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Chattanooga, Memphis Join Prestigious RISE OF THE REST® Tour In May

We’re so excited that Steve Case and JD Vance are bringing the RISE OF THE REST® bus to two Tennessee cities this May: Chattanooga and Memphis! It’s an honor to showcase on a national stage how we do entrepreneurship in Tennessee.

Governor Bill Haslam is excited about RISE OF THE REST too! Hear why he thinks we’re gaining national awareness as a startup-friendly state. WATCH NOW.

Tennessee helps entrepreneurs thrive in unique ways. For example they can access curriculum, mentorship and so much more through a statewide network of Entrepreneur Centers. In fact we’re one of the only states with an entrepreneur-resource infrastructure that operates at the state level.

That means an entrepreneur gets support from a back-of-the-napkin idea all the way to exit, no matter where in the state she is. This support is crucial from an economic development perspective because it means our best and brightest can build their companies right here in Tennessee and not have to move to New York or Silicon Valley to find talent, capital and customers.

CO.LAB, the entrepreneur center in Chattanooga, for example, is a key player in building up what’s now a nationally recognized startup city. Proximity to Oak Ridge National Lab and Chattanooga’s 10 gigabit-per-second internet, the fastest in the country, have attracted entrepreneurs working in tech-enabled industries like 3-D printing.

“Congratulations to Memphis and my hometown of Chattanooga for earning the opportunity to showcase their entrepreneurs on a national stage,” said U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN). “Tennessee has always been a business-friendly state with industry-leading healthcare, logistics and manufacturing innovations. This recognition from Steve Case and the team at Rise of the Rest is proof that Tennessee is also a startup-friendly state.”

Diversity is a cornerstone in Chattanooga. Leading the way for women entrepreneurs is The JumpFund, the South’s first female-led venture fund investing exclusively in women founders.

On the other end of the state, Memphis entrepreneurship is experiencing a rebirth, thanks to the leadership of Epicenter and its community partners. Entrepreneurs in Memphis capitalize on regional strengths in logistics, medical devices and agriculture, with best-in-class industry accelerators that are supported by local corporations like FedEx, Tennessee’s largest company and the global leader in logistics.

Tennessee has always been home to smart entrepreneurs,” said U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN). “Today, organizations like Launch Tennessee and RISE OF THE REST® are helping more Tennesseans start and grow businesses. I’m glad the rest of the nation is hearing that Chattanooga and Memphis are two of the best cities in the nation to launch a business.”

What’s truly unique is that Launch Tennessee is singularly dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship. We are the connective tissue, bringing together entrepreneurs, the private sector, capital sources, institutions and government, to offer entrepreneurs exactly what they need to build companies and create jobs right here in Tennessee.

We’re thrilled that RISE OF THE REST is returning to the Volunteer State. Come join us at one of the tour stops in May and see what Tennessee can do for your company. There’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur in Tennessee.

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