2018 Discover Entrepreneurship Grant Program Grantees

LaunchTN has invited organizations to apply for funding to implement youth and adult education meant to develop future founders and build high growth companies. The Discover Entrepreneurship Grantees are listed below. Read on to find out how to get engaged with a program near you!

Live. Love. Hope.
Knoxville, TN
Youth Entrepreneur Program (#YEP!)
The Youth Entrepreneur Program, also known as #YEP!, is designed to re-ignite the spark of dreaming, to encourage youth to believe in themselves, and to help youth create new opportunities for themselves and their community. #YEP! was birthed through a partnership between Live.Love.Hope., Project GRAD Knoxville, and Knox County Schools. The initial version of the program was a pseudo “Urban Sharktank,” inspired by the popular reality TV series “Sharktank.” This original vision has since transformed into an entire program and curriculum focused on creating access to opportunities for urban youth through entrepreneurship, utilizing the two pillars of facilitated learning and building transformative relationships with leaders in our community.
How can others get involved: We are actively searching for mentors, session facilitators, and businesses willing to provide shadowing experiences for our students. We are also looking for businesses to partner with fundraising events, provide financial resources for program operations and donate food for various events and sessions.
Who to contact: Natoisha Hager, natoisha@llhope.org or natoisha@yepknox.org, 606-369-6110
Key Links:   https://llhope.org/; http://www.facebook.com/YEPKnox/; Follow on Instagram at yepknox

Grundy County High School
Altamont, TN
High School Code & Entrepreneurship Programs
Two courses and one workshop are available to high schools students interested in computer coding and entrepreneurial education in the spring semester.

  • The Raspberry Pi Workshop –  A fun and interactive one-day program in which 20 students are introduced to Python programming.
  • DevCatalyst – Dev Catalyst, developed by theCO, cultivates student tech talent in web development, physical computing, UX and data management. Students and teachers use an online learning platform to gain the technical and professional skills needed for competition projects and general tech employability. Fifty high school students will participate and those who accrue the highest points will be awarded prizes. All participants will enjoy a celebration activity.
  • Co.Starters Generator – A facilitator will lead 25 students interested in entrepreneurship through a nine-week program to help them develop a business from idea to implementation.

How can others get involved: The Grundy County School System invites local businesses and community members to participate in these programs as speakers and facilitators, or by hosting a group tour.
Who to contact: Samantha Stevens, sstevens@grundyk12.com, 931-692-3467
Key Links: Website information: http://www.gchs.grundycoschools.com

Project Return
Nashville, TN
Reentry Entrepreneurship Program (“REP”)
REP provides individuals with criminal backgrounds who have entrepreneurial ambitions the opportunity to gain business modeling and mentoring experience to take steps toward self-employment.
How can others get involved: Project Return engages volunteers with business expertise to present to and mentor the students of REP.  Volunteers can also assist with the business development process by reviewing business plans and conducting market research. There is also the opportunity to get involved through donations and fundraising to support the startup of the businesses planned in REP.
Who to contact: Darrell Hawks, dhawks@projectreturninc.org
Links: www.projectreturninc.org

Rural Resources, Inc.
Greeneville, TN
Farm & Food Entrepreneurship with Food Insecure Teens
Rural Resources, established more than 20 years ago, is a community-based non-profit organization located on a farm in Greene County that engages 16-20 teenagers, who qualify for free and reduced lunch, in farm and food entrepreneurship. Our goal is to equip these young people with the tools they need to raise themselves and their families out of poverty through developing and launching a business.
How can others get involved: We are always looking for volunteers who can share their insights with a group on their experience building a business. Entrepreneurs who have experience with farm and food businesses would be especially needed but any entrepreneur with wisdom to share with young people would be welcome.
Who to contact: Sally Causey, sally@ruralresources.net and Debbie Strickland, debbie@ruralresources.net
Key Links: ruralresources.net

Chattanooga, TN
LAUNCH High School Entrepreneurship Program
The High School program empowers inner-city youth through entrepreneurship by providing quality education, a simulated start-up experience, access to business resources, and connection to business leaders to create more opportunities for the students. There is a semester-long class, during which each student group comes up with an innovative business idea, completes a business plan, creates a prototype (if applicable), and prepares a professional pitch. The culmination of the program is Pitch Night, where students compete by “pitching” their small business ideas to local business people or entrepreneurs who judge the competition.
How can others get involved: If you are interested in supporting our organization financially, or learning more about our curriculum and program, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
Who to contact: info@launchchattanooga.org
Key Links: www.launchchattanooga.org

Transformations Economic & Community Development Corporation (Transformations ECD)
Transformations ECD is an enterprise development corporation serving the area from the eastern bank of the Mississippi River to the western loop of the Tennessee River. The program, Sparking Innovation Across the Rural Landscape, includes a series of 1 Million Cups events as well as an economic gardening CEO cohort.

