NASHVILLE – Dec 8, 2020 – Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN), a public-private partnership guided by a vision of making Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation, today announced that Van Tucker has been appointed the organization’s president and CEO. Tucker, who was appointed Interim CEO in July 2020, now steps into the official role.
In her time as Interim CEO, Tucker helped navigate LaunchTN and its partner network through the challenges brought on by COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, LaunchTN has advocated for organizations across Tennessee and the southeast U.S., helping provide the resources businesses need to build, scale and execute their goals. As well, Tucker oversaw LaunchTN’s first virtual 36|86 Festival, the organization’s yearly event empowering entrepreneurship. Traditionally a two-day, in-person festival, this year’s digital conference took place over 10 days, with more than fifty hours and 50+ sessions that reached a worldwide audience.
“LaunchTN is an integral part of Tennessee’s entrepreneurial landscape and our economic development efforts,” said Bob Rolfe, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. “Van has proven herself to be the clear choice to lead LaunchTN and accelerate the organization’s impact on our state’s thriving startup ecosystem. I look forward to seeing the great ways Van’s leadership will steer LaunchTN’s efforts moving forward.”
Tucker joined LaunchTN as COO in Jan. 2020 and became Interim CEO after the departure of Margaret Dolan in July 2020. Before joining LaunchTN, she served as founding CEO of the Nashville Fashion Alliance, a trade organization that raised international awareness of the industry’s $6B economic impact. Prior to that, Tucker cofounded Avenue Bank as Chief Creative Officer, responsible for award-winning brand development.
“It’s an honor to lead LaunchTN in its mission to foster entrepreneurial collaboration through our network partners across the state of Tennessee and beyond,” said Van Tucker, president and CEO, LaunchTN. “Over the past six months, our team has nurtured a culture of high-performance expectations, creative thinking and empathy, all qualities that will ensure our economic impact continues for years to come. I am thrilled to continue these efforts as we support and create resources in synergy with our network partners to make Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation.”
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.