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The Biz Foundry grows Cookeville one startup at a time

What: Nonprofit entrepreneur development center and coworking space 

Established: 2013

Location: Historic Westside of Cookeville

The work: The Biz Foundry is dedicated to strengthening the economic growth of the Upper Cumberland region, one startup at a time. The organization provides affordable and free business support services to entrepreneurs in the 14 counties of Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland region. It also also offers coworking space in Cookeville, Sparta and McMinnville.

The mission: To build economic and community vitality in the Upper Cumberland through entrepreneurship. The Biz Foundry does this by providing the tools and connections needed to turn entrepreneur ideas into reality.

The news
— The Biz Foundry just wrapped up its first session of “Start Up Your Startup” for 2023 with 10 graduates ready to launch and grow their businesses.

— The “Powered By Her” podcast is in its 4th year of monthly lunch and learns, which expanded to Overton County this year and is on its 75th podcast episode.

— The nonprofit sponsored and is supporting the launch of a local angel fund called Upper Cumberland Investment Alliance. It’s expected to launch in Q2.

— The Biz Foundry’s Annual Made Here Market is Saturday April 29th from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The street fest style event exclusively showcases the talented artists, makers, musicians and food vendors of the Upper Cumberland region who handcraft their products.

For more information, check out The Biz Foundry online.

Failing Forward
As much as we may hate to admit it, we all learn from making mistakes. So we’ve asked our Network Partners to share stories about learning from situations that were less than ideal.

The lesson: “Hire slow, fire fast.”

The story, as told by Jessica Lewis, marketing director and program coordinator for the Biz Foundry: 

(An entrepreneur) came to us when she discovered her program developer was stealing her software. We helped get her connected with new developers to quickly rebuild the whole program/app.

While this was a horrible situation, it helped (the entrepreneur) learn the importance of making sure you know your contractors/employees and getting proper legal and security protection. It’s essential entrepreneurs spend a lot of time with people before bringing them on board to play a role in proprietary pieces of their business.

As the saying goes “hire slow, fire fast.”

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