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LaunchTN End of Year Review: 2021

In many ways, the perspectives of each and every individual have shifted since early 2020. While this year differed from the last,  2021 challenged us, expanded our mindsets, and provided us all with various opportunities to learn and grow – regardless of what those entailed. As Abby Trotter, Interim CEO of LaunchTN, stated in our 2021 annual report, “In the wake of all that has happened globally and in our state…aren’t we all, in a sense, standing at the precipice? And, as entrepreneurs in practice or in spirit, who doesn’t love a good precipice? Sure it’s a risk, but the view is expansive, and you get to see all of the prospects ahead. That is where Tennessee is right now as well, on the precipice: the precipice of opportunity.”


I look forward to LaunchTN continuing to be a risk-taker, to accepting our challenges, and to all of us getting up every day and working to better this great state while continuing to build our innovation-based economy.”

– Abby Trotter, Interim CEO


As 2021 comes to a close, we want to highlight just a few of LaunchTN’s unique experiences, partnerships, and programs that took place over the year 2021. We hope these highlights provide a glimpse into the amazing opportunities we are able to seize within our unique, statewide entrepreneurial ecosystem.


2021 Annual Report: Key Stats

  • 44 innovative startups matched and supported (thanks to $7M in reallocated funds from Governor Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly)
  • 505 new jobs created from our ecosystem partners, resulting in $146,125,214 in economic impact to Tennessee
  • $11.24 return achieved for every public dollar invested
  • $10.2M in angel tax credit investments made across 33 Tennessee companies
  • $1,056,741 in total investments made from the Impact Fund, supporting 10 Tennessee companies
  • $10.6M in private capital leveraged


2021 Blog: Top Articles

Surprising SBIR Matching Fund Recipients Around Tennessee

Our LaunchTN team hit the road to surprise a few of our newest SBIR Matching Fund Grant Recipients in Knoxville, Johnson City, Nashville and Chattanooga. This year over 40 businesses were awarded by LaunchTN – more than double the amount from last year.



Moments From Our #BuildTn Conversations with Percy “Master P” Miller

Last Friday, we were proud to present #BuildTN Conversations: Percy “Master P” Miller. The event was held at The National Museum of African American Music. In person, we had an intimate gathering of entrepreneurs and investors we invited. Virtually, the event had over 600 attendees who joined us from all over the country.


Beast Brands is creating better personal care products in Nashville

A LaunchTN Portfolio Company: CEO John Cascarano of Beast Brands Inc originally intended that his products would be only for men, but smartly decided to expand into the unisex market with bold branding, literary allusions, and raw, botanical ingredients. This switch, made in 2019, doubled their revenue and expanded their horizons exponentially. Their full line of soaps and lotions is designed to help Beasts of all kinds feel good in their skin, all while supporting sustainability for nature and the environment.


2021 Social Media: Top Posts

Forbes “America’s Best Startup Employers”
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National Black Business Month

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Ford Motor Company Regional Megasite Unveiling
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LaunchTN Team’s Surprise Guest Series

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That’s A Wrap!

The LaunchTN team thanks you for your partnership in 2021. We look forward to serving Tennessee’s entrepreneurs throughout the new year with the strong support of our Board of Directors, Network Partners, Tennessee Economic Development, and investors. Let’s make Tennessee the most startup friendly state, together. #BuildTN





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