Tennessee’s Governor Bill Haslam Announces The TENN Top Startups In Statewide Program

TENN, Launch Tennessee, Startups, startup accelerator, Tennessee startupTuesday saw the final pitch off for Launch Tennessee’s TENN program. Launch Tennessee is a public/private partnership that helps organize, administer and provide resources to nine accelerator regions across the state of Tennessee.

With so many accelerators in one single state, Launch Tennessee teamed up with the Blackstone Foundation to hold a “super accelerator” of sorts simply called The TENN.  Startups that went through one of the accelerator programs in Tennessee within the last 12 months were eligible to compete in a statewide competition to name the best of the best.

Earlier this month Launch Tennessee announced 20 finalists from across east, middle and western Tennessee.  The 20 startups chosen as finalists represented a variety of technological and entrepreneurial fields including general tech, social, medical, medical device, life sciences and even publishing.

On Tuesday the startups in the top 20 pitched off in front of a panel of outside investors that included: Sabeer Bhatia, chairman and CEO of Sabse/Jaxtr and founder and former CEO of Hotmail; John McIlwraith, managing partner at Cincinnati, Ohio-based Allos Ventures; John Greathouse, general partner at Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Rincon Venture Partners; Sig Mosley, managing partner at Atlanta, Ga.-based Mosley Ventures; Bob Crutchfield, partner at Birmingham, Ala.-based Harbert Ventures; and Mike Tatum, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Workbus.

At the end of the day Governor Bill Haslam called up the top 10 startups who were named to the TENN;

  • eClinic (Nashville)
  • Got You In (Nashville)
  • Gun.io (Nashville)
  • Hatponics (Knoxville)
  • Health & Bliss (Memphis)
  • Mobilizer (Memphis)
  • Screwpulp (Memphis)
  • Survature (Knoxville)
  • Vendor Registry (East Tennessee”
  • View Medical  (Memphis)

These 10 startups will participate in the TENN program which includes a statewide bus trip to meet some of the biggest companies, entrepreneurs and business leaders across the state, trips to New York and Silicon Valley and office space at their local accelerator or incubator. They will also have access to mentors and other resources to continue taking their post accelerator companies to the next level.

Congratulations to all the startups that made the list.



Knoxville Based bounceit Launches Social Decision Making Platform

bounceit, Knoxville startup, Tennessee startup, startup launch

A group of Knoxville entrepreneurs has launched a new and exciting social decision making app called bounceit. Now social decision making isn’t anything new, we’ve seen several startups try and succeed in this space.

Startups like Brooklyn based JustDecide come to mind when we think about social decision making platforms. Where others have fallen short in the past though, the crew at bounceit has figured out ways to make social decision making more fluid, easy to take in and easier to decide and vote on. Their highly visual platform makes the entire process more intuitive.

Users begin by uploading a question or statement, accompanied by a photo: “Should I buy this outfit?” “Is this car cool?” “Want to go out after the game?” Other users vote your question up or down for yes/no, or like/dislike. A realtime line graph shows you all theirresponses over time to aid in your decision making!

bounceit1Until bounceit, many people relied on Facebook and their own social networks to help make decisions; “With bounceit!™, a user can post an opinion, decision, idea or just a cool photo, and thanks to our unique line graph they’ll actually see instantly if people agree or not. It’s crowd-sourced decision making at its best! With our graphing capabilities, a user immediately sees if something is a like or a dislike. You can see whether there is overwhelming agreement or any struggle it has gone through among users. That tells a much more powerful story than a bar graph or percentages.” co-founder Gary Hardin told nibletz in an interview.


Hardin explained, “People today research and bounce ideas off friends before they do something or buy an item. bounceit!™ streamlines that process for them. Crowdsourced sharing and decision making is everywhere now. We just make it more fun and in one centralized location!”

Bounceit is now available in the iTunes app store, download it here. For more information visit bounceit.com. Check out Bounceit in person at Everywhere Else Cincinnati.



Does your startup have a company culture? Should It?

Bryan Clayton, GreenPal, Tennessee Startup, Guest PostDoes your startup have a company culture; should it?

Company culture is important; we all know that.  But when should it be a focus?  In the early stages of a startup? Or later on when scaling and building a team?  And what is culture, really?

Tony Hsieh has proven to the world that culture can be a competitive advantage, and credits much of Zappos’ success to its culture, and its passionate people.  Tony says, “Businesses often forget about the culture, and ultimately, they suffer for it because you can’t deliver good service from unhappy employees.”

