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April 03, 2013 | Tom Ballard

Spring came in with a flourish in Northeast Tennessee

AccelNowPicDave Lawrence, Director of AccelNow, says the Northeast Tennessee accelerator is “getting good traction” in its second year of operation.

If the April schedule is any indication, the year is going to be fast-paced and exciting.

In a conversation earlier this week, Lawrence said the organization’s second “Startup Weekend TriCities” launches this Friday.

“Startup Weekends are a blast,” he says. The event will be held at East Tennessee State University’s Sam Wilson Hall, Room 124, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. The event concludes Sunday afternoon.

Lawrence says anyone can attend. For more information and to register, go to

As if holding the “Startup Weekend TriCities” is not enough, AccelNow will also kick-off its latest “Throttle Up! Entrepreneurial Boot Camp” on April 10 and hold its third “Monthly Mixer for Entrepreneurs” April 16.

“We have four high potential companies signed-up for the boot camp,” Lawrence said. All are technology-based, although they are in different stages of development. AccelNow has again engaged the services of Tech 20/20 to help with the weekly boot camp events.

The second boot camp series concludes with its “Demo Day” on May 15. This is a closed event where the four companies pitch their business plan to angel investors.

AccelNow has also launched “Monthly Mixers for Entrepreneurs.” Lawrence says two have been held thus far – February 20 in Bristol and March 20 in Johnson City. The next one is set for April 16 at The General Morgan Inn in Greeneville.

“They are purely social and just for entrepreneurs,” Lawrence said. “We are getting really good feedback from those who attend.”

He explained that the mixers are “about building a community . . . and a couple of those (entrepreneurs) who have attended are now working together.”

More information about AccelNow’s programs can be found at

There is also a special event that AccelNow is co-hosting with Life Science Tennessee, but we’ll save that story for another day.

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