, and Vayska.
In the case of Stacey Baugues, Founder of PowerUp Fitness, the help came at a particularly important time in the start-up’s history. “Bundled provided PowerUp Fitness with the support needed to bring my vision for a new product forward from conception to product launch within 60 days,” she said in this Launch Tennessee blogpost. “In just two weeks since our PowerUp Premium Virtual Classes launch, we’ve already generated $1,000 in revenue on this new product alone and fully expect that to increase exponentially as our customer base slowly begins to reopen from COVID-19 related closures.”
For the always exuberant Jones, she says, “This is my favorite project that I have worked on in a long time,” and it aligns with her commitment to connecting people. She launched MomSource Network in August 2013 with a focus on helping women who had left the workforce for reasons such as parenting responsibilities to reenter the workforce and find jobs that aligned with their professional expertise and work-life needs.
At least one of the reasons Jones gets so much pleasure from the Bundled initiative is the fact that 40 percent of the vetted Bundled providers are businesses owned by women, minorities or veterans.
She has also received inquiries from economic development organizations in other states about bringing the Bundled program to them and is excited about scaling this new venture.