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October 12, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Techstars announces Brandon Bruce as Managing Director, opens applications for Knoxville accelerator

The application deadline is November 29. The accelerator begins March 11, and Demo Day is June 6. 

It’s been a not so well kept secret that Knoxville serial entrepreneur Brandon Bruce is the new Managing Director of the “Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator.” In that role, he succeeds Tricia Martinez-Saab who relocated this year to Chicago.

Earlier this week, Techstars posted an article with the headline “5 Questions with Brandon Bruce.” In the piece, he explained that “we’re looking for start-ups that want to transform the future of their industries. Knoxville leads the world in a lot of different industries including supercomputing, public power, nuclear security and safety, homebuilding, travel centers, lifestyle media, theaters, recreational watercraft building, pet products, jewelry, advanced manufacturing, cleantech, and the most visited national park in the country. What’s next? That’s up to you. We’re looking for start-ups that want to transform the future of their industry. And we’re looking for founders like you with the energy to make it happen.”

Brandon Bruce. Photo Credit: Techstars

Bruce knows firsthand what the entrepreneurial journey is like. With Ryan Huff, a college classmate, he co-founded a bicoastal company named Cirrus Insight in December 2011. It allowed Gmail users to enjoy the power of without leaving their inboxes. Huff was the Chief Executive Officer, while Bruce was the Chief Operating Officer. A little more than five years ago, the company received a significant growth equity investment from Clovis Point Capital LLC, a Houston-based firm, and the Co-Founders soon departed.

For Bruce, it was not his last entrepreneurial act. He’s co-founded at least two other start-ups – Uncat and EvasiveAI, is a Partner in the One Knoxville Sporting Club, co-founded the Knoxville Technology Council, led the Knoxville area effort that secured a place in the Guinness World Records for the most number of students individuals who were simultaneously learning to code in Knox County and Oak Ridge schools on November 8, 2017 (see article here), and served as Chair of numerous boards (Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, Junior Achievement of East Tennessee, and Muse Knoxville) as well as member of many others.

You get the picture; Bruce is pretty engaged in the community.

The “Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator” is sponsored by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee Valley Authority, and the University of Tennessee System.

Applications for Cohort 3 are now open and close on November 29. The accelerator begins on March 11, and Demo Day is on June 6.

For more information and a link to the application, click here.

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