Nashville, Tenn., March 14, 2017 – Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) is proud to announce that Frederick Smith, Founder and CEO of FedEx, will take the stage at the 36|86 technology conference to talk corporate innovation in a fully connected global economy. FedEx recently launched FedEx Fulfillment, a logistics network that allows … read more
Creative Communities Partners
Organization: Downtown Newport ArtScapes
Program/ Project Name: TIME TO SHINE, Distilling Creative Entrepreneurs
Program/Project Summary: Downtown Newport ArtScapes will host a creative business building campaign to kick start arts and cultural tourism in beautiful Cocke County, TN. The program will pair local artisans with business professionals to develop solid business plans. The entrepreneurs will then pitch their business plan to a panel of experts to compete for startup funds and tuition to the COSTARTERS entrepreneur training program.
How can others get involved: The most important element to the success of the project is participant recruitment; we are going to work hard to bring the talent hidden away in our hollers to the forefront! To support the participants, DNA is reaching out to regional businesses, community groups, and organizations, municipalities. and schools who would like to partner with us to make this event have the biggest impact possible. We need venture capitalists interested in the development of Cocke County, business mentors to work with our participants. media liaisons. as well as local individuals who would like to volunteer their time to ensure the success of the project. Any and all volunteers are welcome to help out with TlME TO SHINE!
Who to contact: TIME TO SHINE, Project Manager shanonkelleyDNA@gmail.com 423-465-0107
Organization: Wayne County Chamber of Commerce
Program/ Project Name: The Hub II: Bridging the Digital Divide
Program/Project Summary: Wayne County’s Digital Hub is taking it to the next level! The Digital Hub was developed in 2013 due to an immediate need for retooling of a declining manufacturing workforce. Since its opening, hundreds of residents in Wayne and surrounding counties have accessed The Hub to obtain online data entry, interface operations and customer service skills to prepare for an emerging service-oriented workforce. In 2017, Wayne County will launch The Hub II to create a business resource center with the expectations of encouraging more entrepreneurial activity in Southern Tennessee and equipping students, small business owners, innovators and inventors with the skills and technology to enable them to create their own success stories. Together we’re “Growing Our Own!”
How can others get involved: Sign up to be a mentor, business coach, or sponsor an event
Wayne County Chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org or 931-722-3575
Links: www.waynecountychamber.org (schedule to be available mid-January)
Organization: United Way of Moore & Coffee County
Program Timeline: So far, the only dates we have scheduled are the dates from Round 1 funding. Will provide further dates when available.
Program/ Project Name: PESE (Preparing Entrepreneurs with STEM Education) – Elementary Afterschool
Program/Project Summary: Ambassadors lead hands-on programs in a variety of areas that teach STEM skills, require innovation, and inspire students to think outside the box. Targeted curriculum will be formed from feedback with current Ambassadors and UTSI professors. Current activities include rocket launchers, Finch robot coding, etc., but we plan to expand and develop targeted programs for each school.
How can others get involved: We are always looking for ambassadors that want to teach after school programs. Programs require some preparation commitment, and an average of 2 hours onsite. We can provide curriculum and equipment if you can provide an enthusiastic lesson for the kids!
Who to contact: Carole Thomas 931-393-7300 or email@example.com
Organization: Sevierville Commons Association
– Spring: Train two Co.Starter Facilitators
– Spring: Recruit and schedule first Co.Starter 9-week course, dependent on training timeline
– Spring: Present first Co.Starter Course
– Fall: Present second Co.Starter 9-week course
– Fall: Present Co.Starter mini-session, if funding allows
Program/Project Name: Co.Starters Program
Program/Project Summary: Local Facilitators will be trained. Those Facilitators will lead the two 9-week Co.Starter Courses during 2017. We will assist community artists and entrepreneurs in their business recovery after the devastation to our local economy resulting from the November 28, 2016 fire.
How can others get involved: We will recruit two to three local entrepreneurs to train as Facilitators—these have already expressed an interest in training. The SCAC has a database of artists and locals, the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce has an enormous database of business members, and the Sevier County Economic Development Council and various fire relief organizations will also be contacted to recruit participants in the Co.Starter 9-week courses.
