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January 08, 2024 | Tom Ballard

FoundersForge announces programming for 2024

New events join a returning cast that includes "The Pitch" in June and the "Startup Mountain Summit" in mid-October.

Johnson City-based FoundersForge has announced a robust set of programming planned for 2024.

As previously noted, the inaugural “Startup Founders After 5” event is this week – January 11, to be exact, at Johnson City Brewing Main Street location. It begins at 5:30 p.m. EST and runs for 90 minutes. “No agenda, no speakers, just CONNECTIONS,” the promotional materials read.

The organization focused on what it describes as underdog entrepreneurs has also launched “Amplify423.” It is a new series of events and workshops dedicated to helping Tennessee founders learn, grow, and stay connected. Amplify’s mission is to provide start-ups with the tools and resources they need to launch and grow successfully – in the region and beyond. FoundersForge hopes to spotlight founders and industry leaders in our community and emphasize the innovation happening here in the mountains.

The first “Amplify423” event is 12 noon to 1 p.m. EST on February 8 at Spark Plaza. You can register at this link.

Other programs include:

  • “The Pitch” which is the region’s biggest pitch competition held at the TVA Credit Union Stadium in Johnson City (JC Doughboys field). It is currently scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. EST on June 5, but the notice says that the date is subject to change. Last year, eight start-ups pitched for a $10,000 cash prize to a crowd of more than 250 attendees.
  • The tentative date for the second annual “Startup Mountain Summit” has also been announced. It will be October 11 and 12, again at East Tennessee State University’s Martin Center for the Arts.
  • A 10-week “Start-up Bootcamp” will begin April 2.

Finally, FoundersForge served notice that a new organization is forming. Known as the Appalachian Startup Alliance, it is a network of support for rural and underserved entrepreneurs across the Appalachian Highlands in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The alliance is free for anyone to join and provides online courses, a start-up directory, press contacts directory, and access to remote programs across five states.


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