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January 22, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Launch Tennessee provides SSBCI update, Q4 TN deal flow

SSBCI never closer than it is now; deals in Q4 concentrated around Nashville.

Launch Tennessee made several announcements this past week that drew headlines.

SSBCI 2.0:

First, Chief Executive Officer Lindsey Cox reported at Thursday’s meeting of the Board of Directors that the State of Tennessee is in what might be described as the “final home stretch” to secure approval from the U.S. Department of Treasury for its plan under the “State Small Business Credit Initiative.”

The $117 million program is now known as “FundTN” with the $70 million component that Launch Tennessee will administer dubbed “InvestTN,” and the remainder, which will be debt, known as “LendTN.” The remaining action is for the Tennessee General Assembly to approve expansion of the original FY23 budget approved for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

Q4 Deal Report:

Launch Tennessee issued its quarterly “Tennessee Deal Report.” Like the nation as a whole, the Volunteer State saw a decline of almost 25 percent in Q4 funding compared to Q3 but a roughly 24 increase increase from the same quarter in 2021.

Compiled by Evan Prislovsky, Launch Tennessee’s Capital Analyst, the report noted that Middle Tennessee, specifically Nashville, fared the best of the state’s grand divisions. The Music City region accounted for 75 percent of the dollars and resulted in a doubling in the number of Middle Tennessee deals, compared to those in East and West Tennessee combined.

Notable deals included: (1) Nashville-based August Bioservices, which raised $65 million in funding; (2) Johnson City’s Stone Mountain Technologies that raised $17.5 million; and (3) Knoxville’s Trillium Renewable Chemicals that raised $10.6 million.

Two Application Opportunities:

In addition, Launch Tennessee is accepting applications for two very different opportunities.

  • The organization will be selecting five lucky start-ups to receive $1,000 stipends to help defray their costs of attending this year’s SXSW in Austin and also support Tennessee’s presence there. Eligibility is limited to Tennessee-based start-ups, and the stipend funds may be used for travel expenses, accommodations, marketing activities, and promotional materials associated with the event. Deadline to apply is 5 p.m. CST on Friday, January 27, via this link.
  • And Launch Tennessee is also seeking companies to apply to host participants in its annual “Summer Internship Program.” It is designed as an opportunity for Tennessee’s start-ups to give college students hands-on experience. Those interested should complete this form and submit it by January 30.