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InvestTN makes first matching investment into Kingsport company

Nashville, TNInvestTN made its first matching investment into a Kingsport-based, woman-led business. 

The $150,000-commitment went to Personality Pool, a company that uses advanced technology and artificial intelligence to help employers screen entry-level job candidates based on their personality traits. 

“It’s fantastic that our first commitment from the InvestTN fund is out of the tri-cities area,” LaunchTN Chief Investment Officer Eller Kelliher said. “We are planting a flag and saying that there are great entrepreneurs throughout this state, not only in major cities, like Nashville.” 

The funds will allow founder Lauren Glass-Mullins to solidify her technology and bring on bigger clients, she said. 

“I’m really excited that we are the first, because we’re a female-founded company from a rural area,” she said. 

Personality Pool allows employers to screen candidates early in the hiring process, specifically benefiting industries, such as customer service, hospitality and health care.

It allows job seekers to stand out by showing characteristics that aren’t clear on a resume, and it provides information that can supplement gaps in employment or education by showing a company how the applicant’s personality might be a good fit. 

The InvestTN commitment helped draw other investments to the company, Glass-Mullins said. Personality Pool has raised a total of $300,000, including InvestTN’s $150,000. 

“This is such a catalyst for what we’re going to be able to grow here,” she said. “We are always going to be a Tennessee-based company.”

Glass-Mullins had a thorough application, which helped the process go smoothly. She had all her due-diligence materials ready, along with a cap table, strong pitch deck and solid advisors to help her meet the required 1:1 investment match. 

“The application process was really straightforward, but it’s only going to be straightforward if you have your ducks in a row,” Glass-Mullins said. 

In addition to her complete application, she also has support from LaunchTN entrepreneur center partner Sync Space. 

“The investment from Launch Tennessee and the private investors represents the incredibly talented people our region is cultivating,” Sync Space President Heath Guinn said. “This investment also demonstrates the power of a regional entrepreneurial ecosystem working to help provide access to the resources young companies need to start, grow, and hire within our region.”

InvestTN is Launch Tennessee’s new $70-million equity investment fund. InvestTN is part of Fund Tennessee, a $117 million fund that represents Tennessee’s allocation of the most recent  State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI 2.0) $10 billion budget. 

About Launch Tennessee
LaunchTN is a 501c3 nonprofit partnership building an ecosystem of support for every startup and investor in Tennessee. As a public-private partnership, we are uniquely positioned to provide direct investment, while also supporting collaboration among founders, investors, researchers, private sector institutions and government. We foster entrepreneurship, technology advancement and workforce development by providing capital access, commercialization support, and connections. 

About InvestTN
Powered by Launch Tennessee, InvestTN makes equity investments into Tennessee-located startups (Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A and B) and venture capital funds. InvestTN is part of Fund Tennessee, a $117 million fund that represents Tennessee’s allocation of the most recent  State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI 2.0) $10 billion budget. Funded by the U.S. Treasury, SSBCI 2.0 capital is designated for small business financing and technical assistance to help small and diverse businesses become capital ready. TNECD manages the Fund Tennessee allocation through InvestTN $70 million equity fund and LendTN, a $47 million debt/loan fund.

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