New organization joins statewide network of resources for Tennessee entrepreneurs and startups, kicks off first cohort in March to the delight of regional innovation partners.
NASHVILLE — Launch Tennessee, a public-private partnership that empowers a statewide network of resources supporting Tennessee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, today announced Sync Space as its newest network partner. The Tri-Cities accelerator kicks off its first cohort this spring.
“On behalf of our statewide partners from Memphis and Jackson to Chattanooga, Nashville, Cookeville, and Knoxville, LaunchTN extends an enthusiastic, warm welcome to the Sync Space team,” said LaunchTN President and CEO Margaret Dolan. “Sync Space is an important addition to our network. Our vision is to make Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation, and formally extending Tennessee’s robust network to the Tri-Cities area is a significant addition to our statewide ecosystem.”
The Sync Space accelerator program is uniquely focused on providing opportunity for local and recruited startups considering Northeast Tennessee as a place to grow or expand their business. Early-stage companies in the initiative will have access to professional services, equipment, and facilities to help complete a successful pilot with Sync Space partners.
Regional connectivity to statewide entrepreneurial network
“Sync Space is truly a regional effort for all of Northeast Tennessee,” said Heath Guinn, Sync Space founder. “We’re grateful for the support from LaunchTN, which powers our work and facilitated a local match through the Sullivan County Commission, Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen, and the Kingsport Economic Development Board.
“We’re also pleased to collaborate with many of the esteemed institutions, colleges, and universities that call Northeast Tennessee home, including the healthcare community that is delivering extraordinary innovation to our region.”
“From the Eastman perspective, we’re excited about the collaborative work and continued progress by LaunchTN,” said Steve Crawford, Eastman Senior Vice President, Chief Technology and Sustainability Officer. “The Sync Space/LaunchTN partnership is a great example of that progress. This partnership will support regional economic development efforts in Northeast Tennessee, and it directly addresses an identified gap: lack of infrastructure, resources, and funding to support and attract entrepreneurs to the region.
“SyncSpace also illustrates the potential of collaboration to spur economic development — the shared support and commitment of local governments were critical to making this happen.”
Focus on innovation to solve challenges in Northeast Tennessee
With an emphasis on leveraging assets and innovation to solve challenges in Northeast Tennessee, the accelerator program’s first cohort will focus on companies in community health; education and opportunity for all; medical devices; and advanced materials. The pilot will also consider companies seeking advanced manufacturing mentorship and facilities.
Through the accelerator program, accepted startups will have immediate opportunities to pilot their product or service with Sync Space partners through contracts, research agreements, and access to equipment and engineering support as they continue toward commercialization.
Mayor Richard Venable noted that the Sullivan County Commission and Kingsport Economic Development Board have already voted to appropriate funds to match the LaunchTN grant.
“Conversations are continuing on how we expand regional support and reach for entrepreneurial development,” said Mayor Venable, “and we look forward to Washington County and Johnson City joining us in regional entrepreneurial development through the Sync Space accelerator.”
Kingsport Mayor Pat Shull noted that the city has worked hard to improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem through partnership with the Kingsport Economic Development Board, including developing a regional maker space and working toward building additional advanced manufacturing capacity.
“Kingsport believes that a key missing component in our development toolbox has been in the area of entrepreneurial support and development,” Mayor Shull said. “We are pleased to support this effort as it grows beyond Sullivan County to become a truly regional entrepreneurial development program.”
Visit SyncSpace.org for more information and to apply for the accelerator’s first startup cohort.
Applications close March 1.
Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) is a public-private partnership with a vision to make Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation. Our mission is to empower a high-functioning network of resources focused on core priorities that support Tennessee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Through our network of Entrepreneur Centers and partner organizations across the state, LaunchTN fosters 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.