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“Cultivate Appalachia Bootcamp” kicks-off yesterday afternoon

The new “Cultivate Appalachia Bootcamp,” the first official program of the Appalachian AgriFood Innovation Cluster, kicked-off yesterday afternoon in Downtown Knoxville with eight participating start-ups.

Organized by Memphis-headquartered AgLaunch for the U.S. Small Business Administration, the program continues through Thursday in the Techstars space at 445 Gay Street next to the Embassy Suites Hotel. Several of the entrepreneurs (see recent teknovation.biz article for a listing) have ties to the University of Tennessee, and the public can learn more about their plans at an event from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday. To register, click here.

Co-sponsors include the Knoxville Entrepreneur CenterSync.SpaceThe Biz FoundryInvestSWVASouth Carolina Research AuthorityKentucky Department of AgricultureEconomic Development Partnership of AlabamaUniversity of Tennessee Research FoundationTennessee Tech UniversityNational Black Growers Council, and North Carolina Biotech Center along with support from Launch Tennessee.

Pete Nelson, President and Executive Director of AgLaunch (pictured left), and Lilly Tench, Program Lead (pictured right), spoke at the opening session. Tench reviewed the agenda for the next three days, while Nelson briefed the participants on the vision, mission and programs of AgLaunch. There will be a combination of presentations, panels, two visits to farms, pitch preparation, and time to work individually.

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