Who to contact: Andrea Wilson, Secretary of the Sevierville Commons Arts Council, firstname.lastname@example.org
Organization: Rural Resources
Program/ Project Name: Farm & Food Entrepreneurial Training for Low-Opportunity Teens
Program/Project Summary: Rural Resources, a 20+ year old community-based non-profit organization located on a Greene County farm, will engage 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: Contact Sally Causey (email@example.com) or visit the website!
Organization: Rhea County Economic & Tourism Council
Program Timeline: July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018
Program/ Project Name: Co.Starters
Program/Project Summary: Co.Starters of Rhea County is a nine-week cohort-based program that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships and tools needed to turn business ideas into a sustainable and thriving endeavor. Participants enter into a facilitator led, collaborative process with a small group of 10-15 like-minded peers.
How can others get involved: Interested parties can contact RETC to become a participant or to share their experiences with aspiring entrepreneurs.To find out more about the CO.Starters curriculum, visit their website at http://colab.co/programs/costarters/
Who to contact: Penny Hicks 423-775-6171
Program Timeline: Spring Semester 2017
Program/ Project Name: Youth Entrepreneur Program (#YEP!)
Program/Project Summary: We believe the way to catalyze change is to catalyze hope by sparking opportunity for our youth and then training those who seize those opportunities to not GO but instead to return back to their communities and be the change in that community. We want to see them come home and multiply hope and opportunity. The Youth Entrepreneurs Program, known as #YEP!, is designed to re-ignite the spark of Dreaming, to Believe in themselves, to Create new opportunities for themselves and their community and to Achieve what they never thought possible. #YEP!, The Youth Entrepreneur Program was birthed through a partnership between Live.Love.Hope and Project GRAD Knoxville, and Knox County Schools. #YEP! was first envisioned this idea as a pseudo “Urban Sharktank” after 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 donations of food for various sessions/events.
Who to contact: Angie Hamstead, 865-924-8623, firstname.lastname@example.org or Natoisha Curry, 606-369-6110, email@example.com
Links: https://www.facebook.com/YEPKnox/ + Follow yepknox on Instagram.
Organization: Let’s Innovate through Education
Program Timeline: May 4th, 2017 is LITE Memphis Pitch Night. At pitch night, 25 entrepreneurs pitch their entrepreneurial ideas to a crowd of 300 people.
Program/ Project Name: LITE Memphis
Program/Project Summary: Let’s Innovate through Education empowers African-American/Latino high school students to launch entrepreneurial ideas in their own communities. Through our program, 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.
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 our website.
Who to contact: Hardy Farrow, 706-260-6441, firstname.lastname@example.org
Organization: Hancock County School Board
Program 1: Dev Catalyst + Co.Starters Generator Program for High school students in the fall 2016 semester
Program/ Project Name: Dev. Catalyst Program
Program/Project Summary: Hancock County High School is offering open enrollment for students in the Dev. Catalyst program the first two weeks of January 2017. Students are currently located in a computer laboratory where they utilize a Macintosh computer and the Internet while being led by a facilitator. Participants are currently utilizing the website, Treehouse, to develop small computer boards and learn skills to develop a website and learn functions and pathways of website utilization.
How can others get involved: The program remained open for enrollment for the first 2 weeks of the semester. New students interested in enrollment of the first 2 weeks will be advised the possibility of a future Dev. Catalyst program at a future date.
Who to contact: Ms. Margaret A. Livesay, Program Facilitator or G. Greg Marion, Project Manager
Organization: Entrepreneur Center of Northwest TN
Program/ Project Name 1: Skyhawk Entrepreneurial Vision Workshops
Program Timeline: October 2017 to November 2017
Program/Project Summary: These FREE high-energy workshops are designed to help students and people in the community to understand more about entrepreneurship. This series of workshops brings inspiring speakers to the UTM campus to share their experience in entrepreneurship in a classroom setting. Speakers will address the purpose and strategy of a new business, the value of knowing your competition and market, looking at business through the eyes of an investor, along with how to identify and protect intellectual property. An informal networking session will begin each session and a question and answer session will follow the presentation
How can others get involved: If you believe you have a good idea, and potentially a great business and you want to accelerate the discovery of whether this is true or not, these workshops are for you. If you are looking for mentorship, feedback and guidance about your idea, these workshops are for you. Join us on Thursday evenings learn how to make your vision a reality.
