The TENN is our five-month master accelerator program designed to give additional support to some of the top graduates of Tennessee’s regional accelerator network. We have incorporated some changes and improvements in our second cohort of the program, which kicked off in October, based on feed back from last year’s inaugural program.
Here’s a rundown of some of the changes. (You can read about all of them in my recent Tennessean column here.)
This year’s learning days are focused on specific topics relevant to the teams, and we’ve revamped the way the days are organized to make sure the entrepreneurs get as much value out of them as possible. Each learning day consists of a panel discussion with thought leaders on a specific topic. Following the panel discussion, each team gets one-on-one time with the panel members to discuss the problems or needs they are facing. This gives the teams a chance to get direct feedback about the issues most important to them from industry experts.
One of the biggest benefits of any accelerator program is the chance to meet investors and form valuable relationships with them. To build on this opportunity, we created a new effort for the second cohort called TENN Connect-Invest, in which investors identify particular teams they are interested in and we provide them with updates every four to six weeks on the progress of those companies. By keeping investors engaged and up to date, the likelihood of a TENN company receiving investment becomes more favorable.
This year’s teams include AgSmarts, Closeup.fm, eDivv, EndoInSight, Feetz, FiveWorx, GraphStory, Healthcare MarketMaker and Stony Creek Colors. At the end of the program in March, the team that made the most progress will be awarded the Most Traction award.
Read my recent Tennessean column to learn more about the changes we’ve made in the second year of The TENN. It’s going to be an exciting cohort!