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Events for April 2024

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Building an Ecosystem: Advising & Investing into Tennessee Ventures

April 5 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Join Duofounder for an enlightening workshop at Techstars Industries of the Future led by Sergio Marrero of the Robin Hood Foundation.

​This event is designed for venture capital investors and startups keen on exploring strategies for fostering a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem through insightful investing and mentorship.

​Dive into the dynamics of ecosystem building and discover how you can play a pivotal role in nurturing Tennessee’s burgeoning venture scene.

  • Understand the Current Landscape: Gain a comprehensive overview of Tennessee’s venture ecosystem, identifying key players, achievements, and untapped opportunities.
  • Actionable Strategies: Equip yourself with actionable strategies for attracting investment, securing mentorship, and leveraging ecosystem resources to accelerate your startup’s growth.
  • Best Practices for Ecosystem Building: Learn best practices for contributing to and benefiting from a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, focusing on collaboration and innovation.

Hybrid Session: 4 pm – 5 pm

You can choose to join us in person or attend virtually.

Setting the Stage with Taylor Bozarth from Duofounder: An overview of the agenda and a welcome to the Tennessee startup ecosystem.

About Duofounder

 DuoFounder provides Co-founder as a Service, connecting Tennessee startups with fractional experts who share their vision and fill essential skills gaps. Duofounder acts as a bridge within the Tennessee startup community, promoting synergy between startups, industry partners, and active investors, all driving forward the innovation ecosystem in Tennessee.

Ecosystem Overview with Eller Kelliher from Launch Tennessee: An introduction to Tennessee’s current venture landscape, highlighting key players, achievements, and opportunities.

​​About Launch Tennessee

​​Launch Tennessee is a 501(c)3 that supports the startup ecosystem through capital, connections and commercialization. They are a public-private partnership uniquely positioned to provide direct investment, while also supporting collaboration among entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, private sector institutions and government.

Building an Investment Ecosystem with Sergio Marrero: A deep dive into the principles of ecosystem building, sharing best practices for investment and mentorship to fuel growth and innovation.

About Sergio Marrero

​​Sergio Marrero is the Managing Director of Blue Ridge Labs, the innovation lab of the Robin Hood Foundation, the largest poverty fighting organization in New York City. He is also Founder of Rebel One, an investor network focused on accelerating founders for a better world. He graduated from the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Previously he led the George Schultz Innovation Fund at the University of Chicago and worked at Gotham Ventures, PepsiCo, Teach For America, and Deloitte Consulting. While in graduate school he conducted his thesis on venture studios and accelerating impact innovation at the intersection of business and government.

In-Person: 5pm – 6pm

Happy Hour: A networking session for attendees to connect, share insights, and foster collaborations over drinks. A perfect opportunity to meet like-minded professionals and discuss potential synergies in a relaxed environment.


April 5
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


465 S Gay St, Knoxville, TN 37902, USA

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