Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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June 12, 2024 | Katelyn Keenehan

‘THE WORKS’ accelerator kicks off with promising tech-enabled companies

The annual accelerator helps local tech-enabled startups make connections, refine their go-to-market strategy, and define their business plans.

The Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (KEC) opened its doors to welcome the latest cohort for ‘THE WORKS’ accelerator program. It is the ultimate start-up program tailored for early-stage software technology and tech-enabled companies poised for rapid growth. The program runs for 12 weeks and is designed to connect founders with growth opportunities, mentorship, funding, and new networks.

“We want to make Knoxville – also known as the Maker City- the most founder-friendly city in the country,” said Chris McAdoo, the Chief Experience Officer at KEC.

THE WORKS is the longest-running accelerator in the Knoxville area. Over the years, it may have changed names, structures, and buildings, but the core purpose of the program has remained the same: support local startups.

“This is not just about developing your technology,” McAdoo said at the kickoff workshop. “It’s about how your technology can be used in the community, and how it can impact people.”

McAdoo encouraged participants to follow their ambitions throughout the program by tapping into their talents, new opportunities, and connections.

Meet the founders:

  1. Authentrics.AI, founded by John Derrick.
  2. Flock Analytics, founded by Cody Blankenship.
  3. Human AI, founded by Preston Garland.
  4. Applied AI, founded by Rob Monday.
  5. Personality Pool, founded by Lauren Glass Mullins.
  6. ThinkUp, founded by Douglas Mapp.

Read more about each of the companies in this article.

Douglas Mann
Doug Mapp, Founder of ThinkUp

Over the next 12 weeks, these companies will be meeting with mentors, industry partners, and community members to learn more about creating a thriving tech business. Furthermore, Jonathan Halley’s team at Big Slate Media will be documenting THE WORKS to create a documentary-style sizzle reel for Demo Day.

McAdoo shared that the pinnacle Demo Day pitch event will allow founders to showcase everything they learned in the 12-week program.

Rob Monday

“Pitches are about the theatrical performance of your innovation. If your pitch doesn’t spark conversation, interest, or investment – then it wasn’t a great pitch,” McAdoo said. “We will be perfecting those in the upcoming weeks.”

The accelerator’s Demo Day is set for September 4.

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