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September 08, 2013 | Tom Ballard

Mike Carroll to leave KEC position in early October

Knoxville Entrrepreneur CenterThe founding head of the new Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (KEC) will leave the post early next month to return to his portfolio of companies.

Knoxville businessman Mike Carroll told us late Friday that he is “very excited” about his plans to go back to his first love. On numerous occasions during our brief telephone conversation, Carroll repeated the phrase, “It’s what I do,” referring to the ideas that he takes and grows into new starts and the companies he acquires and manages.

“My team and I are thrilled,” he said of the decision, reiterating that he’s going back to the work that he loves. “I’m pumped by the decision.”

Carroll added that he was pleased by “a lot of stuff we got started here (at KEC)” and noted that he will still be involved as an advisor. “I also think I can do more for the business community by going back,” a reference to rejoining his company.

KEC is part of Launch Tennessee’s network of nine regional accelerators. Carroll is the second Accelerator Director in a week to announce his resignation. We reported on August 30 that Dave Lawrence was stepping down as head of AccelNow in Northeast Tennessee.

Financing for KEC comes in part from the City of Knoxville through its Industrial Development Board. As such, the City made the official announcement Friday. Here’s the link to the City’s release

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