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KEC boosts Knoxville’s thriving entrepreneurial community

Featured partner: Knoxville Entrepreneur Center

What: Knoxville Entrepreneur Center is a business accelerator located in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, dedicated to changing lives through entrepreneurship. Their mission is to create a thriving entrepreneurial community that is accessible, diverse, and sustainable to make Knoxville the most founder-friendly city in America.

Location: Knoxville

The latest from the team: 

  • KEC just wrapped up The Maker City’s 2023 Summit. It was 3 days of business education for 250 creative entrepreneurs, who are working to make a living doing what they love.
  • A new CO.STARTERS cohort is starting this month. There will be 11 entrepreneurs in this 10-week course working to develop their business plans.
  • Let Her Speak just launched Let Her Lead, a dual-cohort program matching aspiring leaders up with established leaders to help provide women with the necessary tools, resources, and social capital to become the leaders our modern world needs. Let Her Speak is also hosting monthly “Women Building Wealth” workshops.
  • 100Knoxville is hosting a four-part workshop this month for Black-owned businesses. This workshop will help people learn more about how to apply and prepare for 100Knoxville and how to build a thriving business.
  • KEC’s Made For Knoxville Meetup is Oct. 3 at Ijams Nature Center. This event has no programming and is just a great, low-stakes opportunity for entrepreneurs to meet one another and network while experiencing one of Knoxville’s great locations/businesses.
Failing Forward

Failing Forward with Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, as told by Taryn Ferro of Aw, Snap Photography

My business is in photography and marketing, and while a camera has always been in my hand marketing was not always the goal. In my first life, I was a photojournalist, which is where Aw, Snap Photography “failed forward” first.

In the mid-2000s, journalism as a whole took a huge hit. Between a market crash and the dawn of cell phone photography, clients and jobs became few and far between. As my love for photography never waned, I needed to readjust to the current market. 

Through tough lessons, perseverance and a lot of trial and error, Aw, Snap Photography became a Knoxville household name in event and product photography. 

I was able to capture and deliver the stories that lived within brands, companies, moments, and people, effectively marrying my first love with the new market demands and building a voice for my brand that is recognizable and speaks with integrity and truth.

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