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Meet the Team

Our team brings a wealth of expertise and experience. We all love Tennessee and are working to make it the best state for startups.

LaunchTN Capital Team

Meet the Team

Our team brings a wealth of expertise and experience. We all love Tennessee and are working to make it the best state for startups.

Meet our Board of Directors

Stuart McWhorter

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development

Calvin Anderson

Clear Strategies Group

A.J. Bahou

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP

Tom Ballard

Chief Alliance Officer
Pershing Yoakley & Associates (Emeritus)

Alan Bentley

Assistant Vice Chancellor
Center for Technology Transfer & Commercialization Vanderbilt University

Stephen Crawford

Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer
Eastman Chemical Company

Ann Kathryn Dettwiller

Vice President of Special Projects and Business Development
DET Beverages

Bruce Doeg

Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz (Emeritus)

Ryan Egly

President & CEO
Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce

Shawn Glinter

Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Pendant Biosciences, Inc.

Dr. H.M. “Hash” Hashemian

President & Chief Executive Officer
Analysis and Measurement Services Corporation

Rep. Patsy Hazlewood

Tennessee General Assembly

Victoria Hirschberg

Assistant Vice President of Research, Outreach and Economic Development
The University of Tennessee System

Dr. Susan Hubbard

Deputy Laboratory Director for Science & Technology
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Winston Justice

Investment Manager

Elixr Coffee

Dr. Brian Noland

East Tennessee State University

Benjamin Orgel

Tower Ventures

Julia Polk

Chief Strategy Officer
Decode Health

Denny Wayne Robinson

County Executive
White County Tennessee

Sen. Bo Watson

Tennessee General Assembly

Frank Williamson

Founder & CEO
Oaklyn Consulting

Isaiah (Ziggy) Allenlundy

Isaiah Allenlundy, mainly known as ‘Ziggy’ for the last 26 years, is a Memphis native and University of Memphis alumni.

During his high school and college years, he proved to have great enthusiasm for entrepreneurship and innovation. In between classes (and sometimes during class), he founded an HVAC equipment delivery company with his long-time cofounder, led a startup connecting college students to odd jobs for quick cash, served as the Vice President of his campus’ Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization, and joined LaunchTN’s Venture Fellows cohort. After college, he continued his entrepreneurial endeavors through Venture for America, a 2-year fellowship program to aid recent college graduates in creating economic opportunity in American cities, where he worked for the global entrepreneur support organization, Endeavor, in Detroit. After a stint of bartending, he is happy to continue providing support to entrepreneurs through Launch Tennessee.

When Ziggy is not being a cheerleader for entrepreneurs, he can be found hanging out with his beloved canine companion, training for a Strongman competition, and nerding out to his favorite Sci-Fi books.

Morgan Beam

Morgan Beam is Launch Tennessee’s Development Coordinator. After studying Art History at Auburn University, Morgan entered the world of nonprofit fundraising when she was hired at the Frist Art Museum as a Grants Coordinator. There, she cultivated her grant writing, metrics reporting, and donor cultivation skills. In 2021, Morgan pursued her love for history and antiques by starting her own business conducting estate sales in the Greater Nashville Area. This experience taught Morgan a lot about the joys and challenges of the entrepreneur journey, which led Morgan to the culminating point of combining her professional experiences—nonprofit fundraising and entrepreneurship—in 2023 when she joined the Launch Tennessee team. Morgan is also currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Information Sciences from the University of Tennessee.

Outside of work, Morgan enjoys camping and hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains with family, visiting history and art museums, reading, writing, and participating in trivia nights around town with friends. And, of course, supporting her favorite football teams—the Tennessee Titans and the Auburn Tigers.

Cat Boose

Cat joined LaunchTN from Vanderbilt University, where she filled many complex operational and management roles, including working for the Vanderbilt Business School as their Event Operations Manager.

A Tennessee native, she holds an MBA from Trevecca Nazarene University and a Bachelor of Science in the Recording Industry Music Business from Middle Tennessee State University. As Events Manager, Cat delivers phenomenal meetings and events that build business relationships, generate excitement around our programs, and amplifies the LaunchTN brand.

In her free time, she enjoys writing songs and discovering new talent within the Nashville music scene.

Lindsey Cox

Lindsey Cox is the Chief Executive Officer at Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN), a public-private partnership supporting entrepreneurs and innovation across the state of Tennessee.

A Tennessee native, Lindsey has dedicated her career to the support and acceleration of startups and entrepreneurs in Tennessee and the Southeast. During her first tenure at LaunchTN, she reimagined 3686 Entrepreneurship Festival into a two-day celebration of startup founders, investors and partners, which generated national attention for Tennessee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. She also created LaunchTN’s government relations team and oversaw the passage and administration of the state’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Matching Program, which to date has deployed $11M of grants into tech-enabled, Tennessee-based companies.

