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September 04, 2023 | Shannon Smith

Celebrate Knoxville start-ups during Innov865 Week

Innov865 Week is a weeklong celebration of Knoxville’s entrepreneurial spirit, with 19 events centered around innovation, education, makers, culture, and investors.

Mark your calendar for September 8-15 for a weeklong celebration of all the entrepreneurs who call Knoxville home.

Innov865 Week is a weeklong celebration of Knoxville’s entrepreneurial spirit that brings together startups, entrepreneurs, makers, investors, business leaders, students, and community leaders from across East Tennessee for a week of educational panels, pitch competitions, investor roundtables, and social events. It is presented by the Innov865 Alliance, a coalition that develops, supports, and promotes the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

PYA, the power behind, is a founding member and also sponsor of the “Innovation Track,” one of five thematic categories that define the week’s programming.

Innov865 Week highlights various elements of the Alliance’s mission to develop, support, and promote the Knoxville region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and its collaborative effort to celebrate and showcase Knoxville as a great place for all entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses and increase access to capital. The five tracks include innovation, education, maker, culture, and investor.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the week’s biggest events, many of which are free, and all but one of which are open to the public:

2023 Maker City Summit

  • September 8-10.
  • Maker Exchange, 710 Clinch Ave.
  • Purchase tickets here.
  • The Maker City Summit is an incredible three-day experience to educate, inspire, and bring our creative community closer together. It’s not just about learning; it’s about the connections you’ll make.

Premier Partner Program: Cohort Showcase

  • September 11, 5-6:30 p.m.
  • Emporium Center, 100 South Gay St.
  • Register here.
  • Join the Knoxville Chamber as it welcomes the “Spark Cleantech Accelerator” and “Innovation Crossroads” cohort of companies to Knoxville. Meet the innovators and learn more about their start-ups during this meet-and-greet reception.

Startup Day 2023

  • September 12, 2-5 p.m.
  • The Mill & Mine, 227 West Depot Ave.
  • Register here.
  • Innov865 Week’s premier event is “Startup Day,” an annual pitch competition and celebration of Knoxville’s thriving entrepreneurial community. At “Startup Day,” entrepreneurs showcase their local startups to a panel of venture capitalists, angel investors, and industry leaders. Pitches are followed by a Q&A from the panel about their business and why they chose to grow their company in Knoxville. Cash prizes are awarded through crowd participation, totaling $10,000.

Raising & Rising

  • September 14, 12-1:30 p.m.
  • CGI Office, 10th floor of Riverview Tower, 900 South Gay Street.
  • Register here.
  • Join the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center for Raising & Rising, an exciting pitch and networking event as part of Innov865 Week’s Investor Track, sponsored by Three Roots Capital.

Devmoot 2023

  • September 15, all-day.
  • The Relix Venue, 1208 North Central Street.
  • Purchase tickets here.
  • Hosted by KnoxDevs, Devmoot is a single-day, one-track conference dedicated to showcasing the latest trends and innovations.

For a full list of all 19 Innov865 Week events, click here. And, if you want to get an early overview of the six companies pitching at Startup Day, WATE-TV has again recorded “elevator pitches” that can be viewed here.

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