Culture is no doubt critical to any team’s success, no matter what the size.  My concern is that I observe teams in infancy place an over emphasis on things in the name of company culture before the business fundamentals are flushed out. In the beginning, we as entrepreneurs must focus and prioritize the basics and fundamentals of creating a scalable business over trying to build a cozy culture.

Ping Pong tables, free lunch, and massages help make Google a great place to work, but these things did not make Google great in the first place.  These are the perks that help keep employees happy and a great company on top, not necessarily what propels it to greatness.

Tony Hsieh teaches us in his book “Delivering Happiness” that culture is created, protected, and maintained at the point of hire.  When Zappos interviews a new team member, they are first focusing on good cultural fit.  A classic unorthodox example: when Zappas flies you in for an interview, they will send a car service to pick you up.  The driver will naturally engage you in conversation; what you don’t know is, the driver is on the recruiting team, clandestinely interviewing you to see if you would be a good cultural fit.

With respect to culture, this is perhaps the best precaution we can make as startup entrepreneurs: to hire good fits.  The first five hires will make or break a startup, as they are co-founders in their own right.  In the Zappos fashion, we must diligently qualify them as a good fit. In his book, Hsieh talks about taking a candidate to happy hour; a few drinks will really tell you what a person is like.  If you can break bread with the person, then why hire them?  If you won’t enjoy hanging out with them socially then they won’t be a value add for culture.

Perhaps sometimes culture gets mislabeled as “perks” offered throughout an organization.  In its most potent form, culture should refer to the aligning values of the organization; do you and your team members all believe in the same things?  What is your team’s mantra?

The specifics of your team’s values are not as important as the fact of having the values engrained that align each member of that team.  This adds purpose to the mission, and passion is a product of purpose.  These are the elements by which real culture is created.

These values have to be installed at the early stages of a company, as it’s impossible to come back later and sprinkle in some culture and values into an established team.

Strong culture is created when each member of the team believes in the same things.  When that is the case, trust emerges, and when you have trust you have loyalty.  With these elements embedded in a team, no matter how big or small, there is no limit to what can be accomplished.

Bryan Clayton,is a  serial entrepreneur and the co-founder of Tennessee startup GreenPal

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Voices Heard Media Helps Brands (Including Startups) Engage Their Customers


Voices Heard Media, Knoxville startup, Tennessee Startup, Startups

These days, customers expect more from brands. Gone are the days when we make a purchase and walk away. Now, we often spend time and effort researching major purchases, and we care about the companies where we choose to spend our money. With the advent of social media, we have come to expect a high level of engagement with the companies we love.

Tony Runyan puts it this way: Two-way communication is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity.

But, that engagement can be expensive and difficult for companies to maintain on their own, which is where Voices Heard Media comes in.

Voices Heard Media provides a suite of plugins that increase customer engagement. Their products include apps that handle contests/sweepstakes, trivia/quizzes, social media streams, live Q&A sessions, video polls, and conversation around a brand. They work with big names like Disney, Food Network, and Fox Sports.

Will Overstreet founded Voices Heard Media in 2007. In his former gig as an Atlanta Falcon and sports broadcaster, Overstreet noticed that a simple conversation with a fan increased the likelihood that the fan would buy a jersey, listen to a show, or tell friends and family about Overstreet’s brand. He realized that there had to be a scalable way to take that kind of interaction into the digital world.

Tony Runyan joined the company in 2008 and made the initial big sales they needed. Now the VP of Product, Runyan develops new products, among other things.

So, what can the Voices Heard Media products do?

When I ran into them at the Southland Summit last month, I recognized the Food Network site on their display computer. The company wanted to increase engagement on their site, so they had Voices Heard Media create a Q&A session with the most recent The Next Food Network Star winner. The idea was simple enough: visitors sent in questions over one week, then Aarti Sequeria answered them. But the magic happened when, after the event closed, it still continued to drive traffic and interactions on the site.

All products from Voices Heard Media work on a company’s website, mobile site, and Facebook tab. The company sees this flexibility as absolutely necessary in today’s digital world.

They may work with some of the biggest names in the country, but they also handle smaller, local-focused companies like news outlets, political campaigns, and creative agencies.

Their prices are pretty startup-friendly, too, starting at only $50 for a basic package. And they can bring the same expertise they’ve built with big brands to your new company.

Check out Voices Heard Media and see how they can help your startup engage your audience.



