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This week we were thrilled to learn that Launch Tennessee was selected to receive a $500,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). We have had a five year partnership with ARC and piloted many new entrepreneurial programs which have led to job creation, capital investment and workforce development in the 52 county Tennessee footprint covered by ARC. In fact, on numerous occasions ARC has cited our partnership and the resulting outcomes in Tennessee as a model for the other 12 states that comprise the ARC region.

This newest grant is a part of ARC’s POWER program targeting coal-impacted communities. It provides Launch Tennessee with a unique opportunity to focus on a population that critically needs new tools in their economic development toolbox. Our multi-generational approach means youth, higher-ed students and adults will all be building skill sets and accessing resources that can translate into near and long-term economic opportunities and successes.

Under this grant, LaunchTN and our partners will pursue the goal of entrepreneur education and workforce development as it relates to company formation and growth. We will track participants of all ages, and the growth of new businesses and existing companies served by our programming. Leveraged capital investment is a key desired outcome and we look forward to seeing more public and private investment in these communities as a result of our partnership.

Our vision at Launch Tennessee is to make Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the country. We look forward to working with various partners in the 10 coal-impacted counties covered in the POWER Grant to fulfill this vision.

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