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September 01, 2014 | Tom Ballard

John Morris resigns Tech 2020 CEO position

Tech 2020(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following news release was issued by Tech 2020 on Friday, and here’s a link to the Knoxville News Sentinel story that published over the weekend. On a personal note, I was a member of the organizing Board of Directors for Tech 2020 nearly 20 years ago and have served, with a six-year break, since then. John’s contributions to the entrepreneurial community – locally, across Tennessee and beyond – are significant. More important, however, is his genuine commitment to those who strive to launch new ventures. John celebrates entrepreneurs, whether they are successful or not. His work to better this region through programs like Tech 2020’s Center for Entrepreneurial Growth should be truly appreciated by everyone.)

Technology 2020 President and CEO John Morris has announced his resignation effective September 30, 2014. He has worked at Tech 2020 since December 2008, and has served as President since 2011.

“I value the time I have spent around Tech 2020, first as an entrepreneurial client company, then as the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Growth Director and later as CEO.” Morris said.  “This was not an easy decision, but I am an entrepreneur at heart and I want to return to direct involvement with startups.”

Tech 2020 is the region’s venture development organization, working to help new technology-based companies start up and flourish. The organization supports the technology commercialization efforts at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, and is currently working with more than 30 client businesses at various stages of growth. Tech 2020 also manages a large Federally-funded Advanced Manufacturing project, serves as the headquarters for Meritus Ventures and the newly established Lighthouse Angel Fund, and leads the state’s FIRST Robotics Program and the Regional Advanced Manufacturing Partnership.

“We appreciate John’s service at Tech 2020 over the past six years,” said Board Chairman Tom Rogers. “He is a successful serial entrepreneur, and we’ll see him leading another promising venture in the near future. Our region’s research institutions are unique and valuable assets, and Tech 2020 plays an important role in helping entrepreneurs discover new technologies and chart a path toward successful commercialization. The Tech 2020 Board of Directors will begin the process of seeking new leadership, considering the region’s evolving entrepreneurial landscape and how to best capitalize on emerging technology-based opportunities.”

For more information, contact Tom Rogers, Tech 2020 Board Chair, at (865-241-2149) or

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