  • 1 Million Cups are events organized for high growth and potential high growth entrepreneurs by more than 700 volunteers in 40+ states, one U.S. territory, and six time zones. Offered by the Kaufman Center for Entrepreneurship, this program gives a forum and feedback for business owners. In our region, we will recruit more than 100 volunteers business owners in rural and diverse neighborhoods to share their experience and knowledge.
  • #2 Economic Gardening CEO Cohort is primarily designed for second stage companies using Economic Gardening (EG) Pilot Program. Often referred to as a “homegrown” or “inside-out” strategy, EG focuses on growth-oriented businesses facing strategic challenges. Specialists help CEOs identify issues that are hindering growth and leverage high-powered databases, geographic information systems, and search engine optimization and social media tools that CEOs can apply immediately.

How can others get involved: Partner with Transformations ECD as we help to broaden the ecosystem to help businesses grow in Tennessee!  Are you a seasoned business professional who desires to see Tennessee businesses thrive? Lend a hand, tell your story, share your knowledge and expertise AND invest your time, talent, and “change” to strengthen Tennessee businesses.
Who to contact:  Sharon Taylor McKinney, Founder & President, staylormckinney@gmail.com
Key Links: www.transformationsecd.org

Hancock County Board of Education
Sneedville, TN
Hancock Co. Board of Education, Discover Entrepreneurship Program
Two courses are available to high school students interested in computer coding and entrepreneurial education in the spring semester.

  • Dev Catalyst, developed by theCO, cultivates student tech talent in web development, physical computing, UX, and data management. Students and teachers use an online learning platform to gain the technical and professional skills needed for competition projects and general tech employability. The participants are the current Junior and Senior classes who are 16 to 18 years of age. The program will award points for projects completed and the participants accruing the highest points will be awarded prizes.All participants will enjoy a celebration activity.
  • Co-Starters Generator is a is a modular toolkit that helps teens explore their passions through generating, testing, and launching ideas. The class will take juniors and seniors through a curriculum where they develop a business idea or strategy. At the end of the program, economic development professionals will judge a pitch competition presented by each participant or group. Participants will receive prizes based on results of the judges.

How can others get involved: Participants will be determined based on a sign-up held at Hancock High School in early January 2018.
Who to Contact: Dr. G. Greg Marion, Project Manager
Key Links: http://boe.hancock.k12.wv.us/

Corner To Corner
Nashville, TN
Business Entrepreneurship Academy – AKA The Academy
The Corner to Corner Business Entrepreneurship Academy (BEA) seeks to empower underserved communities and individuals through entrepreneurship. The curriculum is a 10-week program that equips graduates with the skills they need to plan, start, and grow their own microenterprise in partnership with local business leaders.
How can others get involved: Corner to Corner is currently taking down contact info for the spring cohort waitlist. Additionally, the program is seeking local business owners or specialists (accountants, lawyers, sales experts) to be guest speakers and offer their wisdom to participants!
Who to contact – Nathan Arnold, Nathan@cornertocorner.org, 314-852-4100
Key Links: https://www.cornertocorner.org/business-entrepreneur-academy/

The Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee
Nashville, TN
Entrepreneur Center for Girls at Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee
The new Entrepreneur Center at Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee is offering a fun new interactive 5-week course open to all 9th-12th-grade girls. The class will meet once a week beginning Saturday, January 20, 2018, at 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. At the conclusion of the course, girls will “pitch” their project to a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs. Participants gain skills in project planning, execution, and presentation.
Who to contact: Liza Lentz, llentz@gsmidtn.org, 615-460-0214
Key Links: www.gsmidtn.org

Let’s Innovate through Education (LITE Memphis)
Memphis, TN
LITE Memphis
Let’s Innovate through Education empowers African-American/Latino high school students to launch entrepreneurial ideas in their own communities. Students go through a six-month incubator where they meet once a week for six months to develop an idea. After developing their idea through a customer feedback process, the students learn how to market, pitch, budget, and launch their ideas with limited seed investments of $750. The program culminates with a pitch night where students pitch their ideas to the community to get extra funding.
How can others get involved: LITE needs more people to invest in the entrepreneurial ideas that the students are starting in the program. LITE also needs more volunteers to help with alumni starting businesses as they become adults. People can get involved in donating or volunteering by visiting the website.
Who to contact: Hardy Farrow, hardyfarrow@litememphis.com, 706-260-6441
Key Links: www.litememphis.com


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