Lindsey’s experience is vast with tenure at the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Washington, D.C., she led their signature grant program, Build to Scale. To recently, serving as CEO of The Company Lab (CO.LAB) in Chattanooga, TN, where she oversaw the relaunch of Startup Week Chattanooga, revitalized legacy programs and put in place a team positioned to grow Chattanooga’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Ashley Currie

Ashley Currie currently serves as the Marketing & Stakeholder Engagement Director, overseeing LaunchTN’s brand, marketing, event strategies and stakeholder relations.

She is a Nashville native with some midwest living in between, receiving her B.S. in Marketing from Northern Illinois University. Ashley is an entrepreneur and creative, bringing years of experience within corporate marketing, advertising and managing her own marketing consultancy along with being the founder of Nashville’s only multicultural lifestyle magazine,

When she is not working, you can find her on a hiking trail, laughing with family or honing her at-home chef skills, trying out new recipes.

Rachel Fleming

Full Biography Coming Soon!

Khrys Hatch

Khrys Hatch currently serves as Launch Tennessee’s Senior Associate where he works to expand and expedite the availability of capital to TN startups so that they can grow, create jobs, and build accessible economic prosperity. As part of those efforts, he manages LaunchTN’s Impact Fund, co-investor network, and several other capital-focused initiatives.

He also is a Nashville native and Summa Cum Laude graduate of Fisk University.

Charles Layne

Charles Layne, known as “Chuck” to friends and colleagues, currently serves as the Innovation Manager at Launch Tennessee, where he works to facilitate the commercialization of technologies across the state of Tennessee in addition to striving to improve the Tennessee innovation ecosystem through policy, advocacy, and development efforts. Before joining the team at Launch Tennessee, Chuck worked in Nashville and Memphis on a variety of housing, transportation, and public infrastructure projects. He holds a bachelor’s degree in community development and a Master of City and Regional Planning from the University of Memphis. His background in the civic realm taught him the importance of entrepreneurship in building equitable communities and instilled an appreciation for the ability of technology to build a more sustainable, resilient, and prosperous Tennessee tomorrow.

Chuck’s earliest entrepreneurial experience was a short venture of undercutting school vending machines in the 3rd grade, which he used the exit proceeds from to build his first computer. While not actively an entrepreneur, he plans to pick up artisanal pickling in retirement. Or build a smart city technology to address one of his pet peeves, like the urban heat island effect or poorly constructed bicycle lanes. For now, his favorite part of working at Launch Tennessee is connecting with entrepreneurs who have a vision for how they can create something new for the places they call home.

When not dreaming about the future, Chuck usually spends his time thinking about Nashville hot chicken, rooting for the Memphis Grizzlies (and Memphis at large), planning a trip to get lost in the mountains of East Tennessee – or a combination of the three.

Abbey Lerner

Abbey currently serves as the Social Media and Communications Coordinator, overseeing LaunchTN’s social media channels where she works to communicate key initiatives and activities of LaunchTN and our roster of partners, opportunities for entrepreneurs to further their startups, and founder stories.

She grew up in both New York and Tennessee, receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Abbey recently joined the team as a new graduate, making the move from Chattanooga to Nashville. When she is not working, you can find her exploring Nashville, traveling with friends, visiting family, and finding the best food spots everywhere she goes.

Emily Masters

Emily Masters is Development Director for LaunchTN. She began her more than twenty-year career in the nonprofit and public sectors as a Resolution Writer for the Tennessee General Assembly. She then spent eight years as a Program Officer then Director for Humanities Tennessee, the state partner affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2009 she began working as an independent Development and Fundraising Strategist, going on to help a broad spectrum of organizations and institutions achieve their funding goals and hone their strategic missions. Among her many engagements with clients from within and without the state, Masters wrote and managed a Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grant for the state of Tennessee, raised the local matching funds for Metro Arts when Nashville hosted the Americans for the Arts Convention, functioned as Development Consultant for NashvilleHealth from the point of its founding through the departure of the inaugural CEO, and most recently wrapped up nearly three years with The Porch Writers’ Collective, where she more than tripled the organization’s annual grant funding.

A lifelong Tennessean, Masters holds an MA in English from East Tennessee State University. Her own experience as an entrepreneur (as founder of a Nashville-based dance studio that has been in business since 2008) informs her passion for the mission of LaunchTN. Additionally, Emily serves as the District 3 Representative on the Metro Nashville Board of Education.

Chloe Morrison

As LaunchTN’s Communications Director, Chloé Morrison oversees written content and messaging. She also works with members of the media and other partners on storytelling initiatives.

Chloé grew up in Middle Tennessee and calls Chattanooga home. She spent 14 years as a reporter covering everything from government and crime to entrepreneurship and education.

She also serves on boards of Chattanooga nonprofits, WTCI and the Popup Project. Chloé also loves to create art, even if not beautifully. She’s a dilettante guitar player, singer, painter, and she loves to crochet different sized squares for her bonus children.

