By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
In about two and one-half months, Paul Singh will roll into Knoxville, driving his pick-up truck and pulling a custom-built Airstream travel trailer.
It’s part of what he calls the “North American Tech Tour” which features stops in both the U.S. and Canada, some for as little as a day, others for as long as a week. In the case of Knoxville, Singh is scheduled to be here for the inaugural “Innov865 Week” scheduled for September 19-23.
His participation and other special programs planned during the week are part of a continuing effort to elevate the stature and visibility of Knoxville’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Knoxville stop will be the 32nd different city Singh has visited on a tour that has taken him to several Canadian provinces and communities across this country.
In announcing the year-long initiative, Singh said he planned “to visit places that start-ups actually start (and grow) their businesses. At each stop, I’ve created a week-long series of events for entrepreneurs and investors.”
The format is fairly typical. Singh holds what he calls “Office Hours,” one-on-one meetings with entrepreneurs. Those who have the opportunity to talk with him are selected through an application process that will be announced later.
Singh also attends and participates in various sessions scheduled by the local organizing committee. In the case of “Innov865 Week,” those activities include the fourth annual “Start-up Day Knoxville” celebration on September 22 as well as the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center’s (KEC) “The Works Demo Day” and a number of micro-events. The full schedule will be announced later.
For Singh, it seems like he is on the road almost every week. This week is a rare exception.
After the successful entrepreneur and seed stage investor was in five cities last week in Montana, he gets a breather for Fourth of July period before travelling to Indianapolis for four days next week. You can see the plans for next week here.
Thus far, Singh has visited places such as Vancouver, BC; Waterloo, IA; Kansas City, MO; Omaha and Lincoln, NE; Las Vegas; Taos, Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque, NM; Pittsburgh, PA; and Durham, NC in addition to Fargo and St. Louis.
Stops between Indianapolis and Knoxville include Des Moines, IA (July 17-23); Port Huron, MI (July 25-29); Syracuse, Utica and Saratoga Springs, NY (August 14-20); and Columbus, OH (September 4-10). After Knoxville, there’s one stop on the tour – Baltimore, MD (September 23-30).
“Innov865 Week” is a collaborative effort of the University of Tennessee’s Research Foundation and Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; KEC; Launch Tennessee; and PYA, sponsor of teknovation.biz.