Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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January 03, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Apply now to these four accelerator and funding opportunities

This list has resources for startups and entrepreneurs across East Tennessee and beyond.

During the break, there were several pitch competitions and other programs for entrepreneurs that were announced. Here’s a wrap-up.

Small Town Entrepreneurship:

The Knoxville Entrepreneur Center has announced three new programs for those wanting to start or grow an existing business in rural communities.

  • Applications close January 9 for a special edition of the CO.STARTERS focused on entrepreneurs in small communities. Offered by the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, the 10-week program typically costs $250 per person, but grant funding is making it available for only $100. Attendees must reside in Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, or Union Counties. The program begins January 16 with both in-person and virtual options. For more information, click here.
  • Applications are also being accepted for a six-session Etsy class for makers that begins February 7. Like the CO.STARTERS sessions, it will be offered both virtually and in-person. There is no registration fee. More information can be found here.
  • The final offering, titled the Tennessee Value-Ag Bootcamp, runs from January 30 to March 2, offering 5five weeks of virtual programming to help producers learn the essentials of introducing a profitable value-added enterprise to their farm. Applications open soon.

“Pitch It”:

The Biz Foundry in Cookeville is once again partnering with the Upper Cumberland Development District for the second edition of “Pitch It.” The event, scheduled for February 6, is designed to give recovering addicts the opportunity to turn their business ideas into reality, make a difference in their community, and help their recovery and improve their lives. Applications are being accepted through January 27. More information can be found here.

Venture Connect 2023:

Venture Connect 2023 is described as a one-of-a-kind capital conference that brings together the tech and biotech communities under one roof in North Carolina. This two-day event highlights innovation across the Southeast and creates an environment where powerful connections are made. “If you are an early stage or scaling company seeking investment, talent or customers, we encourage you to apply,” the Council for Entrepreneurial Development writes. Deadline is a little more than a week away – January 13 to be exact. More details can be found here. The event will be held March 29 and 30 at the GSK Campus in Research Triangle Park.

And a reminder:

Applications for the second cohort of the Knoxville-based “Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator” close on February 1. Sponsored by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee Valley Authority, and the University of Tennessee System, the program seeks world-class start-ups focused on emerging technologies across industries including artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, quantum information science, 5G/advanced wireless technology, biotechnology, and clean energy technology. The three-month program begins April 3, and “Demo Day” is June 29.