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Eligibility and Evaluation


  • Organizations must be classified as a 501(c)3 (not for profit) organization.
  • Proposals must tie projects to one of LaunchTN’s strategic goals. The more alignment with goals, the higher likelihood that proposal will be selected for funding.
  • All proposals must provide a form of support for existing or potential high growth companies. A High Growth Company can be categorized as having many (not necessarily all) of the characteristics below:
    • Has a business model that is designed to be repeatable and scalable
    • Is attractive as a potential venture investment
    • Has a large, beyond-local market opportunity
    • Is not a services business
    • Has an exit strategy that generates a return on investment for investors
    • Has a founder(s) who puts significant emphasis on growth (versus company profitability for personal income)  
  • Applicants must demonstrate demand and a gap in services in your region or to the population you are serving.
  • Preference will be given to organizations providing programming to the counties listed below, counties that do not house an entrepreneur center or have active programming run by an EC.
    • T4 Counties – Benton, Bledsoe, Carroll, Carter, Claiborne, Cocke, Grundy, Hancock, Hardeman, Haywood, Houston, Lake, Lauderdale, Mcnairy, Wayne, Decatur, Perry, Lewis, Van Buren,, Rhea, Jackson, Overton, Fentress, Morgan, Scott, Campbell, Union, Grainger, Unicoi, and Johnson
    • T3 Counties – Obion, Weakley, Gibson, Henderson, Chester, Hardin, Lawrence, Hickman, Macon, Dekalb, Warren, Marion, Meigs, Polk, Monroe, Macon, Putnam, Clay, Pickett, Hamblen, Greene, and Hawkins.
    • T2 Counties -Shelby, Tipton, Madison, Crockett, Dyer, Henry, Humphreys, Stewart, Giles, Franklin, Marshall, Bedford, Coffee, Cannon, Franklin, Smith, Cumberland, Sequatchie, McMinn, Roane, Sevier, Jefferson, and Sullivan.
    • Coal Impacted Counties – Fentress, Scott, Morgan, Cumberland, Anderson, Claiborne, Grundy, Sequatchie, Marion.
    • Counties that House Entrepreneurs Centers – Shelby, Davidson, Knox, Madison, Putnam
  • Applicants must provide at least 30% of the total budget, which can be cash, in-kind or a combination of the two.
  • Organizations should not apply if they are unable to execute tasks in alignment with the designated timeline. Selected partners that do not comply with designated timeline/requirements will forfeit their funding.

Evaluation and Scoring Considerations

  • Demonstrates a demand for the programs/funds – 25%
  • Aligns with LaunchTN strategic priorities – 25%
  • Includes a Discover Entrepreneurship Program Plan with a description of the plan’s feasibility – %20
  • Engages partners with a significant level of collaboration – 15%
  • Lays out measures of success for the program – 15%
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