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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.

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.

Launch Tennessee is a 501c3 that supports the startup ecosystem through capital, connections and commercialization.

Meet our Board of Directors

Stuart McWhorter

Commissioner
Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development

Calvin Anderson

President
Clear Strategies Group

A.J. Bahou

Partner
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

Shareholder
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
AllianceBernstein

Co-Founder
Elixr Coffee

Dr. Brian Noland

President
East Tennessee State University

Benjamin Orgel

Partner
Tower Ventures

Julia Polk

Operating Advisor
New Ventures Consulting

Denny Wayne Robinson

County Executive
White County Tennessee

Sen. Bo Watson

Tennessee General Assembly

Frank Williamson

Founder & CEO
Oaklyn Consulting

Allyn Abadie

Allyn Abadie currently serves as the Technology Advancement Coordinator helping to support founders in pursuit of SBIR/STTR and other federal commercialization opportunities.

Allyn is from Southern California, but most recently lived in Birmingham, Alabama. She received her B.S. in Athletic Training from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a M.A. in Health Studies from The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL, and is finishing a PhD in Nutrition Sciences from The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her research focuses on quantitatively tracking concussion recovery by monitoring changes in metabolism. She brings to LaunchTN a passion for helping founders commercialize their research and utilizes her own clinical and academic experiences to provide support.

Allyn is married to local tech entrepreneur and Vanderbilt Owen graduate, Neil Granberry. They spend their free time trying new restaurants and cocktail bars, playing with their 7 year old Australian Retriever, and cheering on their respective alma maters (Allyn- Alabama; Neil- Auburn).

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.

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.

Eller Kelliher

Eller Kelliher is the Chief Investment Officer for Launch Tennessee. In this role, Eller oversees all capital and equity programs for the organization including the $70M InvestTN Fund and IMPACT and INCITE portfolios. She leads the Capital team on investment strategy, due diligence, and capital deployment. Eller is a native Tennessean who grew up in Chattanooga. She moved to Nashville in 2015 to start a career in venture capital.

Eller spent seven years with Nashville-based early-stage healthcare fund, Jumpstart Health Investors, where she served as Managing Director of Jumpstart Foundry. In that capacity, Eller invested in over 100 pre-seed stage healthcare technology companies and helped advise founders in the areas of business operations, fundraising, go-to-market strategy, and team development.

Prior to joining Launch Tennessee, Eller served as Partner with Atlanta-based SeedtoB Capital. She has experience as an independent consultant and adviser to startups and funds and serves on multiple portfolio company boards.

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 in 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.

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.

Anna Truss

Anna Truss currently serves as a Development Assistant at LaunchTN. 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.

Maranda Vandergriff

Maranda is the Creative Manager and a former LaunchTN intern. A Knoxville native, she spent over 6 years at the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, beginning as a college intern while studying Graphic Design at Carson-Newman University and then working as creative lead for all KEC initiatives.

With more than a decade of experience in graphic design, web design, and strategic marketing for businesses and organizations of all sizes and industries, Maranda brings a thoughtful approach to creative problem-solving. She taught herself Photoshop at 8 years old and then started her first freelance design + videography business when she was 13 as part a class on entrepreneurship.

During her time at KEC she helped launch and grow The Maker City, a program that was developed out of a partnership with Etsy to develop the creative businesses economy in the region. She worked alongside the Knoxville Mayor’s Maker Council to manage The Maker City initiative to provide business training for other creative entrepreneurs. As a business, brand, and marketing consultant, she designed and scaled business accelerator programs and innovative events for startups across dozens of industries.

In her free time Maranda enjoys traveling, thrifting, live music, hosting themed parties, and watching as many movies as possible with her husband. She can often be seen on video calls with one of her four cats.

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Launch Tennessee provides an ecosystem map with links and resources to other organizations, but this does not constitute an endorsement of content, viewpoints, policies, products or services of that site. Once you link to another web site not maintained by LaunchTN, you are subject to the terms and conditions of that website, including but not limited to its privacy policy.