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Entrepreneur Programs

From ideation to exit and everything in between, entrepreneurs of all types can succeed in Tennessee. We offer support tailored to the unique needs of entrepreneurs with high-growth-potential startups. Whether you’re a serial entrepreneur, a researcher commercializing IP or a student building your first venture, Launch Tennessee and our statewide Entrepreneur Centers can help you reach your next milestone.

Student Programs

We offer programs to help develop the computer science and entrepreneurship talent that will build the companies of tomorrow right here in Tennessee.

Paid Startup Internships

We offer 16 paid positions with high-growth startups and Entrepreneur Centers across the state. Apply by Feb. 28 for a summer internship!


Student Venture Challenge

This is a series of on-campus pitch events at two- and four-year institutions across the state that culminates in a live final on stage at 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival Aug. 28, 2018.


Research Programs

Translating research from institutions and universities into the marketplace is key to a strong startup ecosystem. We offer a portfolio of resources for entrepreneurial researchers to accelerate their commercialization efforts.

Mentor Networks

Mentor Networks support entrepreneurs in life science and energy, industry verticals core to Tennessee’s economy, by pairing them with subject-matter experts and offering specialized panel-based curriculum.



We offer up to $6,000 for grant-writing assistance to Tennessee-based early-stage companies applying for an SBIR/STTR Phase I, Phase II or Fast-Track award.


Technology Transfer Offices

Tennessee’s seven technology transfer offices help turn research into business. Partners include Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Tennessee Research Foundation, University of Memphis FedEx Institute of Technology, Vanderbilt University’s Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization and more.


Funding Sources

Access to capital, including nontraditional funding sources, is crucial for growth. Launch Tennessee offers venture investment and a federal matching program to entrepreneurs building companies in the state.

$1.7M Impact Fund

The Impact Fund supports startups solving social, environmental and economic problems, making seed-stage investments at $50,000-150,000. We look at for-profit ventures with double bottom lines in agriculture, healthcare, sustainable living, education, clean energy and financial inclusion.


SBIR/STTR Matching Fund

This matching program of federal dollars is aimed at researchers commercializing university technology into Tennessee-based companies.

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