Chattanooga’s CoLab Hosting Women’s 48 Hour Launch

CoLab,Company Lab, Chattanooga startup,tennessee startup, 48 Hour LaunchTennessee is a great state for startups. There are 9 accelerator regions across the state, that draw resources from Launch Tennessee, and one of the most active Startup America Regions.  Startup Tennessee was the second Startup America region launched two years ago.

The major accelerator hubs across the state; Memphis,Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga work very well together and naturally collaborate on ideas and generally help each other out.

That’s why when Memphis held the UpStart 48 Hour Launch for women in December two young women from Chattanooga joined in the festivities and pitched in all weekend long. Next weekend on April 5th, Launch Your City Chief Relationship Officer Elizabeth Lemmonds, will return the favor by taking part in the city’s first women’s 48 Hour Launch.

48 Hour Launch works very similarly to the Startup Weekend model, just a few hours shorter.

Friday April 5th, the community will gather up all the interested female entrepreneurs. At that time the women will pitch their idea to the audience. A voting process will take place and it will be decided which teams will continue on to create a business in 48 Hours.

Saturday the teams will continue to work on their startups and Sunday they will be judged. Danielle Inez, and her event in a box startup, Pink Robin Avenue, won the Memphis event back in December. Inez won a free booth at Everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference.

CoLab has put together sponsor supported prize packages of great business services for the top three teams on Sunday.

For more information click here

4.2% of venture capital funded startup deals go to women. 

Tennessee Startup GreenPal Pitches At Spark Nashville

Greenpal,Tennessee startup,Spark Nashville,Southern Alpha,pitch video

CEO of Greenpal pitches at Spark Nashville (photo: NMI 2013)

After pitching at everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference earlier this month, Tennessee startup GreenPal headed out to Nashville to pitch as part of Spark Nashville on Thursday night.

Earlier this morning we brought you the story about DC startup TouchdownSpace launching. That startup makes booking professional space just as easy as hailing a car with Uber. Greenpal makes it just as easy to get your yardwork done.

The market for this kind of app is huge. Greenpal’s CEO and cofounder spent 15 years in his own landscaping business and suddenly realized there was an easier way to find customers, collect money and set appointments. The company also realized making it easier on themselves would make it easier on the customers as well.

Now Greenpal is here and it allows you to order lawn care service on the web or on their mobile app by vetted professionals who are ready to do the job. Once the appointment is set and the job is done, Greenpal also has a payment mechanism that makes paying your service providers as easy as clicking a button.

These guys looked sharp at everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference and were one of the best pitches at Spark Nasvhille. Watch the video below.

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GreenPal Looking For Green Twice This Month In Tennessee

GreenPal,Tennessee startup, Everywhereelse.co, SouthernAlpha


By Bret Bilbrey, University of Memphis Entrepreneurial Journalism Student.

When it comes to lawn care, Bryan Clayton believes it should be easy. That’s why he founded Green Pal.

“Green Pal is the quickest way for people to find, schedule, and pay for their home services,” said Clayton.

Green Pal lets you set up your lawn profile online and they do the work. They link you with lawn care specialists in your community that will fit your needs. Each specialist posts his or her price on your profile. You can then read reviews of the specialists, see pictures of their work, select the specialist that is right for you, and schedule the appointment right from your computer or mobile phone app. When the job is completed, the specialist will send a picture of your lawn to your phone. You then pay Green Pal by credit card and schedule your next appointment, right from the web or app. Green Pal takes the hassle out of handling your lawn service.

What makes Clayton qualified to know what people want with their lawn care? “I’ve been in the landscaping business my whole life,” he said.

GreenPal Startup Video from Ten Fast Feet on Vimeo.

Green Pal was one of many startups in Memphis earlier this week for everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference. Next up they’re headed to Nashville for SouthernAlpha’s Spark Nashville event on February 21st. GreenPal competed with 87 other startups from around the counry, in the quick pitch contest Sunday at everywhereelse.co. Next week they’ll compete against 9 other regional startups for $1,000 or an iPad at SouthernAlpha’s inaugural Spark Nashville meetup.

For more information on this startup, visit www.yourgreenpal.com.

Tickets are still available for the Spark Nashville meetup here.

Spottlife Aiming To Simplify Your Social Life

Spottlife, Chattanooga startup,startup,startups, Tennessee startup, startup interviewPeople in today’s world have been inundated with social networks. Many people want to be a part of as many social networks as they can because they don’t want to miss anything from anyone important to them. This is a daunting task though when you consider managing just the most popular social networks on a day to day basis.

Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Instagram can be a pain in the butt to manage. When you’re on your smartphone it’s a constant, battery draining, switch from network to network.

That’s why many startups have taken to creating social network aggregation tools. Spottlife is one of those tools with a different twist.

Using the Spottlife mobile app users can aggregate all of their social content into one app. They can also use the app to post to all or one social network at a time. These features certainly aren’t new, we’ve been using tools like Hootsuite for that part, for a long while.  Where Spottlife differs in it’s clean and fairly intuitive UI. It also provides you with aggregated updates of not just your variety of social networks but based on what’s trending and popular with your friends.

For instance today the most popular topics are probably the Inauguration, the Super Bowl and Martin Luther King day. Spottlife with show you the most popular topics and a number indicating how many of your friends are talking about this topic. Users also have the ability to filter out certain topics that might not pertain to them.

Brandon Mihai and Scott Gammenthaler are the cofounders of the Chattanooga startup. Mihai tells us in an interview that he has put his studies on hold from Southern Adventist University in Chattanooga, to focus on Spottlife. Gammenthaler is pulling double duty, serving as the CEO of Spottlife and preparing for college graduation in the spring.  The startup is incubating at co.lab in Chattanooga.

Check out our interview with Mihai below.

Read More…

Tennessee Startup: MDSave Raising $1 Million To Connect Self Pays To The Best Care

MDSave,Tennessee startup,startup,startups,startup news, health startupA Brentwood Tennessee startup called MDSave is connecting self pay patients with a choice in healthcare that they hadn’t had before. Doctors who use the MDSave platform share their prices and extend deals to self pay patients and those with high deductible health insurance plans.

MDSave doesn’t only provide more options for those self pay patients, but in turn they help keep the emergency rooms and urgent care clinics less crowded. Perusing the MDSave website you can find that doctors are competing for those self pay patients so they keep their services affordable.

The doctors on the platform pay a small subscription fee. Patients on the other hand, use the platform to search for the type of medical service they need by zipcode. Once they’ve selected a participating doctor they pay in advance through the MDSave platform and they’re giving a voucher to see the doctor they selected. The voucher is redeemed at the appointment to cover the cost. This way, not only are self pay patients getting much needed healthcare the doctors are eliminating the risk associated with collections and the messy process it can be to collect from a self pay patient at the end of the appointment.

MedCitynews is reporting that a SEC filing has revealed that MDSave is in the middle of a $1 million dollar equity raise.

MDSave’s founder and CEO Paul Ketchel is a former member of former Tennessee US Senator Bill Frist. Ketchel is also the son in law of Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn.

According to MedCityNews the capital raised in this round will be used to expand MDSave outside of Tennessee.


Check out MDSave here

Source: MedCityNews

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Knoxville Startup: FairMechanics Launches To Help You Find Fair Mechanics

Knoxville, a town in the great state of Tennessee with just under 200,000 people has an entrepreneurial revolution occurring right now. A community group called “Entrepreneurs of Knoxville” or EOK for short, has seen over 40 small businesses and startups launch.

EOK was founded in April 2008 by Leonard “Leo”  R. Knight Jr and today it’s amassed over 950 members. They offer a variety of programming from entrepreneurial “support groups” to mentorship efforts and everything in between. They also hold work shops, lectures and a variety of other great events.

Knoxville is just one of nine entrepreneurial pockets across the state of Tennessee. In fact, with nine different high growth areas that means Tennessee residents are never more than an hour and a half away from an entrepreneurial hub. Also, all nine regions within Tennessee are participating in the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship week.

EOK Founder Leo Knight and EOK member Augustine Gattuso launched EOK’s latest startup “FairMechanics” on Thursday.

As you might imagine the goal behind FairMechanics is to help consumers find the most fair mechanic for their next repair needs. FairMechanics offers their platform for bidding out auto problems on the web, and mobile devices with an iOS and Android app.

Rather than just offering a directory of local mechanics, FairMechanics’, platform allows users to bid out the work they need done on their cars. FairMechanics is looking for mechanics to join their service. They’re offering a “first 10 bids” free program for early adopters on the mechanic side.

Their website doesn’t say the vetting process for the mechanics but we’d imagine that there is some kind of process set in order to be able to call the service “FairMechanics” in the first place.

