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Launch Tennessee, TEConomy Release New Report on Tennessee’s Startup Ecosystem

New report outlines roadmap for eliminating barriers and expanding opportunities for Tennessee entrepreneurs

Nashville, Tenn. Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN), a public-private partnership that fosters entrepreneurship across the state, today released a new report, “Analyzing Tennessee’s Entrepreneurial Landscape,” in partnership with TEConomy Partners, a global leader in research, analysis and strategy for innovation-based economic development. The purpose of the study was to determine barriers to startup activity and offer policy recommendations that leverage opportunities aligned with Launch Tennessee’s mission of making Tennessee a more startup-friendly state.

The report assesses the strengths and weaknesses of Tennessee’s startup ecosystem by exploring key market indicators, as well as factors instrumental to startup success, such as access to capital, commercialization and tech transfer support, and talent. The report also benchmarks Tennessee’s network model and financing to other peer states, including Ohio, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky.

“We know that entrepreneurship is a key driver of economic growth, and this report outlines a roadmap for how to ensure our network of partners works collaboratively to create more opportunities for individuals to build companies and create jobs in Tennessee,” said Margaret Dolan, president and CEO of LaunchTN.

The report concludes with the following recommendations to address challenges to entrepreneurial growth:

  • Design a capital initiative based on the success of current funding initiatives like the SBIR/STTR Matching Grant Program.
  • Expand programming that facilitates introductions among larger, established businesses seeking innovative products and services and the startup community.
  • Increase support for tech transfer offices at regional universities that currently lack this infrastructure.
  • Pilot and scale new workforce initiatives that create a pipeline of talent for Tennessee’s startups and companies beginning at grades K-12.
  • Double the state’s investment in LaunchTN from $5.3M annually to $10.6M.

“When you look across the country, all states are investing in programs to support startups,” said Jennifer Ozawa, Innovation Director of TEConomy Partners. “After thorough research, this report identifies specific areas where Tennessee needs to invest to make the state more competitive. However, it also demonstrates what makes Tennessee’s model effective: strong collaboration and a productive division of labor guided by LaunchTN’s state-wide leadership, as well as the willingness to scale impactful programs that originate in regional markets.”

“I am pleased that the report’s recommendations align with LaunchTN’s agenda for strengthening entrepreneurship across the state. It validates our current strategic direction focusing on capital, market access, commercialization, talent and building the ecosystem. We have a lot more ground to cover, and this report helps us further refine our current path,” said Dolan.

About Launch Tennessee
Launch Tennessee is a public-private partnership that supports entrepreneurs from ideation to exit and is guided by a vision of making Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation. Partnering with Entrepreneur Centers in six regions, Launch Tennessee creates collaboration among entrepreneurs, the private sector, capital sources, institutions and government to offer entrepreneurs what they need to succeed and stay in Tennessee to build companies and create jobs. Visit LaunchTN.org to discover what makes Tennessee a great state for startups.

About TEConomy Partners
TEConomy Partners is a global leader in research, analysis, and strategy for innovation-based economic development. We bring over 25 years of experience in assessing entrepreneurial ecosystems, benchmarking existing programs against best practices, and answering key policy questions at the regional, state, and national level. We help our clients blueprint their future and translate knowledge into prosperity. http://www.teconomypartners.com/

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