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July 02, 2020 | Tom Ballard

Latest update to “Startup Knox Ecosystem Guide” includes list of investors

Roughly three months after launching the “Startup Knox Ecosystem Guide,” John Bruck and Brandon Bruce have added another feature to the online resource site with more enhancements in the works.

In many respects, their efforts remind me of building a house. The website was the foundation, and the pillars or walls are now in place. Now, it’s a matter of putting some finishing touches or what might be described as customer-desired enhancements to make “Startup Knox” as vibrant as possible.

As noted in this article from early April, they started by providing a list of resources that aspiring entrepreneurs could tap for help along with a calendar of events. The next iteration, announced in this article in late May, was a listing of start-ups in Knoxville and the surrounding area.

Now, Bruck and Bruce have added a key third resource – a list of nearly 50 investors located in the region or who have shown interest in making investments in start-ups in the area. It includes Tennessee-based firms familiar to our readers like the Angel Roundtable, Chattanooga Renaissance Fund, Greater Sum Ventures, Innova, The JumpFund, The Lighthouse Fund, and Three Roots Capital. There are also many others that might be less familiar to readers.

“We view ‘Startup Knox’ as an ever-evolving resource, so we want entrepreneurs, start-up support organizations, and investors to make sure their information is correct and up-to-date,” Bruck said. There’s an opportunity for founders of new ventures and investors who are not listed to add their information to the site.

“We especially want to hear from entrepreneurs,” he adds. “Does this site have what you need?”

Bruck says that Bruce will be launching a new podcast series in the next few weeks, and the duo are also launching something called the “Capital Call.” At least initially, it will be a quarterly, virtual meeting for investors only.

“We see it as a discussion of the general economic and financial climate as well as a discussion of investment opportunities that those on the call are leading,” Bruck said. “It will be an open, collaborative discussion among investors. Our goal is to build a more functioning network for capital.”

Bruck added that he and Bruce are discussing hosting a larger “Capital Call” program as part of Launch Tennessee’s upcoming “36|86 Festival.” That could lead to an ongoing relationship with the organization.

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