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Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
September 23, 2019 | Tom Ballard

“Innov865 Week” underway, signature event begins later today

The annual “Innov865 Week” is now underway in Knoxville with the premier event – “Startup Day” – beginning at 2 p.m. today at The Mill & Mine, 227 West Depot Avenue. The three-hour event will feature:

  • A panel discussion with Indya Kincannon and Eddie Mannis, the two finalists vying in the November runoff to succeed Madeline Rogero as Mayor of the state’s third largest city;
  • A fireside chat with Kelly Tiller of Genera, the Vonore-based company that just secured more than $118 million to build its first manufacturing facility; and
  • Six more advanced local start-ups vying for prize money in the annual “Startup Day” pitch competition.

More than 400 people have pre-registered for the event, but it’s not too late to show-up for the informative program and celebration of some of the city’s most investable start-ups.

For those veterans pursuing entrepreneurship or those interested in supporting them, Bunker Labs will host a meet-up tomorrow (September 25) from 4 to 7 p.m. at Pour Taproom, 207 West Jackson Avenue. Click here to register. And, starting at 7 p.m., KnoxDevs holds its quarterly meeting at the Jackson Terminal with Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs as the featured speaker.

On Thursday (September 26), there are two major events.

  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory is hosting an “Innovation Crossroads (IC) Showcase” beginning at 4 p.m. at the Square Room on Market Square. The event will feature yours truly moderating a discussion with Anna Douglass and Mitch Ishmael, two of the alumni of IC Cohort 1, as well as presentations by the seven entrepreneurs that comprise Cohort 3. Click here to register.
  • About 30 minutes after the “Showcase” ends at 5:30 p.m., the latest session in the “Innov865 Investor Series” begins in the Square Room. It will feature another conversation that I will moderate with Bill Malkes, Co-Founder and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GRIDSMART Technologies, and Grady Vanderhoofven, CEO of Three Roots Capital and Managing Partner of Meritus Capital, the lead investor in GRIDSMART. We’ll discuss the journey that led to GRIDSMART being acquired by Cubic Corporation. You can click here to register.

“Innov865 Week” is a joint effort of several University of Tennessee (UT) organizations – UT Research Foundation, UT Knoxville’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and UT Research Park – along with Bunker Labs Knoxville group, the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; PYA, the power behind; Three Roots Capital; and TVA.

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