Tracee Perrin

Tracee Perrin serves as the Office Coordinator at LaunchTN, supporting the LaunchTN team and its daily operations.

She is a California native and has called Nashville home since 2014. Tracee earned a B.A. in Sociology from Boston University and spent 6 years NYC working in the non-profit, hospitality and entertainment sectors. As an entrepreneur, Tracee helps people build wealth through real estate as a licensed Realtor. In addition to being an Agent, she has also served as a training instructor, mentor and Assistant Team Leader of her Brokerage.

When she is not in the office you can find Tracee writing songs, performing locally & regionally as a Singer/Songwriter or hanging out with her husband and son.

Evan Prislovsky

Evan is a Knoxville native and graduate of Appalachian State University.

He serves as the Capital Associate where he oversees the BuildTN Regional Seed Fund, the Venture Fellows Program, and the TN Deal Reports.

He loves 11-minute naps, Dolly Parton, and dabbling in sports.

Katherine Reall

Katherine currently serves as the Finance & Administration Director, overseeing Launch Tennessee’s financial, audit, HR, and other administrative activities.

She is a Nashville native, receiving her BBA in Accounting from Belmont University. After spending several years in the tax worlds of both public and private accounting, she opened her own CPA firm, with many of her clients becoming some of Nashville’s most beloved establishments. During this time, Katherine also served as the CFO for several clients across various industries. She loves combining the 30,000-foot view with systems and processes that allow companies to work smarter.

Katherine is a CPA and member of the AICPA and TSCPA. She also serves on the Advisory Board for Restore Small Groups.

Ashlin Smith

A product of the LaunchTN Internship Program herself, as well as working with The Biz Foundry and Tennessee Tech’s iCube, Ashlin has gained experience with Tennessee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem on multiple levels. Being exposed to the innovation and entrepreneurship program in college ignited Ashlin’s love of ideation and collaboration, working to ensure entrepreneurs thrive as a founder at any stage.

As LaunchTN’s Partnerships + Development Manager, Ashlin has the opportunity to connect our Network Partners across the state, support university engagement and manage various initiatives at the organization. Ashlin is a Tennessee native and earned her undergraduate degree in Finance and Economics and an MBA concentrated in Information Systems from Tennessee Tech University. She enjoys venturing outdoors with her pup, water skiing and scuba diving with her family, and trying too many Pinterest crafts and recipes.

Abby Trotter

Abby has significant experience working with the state’s startups and innovation-based economy through her work as executive director of BioTN and Life Science TN (LST).

Abby is also a partner at Hall Strategies, a public and government relations firm. She was a driving force behind Tennessee’s SBIR/STTR matching program, as well as the development and expansion of LaunchTN’s Mentor Network programs that now assist startups in the life science, automotive/mobility, energy and ag-tech industries.

Abby has vast experience managing multi-faceted, complex projects that include communications, policy and advocacy, events, membership development, fundraising, and grassroots campaigns.

A native of Oak Ridge, Abby is a graduate of the University of Tennessee. Abby is regularly engaged in community work. She has a passion for education, the biosciences, the Nashville Zoo, Tennessee’s lakes, and hot chicken. Her husband Doug is a high school history teacher. She has two daughters, one freshman at Purdue and the other a senior at Nashville’s John Overton High School.

Anna Truss

Anna Truss currently serves as an Executive Assistant at LaunchTN. Through this role she supports the CEO, the Administration team, and the Communication team. She is a Nashville native and spent her childhood in East Nashville before moving across town in high school. Anna received a B.S. in Communication from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and joined the LaunchTN team shortly after. When she is not working, you can find her spending time with her family & friends, working on knitting projects, or taking a walk with her dog.

Monique Villa

Monique Villa recently joined Launch Tennessee as the organization’s first Chief Investment Officer, leading a new $70M fund backing early-stage companies in Tennessee. She is also the Co-Founder of Build In SE, a network of ecosystem builders committed to supporting entrepreneurs in the Southeast. Prior to joining Launch Tennessee, she was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) with Mucker Capital. In 2018, she joined Mucker’s investment team and opened the firm’s first satellite office in Nashville to lead investments into early-stage startups across the Southeast and North America.

A native of Los Angeles, Monique’s career in early-stage venture capital began in 2013 as Head of Investor Relations for Velos Partners, a fund based in Los Angeles and Singapore focused on emerging markets. She also served as Chief of Staff to the founding partner of Core Innovation Capital, a fintech-focused fund based in LA and San Francisco. Earlier in her career, Monique advised digital entertainment startups on business development and strategic partnerships and later went on to lead a startup accelerator for students in the Greater Los Angeles area. Her startup career began in 2008 while interning for TOMS, where she supported finance and inventory management projects for several nationwide launches.

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