Program/Project Name #2: Minecraft Entrepreneurial Farming Challenge
Program Timeline: July 2017 to November 2017
Program/Project Summary: The Minecraft Farming Challenge was created to deliver lessons about decision making, problem solving, and prioritization of goals, record keeping and most importantly to learn how to navigate real world business decisions. The Minecraft Farming Challenge world includes in-game currency, multiple non-player character (NPC) vendors, the chance to decide which land plot is best for farming, and educational opportunities. Students will have to decide if they wish to take out an in-game loan to assist them in meeting their goals. The goal is to become the most successful Minecraft Farmer within the Minecraft Farming world by accumulating (in-game currency) net worth.
How can others get involved: Minecraft is learning while playing. While in “survival” mode Minecraft players are forced to creatively design solutions to the challenges presented in the game. At the heart of Minecraft is the ability to remain productive and motivated despite obstacles or temporary failures. Equipped with this skill called tenacity, students can persist through difficulties and reach their goals no matter what the world throws at them.
Who to contact: Carol Reed at email@example.com
Links: www.ntecconnect.com & https://www.facebook.com/ntecconnect
Program Timeline: Next Course begins March, 2017
Program/ Project Name: Corner to Corner Business Entrepreneur Academy
Program/Project Summary: If you have ever dreamed about being your own boss, working from home, or turning your business idea into a reality, this class is right for you. This 10 week class works on validating and expanding your business idea. Topics include how to develop a business plan, market research, customer development, financial planning, marketing, branding, social media, and more. Come learn from proven business leaders and coaches who want to help you bring your idea to the marketplace today! This class ends with a pitch competition that will include a grand first place prize to help launch your new business.
How can others get involved: If you want to sign up for the class please register on our website or email Will with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org . If you are interested in volunteering as a guest speaker or coach, we would love to have you! Email email@example.com or call 615-498-4987.
Organization: Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville
– 1/12/17: Applications for Periscope Class of 2017 are made available
– 2/28/17: Applications for Periscope Class of 2017 are due
– Each Thursday from 6/1/17 to 7/6/17: Periscope Training Sessions
– 7/6/17: Periscope Graduation (Noon – 1:00 p.m.)
– 9/6/17: Periscope Pitch (6:00 – 8:00 p.m.)
Program/ Project Name: Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training Outreach Program
Program/Project Summary: ABC will be launching a new outreach program to recruit more underserved artists, particularly from racially and economically diverse backgrounds, to participate in our 4th cohort of the Periscope: Artist Entrepreneurship Training program taking place from March-November 2017. Periscope is a six-week intensive training opportunity hosted at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center that empowers working artists to see their vision through an entrepreneurial lens.
How can others get involved: If you can help us raise awareness about the Periscope program, particularly among racially and economically diverse communities, we would greatly appreciate your help with introductions and co-promotion.
Who to contact: Amber Buker, Program Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Organization: Advance Memphis
– Spring LAUNCH (Co.Starters) Class: Begins February 27 – May 1
– Fall LAUNCH (Co.Starters) Class: Begins September 11 – November 13
– Winter/Spring LAUNCH Intensive: February 13
– Summer/Fall LAUNCH Intensive: July 3
Program/ Project Name: LAUNCH Memphis
Program/Project Summary: The LAUNCH Memphis program, run by Advance Memphis, has a few elements. The primary piece of the program is to educate and support aspiring entrepreneurs in the 38126 zip code in South Memphis, which is a neighborhood marred by a historical lack of resources and access to opportunity. Twice a year, Advance Memphis runs a LAUNCH Class, in which we go through the Co.Starters urban curriculum with people who have a business idea that they want to put into action. We provide long-term wraparound support to graduates of the LAUNCH Class, in the form of mentorship, volunteer service providers, educational opportunities, etc. We also run the LAUNCH Intensive, which is a business incubator program, twice a year. One graduate is selected for each session of the LAUNCH Intensive to receive a small capital grant, and access to more focused mentorship and consulting services.
How can others get involved: People can get involved with LAUNCH Memphis in a variety of creative ways. Most tangibly, those who have experience and skills in business can come alongside graduates and create long-term mentoring relationships, or share their knowledge by guest-speaking in a class. They can also provide services to graduates pro bono, or at discounted rates. More simply, anybody can be an encouragement to a graduate by creating a relationship and helping with simple projects such as creating marketing material. Additionally, people can support the program by choosing to patronize/contract local LAUNCH businesses.
