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Innovation Week 2024 recap

Innovation Week focuses on areas where innovation, commercialization and advocacy intersect.

It’s a chance to showcase technology innovation and entrepreneurship wins. 

The week also brought Network Partners from across the state to Nashville to meet entrepreneurs and legislators and highlight the work they are doing in their region.

Check out a break down of what happened day-by-day at this year’s Innovation Week.

Thanks to our partners
This week wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of our venue partners.

EY Edge Tax Center provided the perfect space for the Regional Seed Fund Training for our Regional Entrepreneur Center Partners. Tennessee State University hosted our Innovator Day.

Our Visionary Partner Pinnacle Financial Partners provided the venue for our TTAC Planning Summit. We’re so grateful for the support of all!

Check out photos from the week. Photos by Elle Danielle

Innovator roundup
Leading up to Innovation Week, we’ve been highlighting companies LaunchTN has supported through the SBIR/STTR Matching Fund, as well as the new pilot program the Tennessee Technology Advancement Consortium. Read more

On Monday, Launch Tennessee’s entrepreneur center Network Partners attended a Regional Seed Fund training to learn more about one of the InvestTN funds. 

That evening, Network Partners mixed and mingled with the Launch Tennessee’s board at a private event. 

On Tuesday, Launch Tennessee joined other organizations, including Life Science Tennessee, for an annual Day on the Hill. 

This day facilitated discussions among policymakers and stakeholders on ways to better support companies, research institutions, educators, and entrepreneurs. 

Tuesday night, innovators and entrepreneurs networked with legislators from across the state at the annual legislative reception. 

Wednesday Innovator Day
A new addition this year was Innovator Day at Tennessee State University on Wednesday. 

Entrepreneurs, academics and innovators gathered at Tennessee State University Wednesday for LaunchTN’s Innovator Day. 

TSU officials welcomed the crowd, and Dr. Isaac Addae, Small & Minority Business Engagement Liaison with the City of Nashville, spoke about the city’s commitment to innovation. 

He called the day a historic occasion.

“Innovation has not always been something our city has been synonymous with — that’s changing,” he said. 

LaunchTN CEO Lindsey Cox spoke to the group about the organization’s mission to provide capital, connections and commercialization to the state. And she gave a recap of a recent study about tech-based economic development. 

LaunchTN’s Chuck Layne also introduced the Tennessee Technology Advancement Consortium, TTAC, which is a centralized technology transfer and commercialization support office.

He said the pilot program has three goals:

— Develop new relationships with university faculty
— Increase innovation activity
— Demonstrate a scalable model for a centralized tech transfer office 

Next, Mid-South Innovation Hub Director Charleson Bell told the crowd about the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps, an immersive entrepreneurial training program and $50,000-grant for research commercialization. 

Quoteworthy – What is innovation?
“Innovation is positive value change.” — Mid-South Innovation Hub Director Charleson Bell

The crowd heard from startup innovators from the I-Corps Program Innovator Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, who showcased technologies they’ve built.

The afternoon brought networking and a tour of TSU labs.

On Thursday, entrepreneur centers animated the state by opening their spaces up for free coworking. 

LaunchTN Community Partner Program awardee Giles County Chamber is also joining in with its co-working space, MakeShift.

With the addition of Giles County, there was a free place to co-work in every region of Tennessee.

You are now being taken to Startup Tennessee to view current events.

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