By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
Today marks the beginning of the second week of the eighth edition of the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center’s “The Works” accelerator. Launched in 2014 as “Media Works,” the latest iteration features seven local start-ups. They are:
- Crwdn, founded by Rume Ekong and Ibrahim Momoh as an app that connects people with events that are happening in real-time;
- Leviathan Automation, founded by Brandon Schreiber to make circuit boards to help check chemical levels of the water in fish tanks;
- Muze, founded by Erin Archer and Megan Kehren, and described as a better resource for online private music lessons;
- Poze, founded by Ian Ratner and Andrea Ryan and building a next generation dating app that targets singles who are looking to give back to charitable causes;
- RepMe, founded by Rafael Darosci Henrique, is a software platform for connecting sales representatives with jobs;
- Spartonics, founded by Aaron McFarland and Ethan McFarland, is a software solution that combines STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and the opportunity to play laser tag games anywhere and everywhere; and
- Uncat, founded by Brandon Bruce and Jared Smith to addressthe challenge that bookkeepers and accountants face in being able to categorize uncategorized expenses.
At least two of the participants should be familiar to regular readers of teknovation.biz. Schreiber won the recent “What’s the Big Idea? Pitch Festival” (see teknovation.biz article here), while Uncat has been spotlighted several times in teknovation.biz, the most recent here.
“The Works” is a start-up accelerator for regionally-based, early stage technology, media and consumer goods companies. KEC says that more than 55 new ventures have graduated since the program was first launched, and they include some of the area’s fastest growing companies such as Lirio, RDI Technologies Inc., Quantum Lock Technologies LLC, Lunchpool, and SmartRIA.
The goal of the program is to promote and accelerate the success of the burgeoning start-up community in East Tennessee by guiding participants through the business development process while also connecting the teams with potential strategic and financial partners. During the virtual sessions that conclude August 23, the start-ups will receive more than $50,000 worth of services, consulting, and potential financing. In previous years, the program has continued beyond the summer into monthly work sessions for the balance of the year.
“The Works” program leaders include Bob Camp, an Executive Coach; Serial Entrepreneur Patrick Hunt; and Richard Dapaah, KEC Board Member and Executive-in-Residence.