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Launch Tennessee invests approximately $70,000 to support 11 projects

For immediate release
May 8, 2023

Launch Tennessee invests approximately $70,000 to support 11 projects 

Fast facts

  • LaunchTN’s new Community Partner Program invested in 11 projects.
  • The total investment was $69,750.
  • LaunchTN selected 11 projects out of 42 applicants.

Nashville, TN — As part of its mission to make Tennessee the best state for startups, LaunchTN recently invested in 11 entrepreneur-support projects — from summits and marketing for Black founder-led initiatives to an open-access library of business documents and how-to templates. 

A total of about $70,000 went to the 11 organizations after a rigorous selection process.

“LaunchTN created the Community Partner Program to help expand opportunities for serving entrepreneurs throughout the state,” LaunchTN Partnerships and Development Manager Ashlin Smith said. “We were overwhelmed by the number of highly viable applications for funding, and we are thrilled to be able to support so many amazing initiatives.”

Creative Soulz Printing owner Thomas Kelly is using the funding to create a Black Business Coupon Book — a project that will elevate small businesses. 

“Typically, black businesses do not have large funding capabilities or resources to grow our businesses as fast as our counterparts,” he said. “So I decided to find a way to incorporate my printing business with a coupon book to help advertise other black businesses.”

Community Engagement Director for Pathway Lending Katie Hendrix said the LaunchTN funding helped improve the Coaching to Capital Educational & Technical Assistance program. 

“Our program helps entrepreneurs — specifically minority business owners — navigate through barriers to capital access,” she said. “LaunchTN’s Community Partner Program helped elevate our work on this in meaningful ways. Combining resources with LaunchTN to better serve Tennessee entrepreneurs has positive ripple effects that we’re proud to be a part of.”

Eleven projects were selected out of 42 applicants. 

Community Partner Program Cohort:

  1.  Arvo: Statewide Resource Library with free templates, how-tos, business resources, and employee upskilling for TN entrepreneurs with additional workshops
  2. Bold In Business: The Wealth & Wellness Fempreneur Summit is a 2-day event providing strategies, frameworks, and hands-on support in lead generation, marketing & content creation, and money management
  3. Creative Soulz Printing: Black Business Coupon Book showcasing Black-owned businesses in Nashville and the Middle Tennessee area
  4. Cumberland Business Incubator at Roane State Community College: Expanding tactical class and assistance opportunities for entrepreneurs throughout East Tennessee at CBI
  5. Founders Forge: Startup Mountain Summit hosted in Northeast TN for early stage startups
  6. LAUNCH Chattanooga: LAUNCH CHA Academy, 10-week course for entrepreneurs building their businesses  
  7. Memphis Medical District Collaborative (MMDC): Support for 10 Memphis entrepreneurs joining the Consumer Packaged Goods cohort with Proof Incubator
  8. Pathway Lending: Coaching to Capital Educational & Technical Assistance program for entrepreneurs in Montgomery, Hamilton, and surrounding counties
  9. Sky City Entrepreneur Center: pitch event highlighting startup companies in Blount County
  10. Start Co.: Sustainable Mobility Summit featuring startup-focused programming, panel discussions, office hours and a demonstration event highlighting startups and emerging mobility systems and innovations
  11. The Inventor Center: Promote Yourself Supper Series program series for entrepreneurs, makers and artists learning the tools to promote their work and themselves

About LaunchTN
LaunchTN is a public-private partnership that supports entrepreneurship and economic development with a goal to make Tennessee the best state in the country for startups. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit 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 through capital access, commercialization, mentorship, marketing and partnerships.

Chloé Morrison

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