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July 05, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Latest edition of “AgLaunch Bootcamp” begins next week

To learn more about the six companies, the public is invited to a late afternoon pitch event on July 13.

The latest edition of the “AgLaunch Bootcamp” will kick off July 10, and the public is invited to meet the six participating companies during a pitch event that begins at 5 p.m. EDT on July 13 in Downtown Knoxville.

Hosted by Memphis-based AgLaunch and the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center with support from a number of other partners, the four-day intensive program is focused on start-up companies and entrepreneurs working in the food and farm innovation space. Participants are given a deeper understanding of agriculture and coached on business topics ranging from customer discovery and funding to intellectual property and branding.

This year’s program will feature six companies with emerging food and ag technologies and innovations impacting Southern Appalachia. Two of the six – FarmGrub Inc. (Knoxville) and Foxadise (Kingsport) – are based in East Tennessee, and two others – AGSPERIENCE-Online and Healthy Happy Organic – hail from Middle Tennessee. .

“Cultivate Appalachia” is offered through the Southern Appalachian AgriFood Regional Innovation Cluster, a U.S. Small Business Administration-funded initiative powered by AgLaunch to support the development of transformative food and ag technologies and innovation in the region.

“We’re pleased to present ‘Cultivate Appalachia’ for its second year to highlight some of the brightest talent and innovators who are making a mark on the food and ag innovation landscape in the region,” said Kyle Hensley, Regional Innovation Cluster Lead. “Our objective is to provide a solid foundation on which these entrepreneurs can springboard to greater success through additional programming provided by AgLaunch and its partners.”

Other ‘Cultivate Appalachia’ sponsors and collaborators include Sync.Space Entrepreneur Center, The Biz Foundry, InvestSWVA, South Carolina Research Authority, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, University of Tennessee Research Foundation, Tennessee Tech University, National Black Growers Council, North Carolina Biotechnology Center, and Launch Tennessee.

The participants, in alphabetical order, are:

  • AGSPERIENCE-Online, based in Murfreesboro, is a marketplace for “agricultural experiences.”
  • FarmGrub Inc., a Knoxville-based company, offers an online marketplace that delivers fresh, affordable locally sourced groceries to local families – different from the competition because it’s the only local solution with any day delivery in as little as 2 hours.
  • Foxadise, a family-owned commercial beekeeping company located in Kingsport, strives to provide the best quality, locally produced raw honey and cottage goods to consumers as well as commercial pollination services.
  • Healthy Happy Organic, based in Nashville, scores consumer products on sustainability and their carbon footprint.
  • Planting Roots Farm, located just north of a small town named Brilliant, AL, has developed a new technology to aid in the harvest of specialty crops.
  • Quorum is a New York City-based company that bio-engineers the crop microbiome to enhance nutrient acquisition, stress tolerance, and carbon sequestration for every crop on every farm, worldwide.

The Regional Innovation Cluster is managed by AgLaunch Engine, LLC. a for-profit small business supporting regionally tailored economic development approaches that leverage farmer-led agricultural innovation. One of five across the country that are managed by AgLaunch Engine, the Southeast regional program comprises 240 counties across Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

To register for the July 13 pitch event, click here. It will be held in the Techstars space at 465 South Gay Street, just across Union Avenue from the Embassy Suites Hotel.


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