Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
March 10, 2020 | Tom Ballard

Updates provided on some regional events due to coronavirus concerns

The coronavirus has caused the cancellation of a number of major conferences like SXSW (“South By Southwest Festival”) in Austin, and the local community is not immune.

Yesterday, organizers of next week’s “Building Science Conference and Expo,” originally scheduled for March 17-19 at the Knoxville Convention Center, announced the event was being postponed. The new date is September 21-23 in the same venue, and here’s the updated registration link.

Here are a few updates on other upcoming regional events:

  • Rice University announced yesterday the cancellation of its annual “Rice Business Plan Competition” that was set for March 26-28. There would have been more than $1.5 million in prize money up for grabs, either investment, cash, or in-kind, and one of the finalists was Erica Grant of Knoxville’s Quantum Lock LLC. The university said that research, limited to small groups, will continue on campus, but all events, gatherings and parties of more than 100 people are prohibited through April 30.
  • The annual “Venture Connect Summit” in Raleigh is being postponed. Initially scheduled for March 17-19, the Center for Entrepreneurial Development said the event will be rescheduled at a later date.
  • Launch Tennessee made the following announcement yesterday about plans for the “36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival”: “We empathize with conferences across the U.S. and internationally who’ve had to make the difficult decision to cancel or postpone events. As of today, ‘36|86 Festival’ will take place as planned, Aug. 25-27, 2020. The health and safety of our attendees and partners, along with that of the greater community, is and will remain our highest concern in making future decisions about the festival. If circumstances are such that we must cancel 36|86 Festival, all registrants will receive a full refund.”
  • In Charleston, SC, organizers of the annual “DIG SOUTH Tech Summit” said that the event is still a “go” for April 22-24. “As of today, none of our partners, speakers or attendees have cancelled. We are establishing health and safety rules for the Summit and maintaining close contact with City of Charleston representatives. If you have the Summit on your list of events, any updates will be posted at this link.
  • There are no messages posted on the webpage for the TEDxGreenville “Brain Candy” event scheduled for March 28.
  • We also checked the webpage for the mid-April “SBIR Road Tour” that will make four stops in the Southeast, and there are no notices of any changes.

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