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January 11, 2021 | Tom Ballard

Recruitment underway for participants and mentors for new AgTech Network

The Tennessee AgTech Mentor Network, recently launched as a partnership between the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (KEC), Memphis-based AgLaunch, and Launch Tennessee, is recruiting participants for the program as well as mentors to work with those participants.

The AgTech Mentor Network is the fourth such initiative from Launch Tennessee supporting a key sector of the state’s economy. It joins established programs focused on life sciences and energy and the other new effort targeting automotive.

As described in an email post from KEC yesterday, the AgTech Mentor Network is designed to create more viable companies in the sector in the Volunteer State. It builds on existing entrepreneurial support programs already offered by KEC, AgLaunch, and LaunchTN, and will utilize resources such as the AgLaunch Farmer Network to ensure that farmers are brought into the innovation process at an early stage.

Companies interested in joining the program must be prepared to work towards validating and scaling their technology by working with Tennessee farmers. They must have free and clear access to their intellectual property and should be prepared to address and refine their business plan, market analysis, financial model, slide deck, and company executive summary.

Those interested in applying can complete the application at this link and select “Agriculture” at the bottom.

Mentors are needed to support participating companies, and two types are being recruited. One is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence who would have C-level experience such as being a current or former Chief Executive Officer. KEC is also seeking domain experts who have deep subject-matter expertise in areas like agriculture, marketing, finance, and regulations. The time commitment is approximately one to five hours per week but can be flexible based on a mentor’s availability

Those interested in being considered should apply at this link and again select “Agriculture.”

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