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September 06, 2022 | Tom Ballard

Newest cohort of “100Knoxville” program announced

The Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (KEC) has announced participants in the next cohort of its “100Knoxville” program.

Five founders have been matched with mentors for a five-week sprint that kicks off this month to help the entrepreneurs clarify strategy, make connections across the entrepreneurial community, improve operations, and, most importantly, increase sales. The newest cohort, their mentors, and their businesses are:

  • Alexis Alsup of Empowered Doula Services, paired with mentor Angelique Adams. The mission of Empowered Doula Services is to spread love, heal, and serve families during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Alsup has a passion to serve families of all races, especially African American women who have been disproportionately affected during birth.
  • Sybil Bailey of afromermaid skincare, paired with mentor Damon Rawls, is a locally owned and operated studio located in Bearden and specializes in customized facial skincare and body treatments, including dermaplaning, dermafile, chemical peels and high frequency treatments.
  • Jessica Robinson of Laura Faye, paired with mentor Rob Cochran, is a luxury handbag brand, featuring hand-crafted, bold and luxurious designs that have been worn by various celebrities, most notably at New York Fashion Week by Claire Sulmers of Fashion Bomb Daily. Additionally, the Laura Faye brand was featured in the February 2020 edition of Life and Style Magazine.
  • Weldon Wright of X World Marketing, paired with mentor Oslo Cole, provides expert solutions in videography, photography, and digital content creation, including creative development and on-site production sessions.
  • Taffany Holloway of Olive Street Soulful Market and Deli, paired with mentor Brian Strutz, prides itself on homemade, authentic dishes that include pulled pork and chicken from a smoker, fish, ribs, chicken and dumplings, ham hocks, fried green tomatoes and wings.

Through sponsor Verizon, each company will also receive $5,000 to grow their business.

“Verizon is proud to partner with the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center to expand the outreach of 100Knoxville in its upcoming Fall 2022 cohort,” said Bob Davis, Government Affairs, Verizon. “Running a small business has never been more complex and Verizon is proud to help in this initiative to give Black small businesses and entrepreneurs, in the local Knoxville community, the tools, skills and mentorships to help achieve a more promising future.”

Separately, KEC is also accepting applications (click here) for what it is terming the “Late Fall 100Knoxville Cohort” sponsored by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Applications from businesses in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics are being sought along with those from businesses that are tech-enabled (use technology to run the business). Types of businesses that fall into the ideal include: (1) eCommerce; (2) energy; (3) sustainability; (4) cybersecurity; (5) digital marketing; (6) software development; (7) hardware installation; (8) business systems; (9) information technology; (10) research services; (11) virtual/digital solutions; (12) virtual assistant; (13) virtual interpretation services; (14) consulting services; and (15) healthcare and wellness.

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