Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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August 20, 2012 | Tom Ballard

Tech Council to review region’s entrepreneurial tree at Wednesday meeting; it’s not too late to register

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following was submitted by Tech 20/20.)

 When you look at the smallest twigs of a tree, you know that they are connected to a much larger network of branches and roots.  The same is true for businesses, and as you look at small start-up companies, they can often be traced back to larger foundations where they found their beginnings. 

The Tennessee Valley has a rich history of innovation and entrepreneurship, and at this week’s Tech 20/20 Tech Council lunch, John Morris, President and CEO of Tech 20/20, will trace the entrepreneurial ancestry of our region to its roots. 

The “TrepTree” (enTREPreneurial Tree) showcases a history of entrepreneurial business lineage in East Tennessee. Attendees can hear the stories of high growth start-ups created in our region by serial entrepreneurs.  For example, EGG ORTEC employees Terry Douglass and Ron Nutt left to create CTI, but through the growth of CTI, numerous companies have been formed or spun-off.  That is only one root of the tree that will be discussed on Wednesday.

“We have created the beginnings of our region’s Trep Tree, and we hope to build upon that with input from others in the community. Our goal is to showcase the deep entrepreneurial roots in our region,” said Morris.

Morris said that whether you are looking at the history of transferring technology from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Y-12 or UT into private businesses or the innovation from the private sector to fill a need, we have a series of stories to connect that will tell our entrepreneurial history.    

The lunch will be held on August 22 at Tech 20/20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The cost to attend the meeting is $10 for TVTC members, CEG clients and students and $15 for non-members.  Lunch will be provided.  Please RSVP to Linda @

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