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Community Partner Program guidelines


LaunchTN announces Community Partner Program to support TN entrepreneurial activity


LaunchTN supports entrepreneurship and economic development with a goal to make Tennessee the best state in the country for startups. LaunchTN strategic priorities include 1) the commercialization of technologies and products, 2) increasing the availability and accessibility of capital, and 3) connecting founders to entrepreneurship resources across the state.

The Community Partner Program (CPP) award opportunity seeks to bolster the entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout Tennessee by providing a limited number of one-time financial awards to organizations or companies providing entrepreneurial support programs in their communities. Preference may be given to organizations who provide support outside of LaunchTN’s existing network, but all eligible organizations/companies are invited to apply.

Awards will be made from a finite pool of funding set aside specifically for the LaunchTN CPP initiative. Organizations/companies may apply for up to $15,000 by outlining plans for how funds will be spent on programming to support and empower Tennessee entrepreneurs between 03/01/2023 and 6/30/2023.

LaunchTN will continue to make awards to applicants deemed eligible as long as funding is available, in accordance with opportunity guidelines and timeline. Permissible costs include, but are not necessarily limited to, programming curriculum, marketing expenses, certain event expenses, external speaker/educator fees. Non-permissible costs include, but are not necessarily limited to, personnel expenses, overhead costs (such as rent, utilities), direct cash prizes, alcoholic beverages, travel costs not directly related to entrepreneurial support project/program.

Funded activities must be completed by June 30, 2023. Applicants must supply a budget narrative and detailed case for support within application. To be deemed eligible, applicants must be headquartered in TN. Winning applicants will be expected to submit deliverables upon completion of activity supported through award funds within 30 days of project completion, and they will be expected to appropriately acknowledge LaunchTN, as outlined in notice of award.

Examples of fundable activities:

  • Purchase of accredited entrepreneurial curriculum to lead a cohort of entrepreneurs in a TN community through an 8 week program to be completed prior to end of June 2023
  • Lunch and learn with guest educational speaker
  • Office hours with legal or tax professionals to assist startup companies
  • Pitch competition for local founders with award funds going toward marketing and event costs
  • Planning expenses associated with future events, programs, etc. as long as expenses are incurred and paid prior to June 30, 2023

Examples of un-fundable activities:

  • Salaries for organization/company employees
  • Capital expenses or endowment funding
  • Overhead costs or any other costs not directly related to entrepreneurial support project as outlined in application
  • Cash prizes 

APPLICATIONS CURRENTLY CLOSED: The CPP application is closed at this time. If you submitted an application to CPP, you will receive updates via email as our review team works through submissions. LaunchTN aims to offer this opportunity again in the future.

LaunchTN team members will review and respond to applications beginning as early as March 1, 2023. All applications will be thoroughly reviewed, and those deemed eligible and appropriately aligned with the mission of the CPP initiative will receive funding until CPP FY23 funds are exhausted. LaunchTN reserves the right to offer less funding than requested. Winning applicants will be given five business days from notification of award to either accept or decline the offered award. LaunchTN anticipates funding approximately ten awards.

Attend this year's Innovation Week March 27-31, 2023 in Nashville!