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July 15, 2021 | Tom Ballard

Dates announced for in-person “Innov865 Week” including “Startup Day”

The Innov865 Alliance announced yesterday that “Innov865 Week 2021” will return with an in-person annual pitch competition and other special events.

Now in its 10th year, the week’s premier event – “Startup Day” – is a celebration of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. The weeklong celebration will run October 4 – 8, a week later than normal but a period that also coincides with the deadline for start-ups to apply for the “Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator,” one of two new local initiatives announced this year. Applications for the Techstars program open Monday, and the deadline to apply is October 6.

The other new community-based initiative is the “Spark Cleantech Accelerator” that will be operated by the University of Tennessee’s Spark Innovation Center (see recent article here.) The accelerator is part of a regional partnership supported through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy that includes Clean Energy Trust, Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University, and mHUB

“Startup Day 2021” will return to the Mill and Mine, its normal location, on the afternoon of October 5 after being held virtually in 2020. Six of Knoxville’s most investable start-ups will pitch their businesses in front of a panel of investor judges for a chance to win up to $10,000 in cash prizes. In addition, they will also compete for a “crowd favorite” cash prize, presented by Truist.

Also included in this year’s “Startup Day” programming is the “Impact Award,” presented by Verizon, and presented given to an entrepreneur or start-up that has had a lasting, positive impact on the community.

Additional events will be announced on the “Innov865 Week” website.

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