Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
January 29, 2024 | Tom Ballard

Launch Tennessee announces recipients in latest Community Partner Program

Ten organizations are expected to serve more than 600 entrepreneurs across 29 counties by the middle of 2024.

Launch Tennessee has announced the 10 organizations that have been selected to receive funding in the third round of its Community Partner Program. The funding will allow the recipients to offer everything from a daylong summit for marginalized businesses to entrepreneur bootcamps.

“We created the Community Partner Program to provide funding to organizations implementing entrepreneurial support programs and resources in their communities,” said Morgan Beam, the organization’s Development Coordinator.

The 10 were selected from 36 applicants. Over the first half of 2024, more than 600 entrepreneurs are projected to be served across 29 of the state’s 95 counties. Those receiving funding and the activities that are being planned include:

  • Darrell S. Freeman Sr. Incubation and Innovation Center at Fisk University – A Bankable Business Bootcamp that will combine education, individualized mentorship, and pro-bono resources to help minority-owned business owners build the financial knowledge base and foundation they need to increase capital access.
  • Duofounder – The “ImpactTN” event will convene industry mentors with pre-seed and seed stage founders to foster connections, provide mentorship, and empower Tennessee’s entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into successful ventures.
  • Ayers Foundation Trust – CO.STARTERS at Ayers Entrepreneur Center will provide programming for community-based entrepreneur support throughout the Southern Middle region.
  • ScaleUp Business Conference – The 2024 conference will be a three-day gathering giving business owners the tools they need to scale their companies. The theme of this year’s conference is “Utilizing AI to Scale Your Business & Mental Wellness for Entrepreneurs.”
  • Shora Foundation –  The Roots Collective will include a pitch competition, networking events, workshops, and a one-day summit for marginalized and disadvantaged businesses in Knoxville.
  • Hickman County Economic & Community Development Association – The “Community Leaders Training” event will educate Hickman County leadership, as well as leadership from the surrounding 13 counties, on the importance of creating an entrepreneurship ecosystem. They will also run a CO.STARTERS Bootcamp supporting entrepreneurs in Hickman and surrounding counties.
  • Bunker Labs and Syracuse University, on behalf of its D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families Veterans in Residence & Ambassador Program, will provide support within Tennessee for the “Veterans in Residence” cohort program in Nashville and virtually for all entrepreneurs across the state as well as the Ambassador cohort program in Nashville and Chattanooga.
  • Start Co. – Open Innovation Network events and programs in partnership with Ford Next via the Ford Urbanite Challenge will engage start-ups and innovators in creating solutions to solve urban mobility challenges in the City of Memphis.
  • Memphis Medical District Collaborative (MMDC) – The “Mind Your Business Series” will consist of free classes taught by subject matter experts to assist small business owners and entrepreneurs scale their enterprises. It will also provide ongoing one-on-one support services and resources including Quickbooks training, grants, and more for Memphis entrepreneurs.
  • Downtown District Consulting  – The “Destination Entrepreneur Summit” will engage local entrepreneurs and small business owners to position themselves as a destination business to attract more local customers, increase sales and profits, and lower their marketing costs.


Like what you've read?

Forward to a friend!

Don’t Miss Out on the Southeast’s Latest Entrepreneurial, Business, & Tech News!

Sign-up to get the Teknovation Newsletter in your inbox each morning!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

No, thanks!