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Innovation Crossroads Founders’ Forum + Networking Happy Hour

January 25 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Founders’ Forums are monthly informal events gathering entrepreneurs throughout the ecosystem to hear talks, and lessons learned, and participate in Q&A with program alumni, community members, and experienced startups founders.  A networking happy hour will follow.

Feel free to invite friends and/or colleagues who might be interested in networking with the Knoxville hard-tech entrepreneurial ecosystem.


What: Innovation Crossroads Founders’ Forum + Networking Happy Hour

When: Thursday, January 25, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Where: Smoky Mountain Brewery (11308 Parkside Drive, Knoxville, TN 37934), Private Room


Guest speaker:

Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer at PYA and author of

Tom spent more than four decades building business connections between two major entities in East Tennessee and public and private organizations throughout the region, state, and nation before joining PYA in 2012 as Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives.  He was the inaugural Director of Partnerships for Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  Tom was with the University of Tennessee for 35 years, serving as Vice President for Public and Governmental Relations before joining ORNL.

He serves on the Boards of the East Tennessee Economic Council (Past Chair), LaunchTN (former Vice Chair and now Board Member–Emeritus), Life Science Tennessee (including Chair of its Economic and Entrepreneurial Development Committee), and the TennesSeed Funders.  In addition, Ballard is a member of the UT President’s Council; Past Chair of the Board of Trustees of Pellissippi State Community College’s Foundation and Chair of its recently completed Capital Campaign; past member of the Board of Advisors of the Tickle College of Engineering at UT, Knoxville; member of the Steering Committee of the Innov865 Alliance; and a Past President of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council.



January 25
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm


Smoky Mountain Brewery, 11308 Parkside Drive, Knoxville

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