Users will create a profile for their vehicle and post a job out for bid. Mechanics will get the bids delivered to them via email and then the user/shopper will decide on the best mechanic for the job, from the bids they received. A ratings system will be in place when the work is done so that feedback can be given to the mechanics so they can bid on future jobs.

The shopper in this scenario is just as integral to the business model as the mechanic. FairMechanics is helping the user/shopper get their repair work done at the best cost, with the best customer service and the quickest possible. On the mechanic side FairMechanics is giving out job leads for mechanics, and what mechanic would turn down a good quality lead.


Check out this great Knoxville startup here

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Knoxville Startup: Credit Virgin To Educate And Protect Young Adults From Credit Whoas

Nate Buchanan a graduate of the University of Tennessee and the founder of a new startup called “Credit Virgin” is looking to help as many young people, and college students make their credit lives easier. The Knoxville news reports that when Buchanan and a friend went to rent an apartment, the friend couldn’t get approved for the apartment because he had no credit history.  It didn’t matter that the friend worked fll time and both perspective tenants made more than enough to afford the apartment. Because Buchanan’s friend hadn’t established any credit they were turned away.

Of course Buchanan knows that as young adults between 18-24 credit can be a double edged sword. Although it’s not as prevalent as it was in the late 90’s and early part of the 2000’s, there are still plenty of credit card companies and other finance companies that prey on college students who are already racking up enormous amounts of debt with student loans.

According to the UT Federal Credit Union, the average college student graduates with $8,000 in credit debt,outside student loans.

Through Credit Virgin, Buchanan hopes to first educate college students and young adults on the pro’s and cons of credit and how to establish credit via videos delivered on the startups website. He hopes to also integrate the site with a credit card evaluation tool which will compare terms and conditions as well as interest rates and other need to know information about credit cards typically offered to college students.

Buchanan hopes to also offer a credit monitoring service for students and their parents so they can monitor their credit together.

Credit, when used responsibly, can be a tool for young adults starting to establish themselves.

“Younger people don’t realize the implications of that until they go to buy a car and they have to get a loan, or they try and buy a house and don’t have a down payment,” Melinda Wood, Vice President of Marketing at the UT Federal Credit Union said to the Knoxville News.


Source: Knoxville News

Find out more about CreditVirgin here

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Memphis Entrepreneur Launches Phone & Personal Protection Startup Coyote Case

Memphis entrepreneur, Jonathan Page has just launched an Indiegogo campaign for his new startup Coyote Case. Coyote Case uniquely blends personal protection with phone protection.

Sure we’ve seen phone cases that hold pepper spray and even one that has a taser gun built in, but Page’s case is different. The Coyote Case features a 100db personal alarm which makes one heck of a noise if someone pushes the button and is being attacked. But in the infamous words of people like Billy Mays… But Wait There’s More…

With the Coyote Case there’s actually much more.

In addition to the personal protection alarm, Coyote Case has a bluetooth chip built into the case housing. It’s also integrated with a battery that will last well over a year. The BlueTooth is used to communicate with an app that’s on the smartphone.  Using the app, a user can set up an emergency list for an outgoing text message.

Combining the Bluetooth technology, GPS and SMS technology the app within the phone will send an emergency text message to those on the list. If your alarm company, or University security is set up to receive text messages you can add those folks to your emergency list as well. When the app sends out the text message it will also send out your GPS coordinates so that your ICE (In Case Of Emergency) contacts know that you need assistance and exactly where you are.

The idea came to Page after his college aged niece visited him from Nashville last year. Page’s niece had told him that she was nearly attacked while walking back to her apartment at night. When Page found this out, not only was he scared for his niece he went out searching for more information .He found some startling statistics from the Department of Justice website that he talks to us about in the interview video below.

Not only were the statistics shocking for females in general but it was revealed that girls between 18-24 were at an even higher risk. When Page found this out he immediately set out on the idea for the Coyote Case.

Page is trying to launch Coyote Case without giving up any equity to traditional venture capital investors so he’s taken to Indiegogo where you can contribute to CoyoteCase and get early access to the life saving, and phone protecting case.

Check out our video interview with Page below and the links to the Coyote Case are in the Linkage section.  Coyote Case will proudly be exhibiting at everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference, and you can too.

