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May 05, 2024 | Tom Ballard

Inaugural ImpactTN event planned for May 30 in Knoxville

Taylor Bozarth has gone "all in" on his new venture named DouFounder.

Knoxville resident Taylor Bozarth‘s journey had previously taken him through the heart of international investment, fostering growth for start-ups at the Series A stage within the Unreasonable Collective. This experience exposed him to the potent blend of technology, community, sustainability, and profit, shaping his understanding of what start-ups truly needed to succeed.

With this knowledge and a drive to make a meaningful impact locally, he founded DuoFounder whose name is a clever twist on the word “co-founder.” The business offers fractional expertise in critical areas such as fundraising, revenue operations, and market penetration, effectively bridging the gap between promising ideas and their realization.

Bozarth is calling this approach to entrepreneurial support his “Co-Founder-as-a-Service” model.

It extends beyond traditional consulting, with programs and events specifically designed to help founders navigate the complex capital landscape, including venture capital and federal grants under the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.

With a grant from Launch Tennessee’s Community Partners Program that Bozarth describes as a validation of his vision to contribute to the thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in Knoxville, DuoFounder will be holding its inaugural event under the ImpactTN banner for most of the day on May 30 at The Emporium, 100 South Gay Street in downtown Knoxville. To register, click here.

The event will bring together Seed to Series A-stage founders, investors, and industry mentors for a day of mentorship, networking, and strategic discussions aimed at propelling Tennessee’s start-ups to their next milestones. In Bozarth’s words, “We will be matching about 20 start-ups with mentors that are willing to make tangible commitments propelling founders to their next milestone.”

The agenda is as follows:

  • Optional Coffee Networking: An early start for informal interactions.
  • Conversations and Founder Pitches: A platform for founders to present their visions to potential investors.
  • Community Meal: Networking continues over lunch (Sponsored by Community Equity Partners).
  • Sit Downs and Walking 1-1’s: Personalized sessions for in-depth advice and guidance.
  • Closing Remarks and Optional Happy Hour: Wrapping up the day with key takeaways and relaxed networking.

Bozarth was part of the staff in the Office of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development (ORIED) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville before he decided to go “all in” on DuoFounder. He’s asked Jonathan Henry, an Associate with the “Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator” team, to lead the work of building partnerships. While the event will be held in Knoxville, they are encouraging start-ups and mentors from around the state to participate.

Bozarth outlined three strategic priorities for the initiative:

  • Commercialization of Technologies: Assisting founders in scaling their businesses and bringing innovative ideas to market.
  • Increase Accessibility to Capital: Facilitating connections with investors and broadening access to essential funding.
  • Grow Tennessee’s Start-up Ecosystem: Strengthening the local network to make Tennessee the premier state for start-ups.

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