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Launch Tennessee Request for Proposal: Chief Executive Officer Search

Launch Tennessee Request for Proposal

Project: LaunchTN Chief Executive Officer Search

Date Range: September 15, 2021- December 31, 2021 (approximate)

Primary Contacts:
Bruce Doeg | 615-726-5722

Abby Trotter | 615-969-8113

OVERVIEW: Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) is a public/private partnership that fosters entrepreneurship, growth-stage startups and capital in the state. We serve entrepreneurs across Tennessee through programming and our support of our twelve network partners – including regional Entrepreneur Centers and industry associations. Our mission is to make Tennessee the most startup friendly state in the nation.  LaunchTN also manages an investment portfolio.

LaunchTN is soliciting the services of an executive search firm or professional to assist our 12-person search committee in the recruitment of a Chief Executive Officer. We are soliciting proposals to work with the search committee to conduct a nationwide search for applicants. 

The LaunchTN Search Committee seeks the following Executive Search services to identify a new CEO.

  • In collaboration with the Search Committee, develop a job position suitable for a nationwide search that is consistent with LaunchTN’s mission and vision.
  • Coordinate with Search Committee chair throughout the process.
  • Conduct a nationwide search to identify a diverse pool of highly qualified individuals. This portion of the search is expected to be completed three (3) months after the execution of this contract.
  • In coordination with the Search Committee, develop evaluation criteria to be used.
  • Vetting of qualified candidates for consideration for review and interview by Search Committee.
  • Inform each candidate that makes it through the selection process that their names will be shared with Search Committee. Final candidates will be evaluated by the LaunchTN Executive Committee.
  • Work with the LaunchTN Executive Committee to develop an offer to the most qualified candidate to include benefits and terms of employment.


Please ensure that your proposal addresses the following questions: 

  • What is your experience recruiting leaders for non-profit organizations generally and, in particular, those with an economic development mission? 
  • How would you approach recruiting and identifying candidates on a regional or national basis?
  • What is your approach to ensuring a diverse pool of candidates?
  • What individual(s) would be assigned to this search and what is their experience with similar searches of this type?
  • How would you approach the issue of confidentiality in terms of the release of names?
  • What would be your expectation(s) of the Search Committee?
  • What timeframe would you propose from engagement to completion?
  • What would your fee be?


To be provided by your firm. Please note that this should be a competitive proposal, that LaunchTN is a 501c3 non-profit.


We anticipate the search lasting approximately four (4) months. 

RFPs should be to LaunchTN at the address no later than Close of Business Monday, Sept 13, 2021. 

About LaunchTN

LaunchTN is a public-private partnership with a vision to make Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation. Our mission is to empower a high-functioning network of resources focused on core priorities that support Tennessee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Through our network of Entrepreneur Centers and partner organizations across the state, LaunchTN fosters collaboration among entrepreneurs, the private sector, capital sources, institutions, and government to offer entrepreneurs what they need to succeed and stay in Tennessee to build companies and create jobs.

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