Who to contact: Bryce Stout (email@example.com)
Program Timeline: Camps are to be held during the months of July and August. Specific dates are tbd. Material development will take place prior to that.
Program/ Project Name: CAD Camp
Program/Project Summary: AccelNow is running two programs including CAD camps and Co.Starters Programs. 1) The Computer Aided Design (CAD) Camps are 5-day camps for students who wish to use a computer system to design different real world objects. A CAD professional will expose students to an in-depth knowledge of specific sets of technologies used in computer-aided design and 3D printing. 2) The CO.STARTERS is a nine-week program that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn ideas into action. Now offered in Northeast Tennessee, CO.STARTERS helps participants apply the lean business modeling methods of high-growth startups to small businesses of all kinds. Each cohort consists of 10-16 entrepreneurs and is facilitated by an experienced business owner or founder.
Who to contact: For questions or inquiries about attending or helping with CAD Camps please contact Keith Nakoff (firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information on Co.Starters and upcoming dates visit their website.
Organization: Knoxville Area Urban League
Program/Project Summary: The Paradigm Challenge is a community-wide pitch contest that is geography and industry specific in terms of what category the ideas need reflect as well as where the idea will be implemented. The goal of the competition is spur economic and business development in the East Knoxville business corridors.
How to get involved: Anyone residing in Knox County, Tennessee can submit a pitch idea. For more information, contact the Knoxville Area Urban League at (865) 524-5511.
Organization: Cumberland Business Incubator – Roane State Community College
Program/Project Summary: The CBI is implementing a number of programs including;
A special program to match Veterans who want to start a business now or in the future with veterans who have successfully transferred the skills they learned in the military to business. Kick-off meeting is August 17th with a 14-week program to follow in the fall. 2) Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 Business Accelerators for those interested in starting a business or growing their existing business.
Entrepreneur programs for high school students
Idea Pitch Events for High School students and Roane State Community College students in early 2017
Tennessee Code Academy for 10-16 year old students during the Cumberland County School break in March of 2017
100 Girls of Code for 12-18 year old girls in the Spring of 2017
48 Hour Launch and Pitch event for start-up ideas, Spring 2017
CBI Make Camp 2017 to be held June 19 – 23, 2017
How to get involved: For more information on any of the upcoming events, check the CBI website, subscribe to the e-newsletter at www.cbimakerspace.com/cbi/sign-up-for-our-newsletter/, send an email to email@example.com or call the Cumberland Business Incubator at 931-456-4910.
Organization: Junior Achievement of East Tennessee
Program/Project Summary: JA Company Program unlocks the innate ability in students to fill a need or solve a problem in their community by launching a business venture—unleashing their entrepreneurial spirit. During 13 two-hour meetings students will learn the key elements involved in organizing and operating a business. Students will examine their own entrepreneurial traits, brainstorm potential products and services that could fill a need or solve a problem in the market, pitch their one-page business plan, launch their business and eventually liquidate the business.
How to get involved: Contact Chip Reed @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 865-457-2461 to get involved with the JA Company Program in East Tennessee.
Organization: Grundy County School District
Program/Project Summary: The Grundy County Schools Creative Community project will promote an awareness of the opportunities that writing computer code can provide for citizens living in a rural community. Through the 100 Girls of Code project, all female students in the fifth grade will learn of possible career choices through a field trip and a one-day workshop where they will be introduced to guest speakers and entrepreneurs in the fields of computer science and coding. The CO:de Catalyst project will engage fifty eleventh and twelfth grade high school students in an enriching code-writing curriculum where students will learn to write code for different applications.
How to get involved: All fifth grade girls will be informed of the opportunity to participate in 100 Girls of Code through informational flyers, the district’s FaceBook and website, and should contact their fifth grade teacher if interested in participating. Students who would like to participate in Grundy County High School’s CO:de Catalyst project should contact Mrs. Elizabeth Foster and Mrs. Shanda Brady if interested in participating.
Organization: Fentress County School District
Program/Project Summary: Code Camps implemented in the fall 2016 semester.