Here’s that video:


Check out Coyote Case here

Support their Indiegogo here

See them live and in person here

Memphis Entrepreneur Abandons Startup To Launch Startup To Sell Startups

Acquire For Pennies,YaDoog,Memphis startup,Tennessee Startup,Launch Memphis, 48 Hour Launch,startup,startups,startup pitchConfused by the headline? Don’t be. Memphis Entrepreneur Harold Strong launched a photo sharing startup called YaDoog at 48 Hour Launch back in June. The premise for YaDoog was a little different than other photo sharing startups. Strong wanted people to share their photos in an organized “day in the life” manner. The idea was going to be perfect for wedding days, a newborn’s arrival, and other significant life events.

Strong had a lot of support at that 48 Hour Launch and his idea was selected to build out. After one heck of a great Sunday pitch Strong was feeling great about the idea. It appeared that he was building off the momentum but as with a lot of weekend startup hackathon events, many of the team members went back to their normal lives come that Monday morning.

Strong abandoned the idea in time for Startup Weekend Memphis later this past summer.

That’s when he came up with Acquire For Pennies. This new startup idea makes sense. The premise is an online auction site or e-commerce platform where startup founders can sell their startup idea and the accompanying intellectual property easily.

The idea is perfect for people who develop good ideas at weekend startup hackathon events like 48 Hour Lunch and then don’t have the time to follow through. Another great use case would be serial entrepreneurs who are more idea people rather than follow through. Some entrepreneurs know they have a good idea and then they’re struck with another great idea.

With Acquire For Pennies, any entrepreneur or founder can sell their idea.

Strong has already thought of a way to handle the sale of the idea and intellectual property without disclosing the entire idea in public view.

After pitching at two different weekend startup hackathon events, the June 48 Hour Launch and Startup Weekend, Strong’s Friday pitch for Acquire for Pennies was great. By Sunday evening we’ll see how well the weekend fared for Strong.

Here’s the Friday Pitch:

Here’s Strong’s pitch for YaDoog from June

Everyone’s talking about this event “everywhere else” click here

Entrepreneur Development Center Opens In Jackson Tennessee

When people think about innovation, startups and entrepreneurship, Tennessee is often overlooked. What people don’t know about Tennessee is there are 9 entrepreneurial hubs across the state, anchored by Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga. The other five areas are a little more rural, but still breed innovation. As wide as Tennessee is, with nine unique ecosystems, no one in the state is ever more than an hour and a half from an accelerator or entrepreneurial hub.

Tennessee has been an innovator for over a century. Tennessee was a major hub for cotton in the 1800s. In fact, prior to their bankruptcy in 2008, the fourth largest investment bank in the world, Lehman Brothers, had actually started out in Tennessee in the cotton exchange business.

Major corporations like FedEx, Holiday Inn, Auto Zone, Service Master, Sax Fifth Avenue, Gibson and Kirkland’s call Tennessee home. Heck the internet was born in Tennessee, just ask Al Gore.

In that spirit, Jackson Tennessee has announced the grand opening of the Entrepreneur Development Center.  The Entrepreneur Development Center will help budding entrepreneurs in Jackson and the Southwest Tennessee area develop their businesses from idea generation to business launch.  The EDC will pair entrepreneurs with successful business leaders who will serve as their mentors during their time in the center.

The EDC will launch Tuesday October 23rd at the Aenas Building in downton Jackson kicking off at 11:30am. Kirkland’s Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Carl Kirkland will keynote the event alongside Matt Kisber President and CEO of Silicon Ranch Corporation.

“Through entrepreneurship, I’ve lived the American Dream” Carl Kirkland told Action News 5.  The beauty of this country is that you can start with little more than a dream and build a successful business that provides jobs and economic growth.”

“Our new center strives to be the “front door” for entrepreneurs in Southwest Tennessee. We will help our entrepreneurs build their businesses by connecting them to the critical resources they need to be successful. These critical resources include experienced mentors, knowledge, training, seed capital and a supportive community.” Linda Garrard, Executive Director of the EDC told Action News 5.

Marci Harris, founder of award winning startup PopVox and other entrepreneurs will also be featured during the launch event.

The EDC will open just in time for Global Entrepreneurship week from November 12th -16th. In conjunction with Launch Tennessee, all nine startup ecosystems in the state will participate by holding entrepreneurial and startup focused events all week long.

Entrepreneurial leaders across the state like Sheldon Grizzle (Chattanooga), Michael Burcham (Nashville) and Eric Matthews (Memphis) have planned out a weeks worth of talks, discussions, conferences, parties and interactive engaging events across the state for GEW.


Check out the EDC in Jackson Tennessee here

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