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March 21, 2022 | Tom Ballard

More than 650 people expected for “Innovation Week”

More than 650 people are expected to participate in activities during “Innovation Week” that starts full programming today in Nashville.

Organized by Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN), the event will be the first time the public-private organization has hosted a gathering of this type and size since the COVID-19 pandemic hit about two years ago. The 2020 and 2021 editions of its “36|86 Entrepreneurial Festival” were cancelled.

“LaunchTN is thrilled to kick off one of the first major gatherings of Tennessee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem builders in Nashville in several years,” said Abby Trotter, LaunchTN Interim Chief Executive Officer. “‘Innovation Week’ is poised to provide an intimate environment for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and investors to connect and learn about the latest opportunities available to help influence their company or bring about the next big deal.”

The new event combines LaunchTN’s previous “Week on the Hill” with an added element that focuses on showcasing and assisting Tennessee’s start-ups and the great work that is occurring across Tennessee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to assist technology-based companies. The event will allow attendees to connect firsthand with the latest innovators, founders, and start-ups.

The event will be held at the Westin Nashville and Musicians Hall of Fame, and one day – today – overlaps with “LSTCON,” the annual meeting of Life Science Tennessee. All sessions today are invitation only and include programming for entrepreneurs and strategic meetings between investors and start-ups.

On Wednesday, there will be open programming with a full-day of presentations focused on start-ups and the various regional and statewide programs that LaunchTN supports. That programming will be at the Musicians Hall of Fame and conclude with a reception for participants and legislators.

  • 9:30 a.m.: Registration
  • 10 a.m.: Start-up Showcase featuring Hero Wear, Endeavor Composites, Couture Technologies, Variable, Rootine, and Youdle.
  • 12:00 p.m.: Lunch
  • 12:30 p.m.: #BuildTN Conversation with Sweet Bio (Kayla Graff), Yaya Scientific (Justin Baba), Decode Health (Julia Polk), and Eonix (Don Derosa).
  • 1:30 p.m. East Tennessee Fireside Chat with Sync.Space (Heath Guinn), Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (KEC) (Jim Biggs), CO.LAB (Lindsey Cox), and The Biz Foundry (Jeff Brown).
  • 2:30 p.m. West Tennessee Fireside Chat with theCo (Ben Ferguson) and Epicenter (Jessica Taveau).
  • 3:30 p.m. Middle Tennessee and Statewide Fireside Chat with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (Jane Allen) and its Twende program (Brynn Plummer) along with Bunker Labs (Sumeet Chahal).
  • 4:30 p.m. Mentor Networks Fireside Chat with BioTN Steven King), TennSMART (Gary Rawlings), Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (John Bruck), and KEC in partnership with AgLaunch (Jim Biggs).
  • 5:30 to 7 p.m.: Reception

Registration is closed.

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