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March 10, 2021 | Tom Ballard

First cohort of 100Knoxville’s inaugural program draws a variety of businesses

By Kailyn Lamb, Marketing Content Writer and Editor, PYA

A variety of business types make up the first cohort for 100Knoxville’s 5x5x5x5 program, including two construction businesses, an event planner, a home health care provider, and a houseplant boutique.

Back in January, Brandon Bruce, Chair of the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center Board of Directors, announced the new 100Knoxville initiative that would help provide Black-owned businesses with more access to capital and mentorship resources in the city. The first program from 100Knoxville is the 5x5x5x5, where five companies will spend five weeks in the program. Each company also receives five mentors and $5,000 in capital. Read more about the launch of 100Knoxville and the 5x5x5x5 program in this article.

In a newsletter from 100Knoxville announcing the first cohort, Bruce said he wanted the five-week program to be transformative for the companies and for it to lead to a sustainable increase in their respective revenues. He also said the program received more than 125 applicants.

Here are the five entrepreneurs and their companies participating in the first cohort:

  • Jade Adams of Oglewood Avenue. Besides being a retail shop selling a variety of houseplants and pots, Oglewood Avenue offers consulting services for plant design of both home and office spaces. Consultation services also extend to concerned plant owners hoping to learn more about taking better care of the plants they have.
  • Deidra Harper of B&B Services. Family-owned B&B Services got its start as a lawn-care maintenance provider in 1987. The company also works in erosion and traffic control and most recently began offering construction services for residential and commercial properties.
  • Sterling Henton of Rev It Up. After starting as a DJ for elementary school parties at the age of eight, Henton decided being an entrepreneur was for him. Rev It Up is an event planning and marketing company with a focus on team-building and motivational activities. Henton, a former Tennessee football quarterback in the late 1980s, is also the official DJ for the Volunteer football team.
  • Reuben Mitchell of NACI Corporation. Working in construction management, the NACI Corporation uses innovation and emerging technologies to help them take on larger and more complex projects. The company’s vision is to be the highest value provider of global construction services and technical expertise.
  • Lee Sloan of Hand N Hand. Hand N Hand offers both long- and short-term care solutions in the comfort of a client’s home. Services range from companion care, such as light housekeeping and meal preparation to more personal care such as assistance with bathing and dressing.

Stay tuned for more articles from covering the new 5x5x5x5 program and its first cohort.

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