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January 09, 2024 | Tom Ballard

Details released for annual “Innovation Week” in Nashville

A new addition this year is "Innovator Day" at Tennessee State University (TSU) on February 28.

Innovators and entrepreneurs from across Tennessee will convene in Nashville from February 26-29 for Launch Tennessee’s (LaunchTN) annual “Innovation Week” that highlights and promotes state-based research, development, and high-tech start-up opportunities.

“Tennessee has extraordinary successes that we want to share,” said Lindsey Cox, LaunchTN Chief Executive Officer. “We want people to understand all the ways that investment in innovation can be transformative and strengthen the state’s economy.”

“Innovation Week” serves as a comprehensive showcase of collaborations between Tennesseans and LaunchTN-supported organizations, spanning from Memphis to the Tri-Cities, and contributing to the growth of high-wage, high-growth jobs in innovation and technology within the state.

Throughout the week, innovators, entrepreneurs, and representatives from economic development organizations and academic institutions will engage with members of the Tennessee General Assembly. The objective is to explore avenues for expanding the state’s economy and building and attracting more 21st-century jobs to Tennessee.

A new addition this year is “Innovator Day” at Tennessee State University (TSU) on February 28. As the inaugural such event at TSU, it offers participants the opportunity to learn about commercialization grant opportunities, tour Tennessee State University labs, and connect with university-based innovators. The day also includes an event where industry leaders pitch challenges addressing today’s pressing problems. The full schedule is as follows:

  • LaunchTN Annual Public Meeting (9:30 to 10:15 a.m. CST) – This will be a critical conversation about Tennessee’s technology future including the recently released study titled “Scaling Up . . . Benchmarking and Recommendations for Growing Tennessee’s Tech-Based Economy.” In addition to understanding the implications of the study, attendees will also explore actionable recommendations for building a stronger ecosystem and learn more about LaunchTN’s vision for the Tennessee Technology Advancement Consortium.
  • Mid-South Innovation-Corps Hub Info Session (10:15  to 11:15 a.m. CST) – Join Mid-South Innovation Hub Director Charleson Bell to learn more about the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps and hub led by Vanderbilt University.
  • Tennessee State University I-Corps Innovator Showcase (11:30 a.m. to 12 noon CST) – Hear quick pitches from start-up innovators through the I-Corps Program Innovator Entrepreneurship Bootcamp on technologies they’ve built.
  • Call for Innovators: Can You Solve Industry R&D Challenges? (12 noon to 12:30 p.m. CST) – Hear from leaders at four companies across the agriculture, energy, mobility, and life science industries in Tennessee to learn more about their research and development needs and how start-ups can solve them.
  • Innovation Expo Exchange & Networking Luncheon (12 noon – 1:30 p.m. CST) – Connect with partners from across the Tennessee innovation ecosystem including the Mid-South i-Corp Hub, LaunchTN, Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Nashville Mayor’s Office, Corner to Corner, BioTN, TennSmart, AgLaunch, Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council, Project FinTech, Proof Incubator, and more.
  • TSU Lab Tour (1:30 to 2:30 p.m. CST) – Take a tour of the lab resources at TSU that are available through the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs.

“Innovation Week’s” signature event, the annual legislative reception, takes place on the evening of February 27 at Zeppelin Nashville Rooftop Bar & Lounge, 505 3rd Avenue North. It offers innovators and entrepreneurs the opportunity to network with legislators from across Tennessee, as well as members of Governor Bill Lee‘s administration. That event follows Life Science Tennessee’s annual “Day on the Hill” that consumes much of  February 27 with discussions among policymakers and stakeholders on ways to better support companies, research institutions, educators, and entrepreneurs as the bioscience economy continues to flourish in Tennessee and across the globe.

Some events are exclusive to LaunchTN’s Network Partners by invitation, while others are open to the public. The entire week’s schedule can be here. To register for the “Innovator Day” at TSU, click here. Registration for the legislative reception is not available yet.

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