LaunchTN — a public-private partnership focusing on early-stage capital formation, market access, commercialization resources, talent development and retention for entrepreneurs across the state — has stood up eight Entrepreneurship Centers in Tennessee. With ARC support, three of these centers are dedicated to assist Appalachian entrepreneurs as they develop business plans, raise capital, expand networks and create jobs.
Since 2012, The Biz Foundry in Cookville has offered work spaces, workshops, and events to support entrepreneurs and innovative collaboration, in addition to tools and resources such as education, networking, peer support, and mentoring. The Biz Foundry has also coordinated $6 million in private capital, created nearly 100 jobs, and hosted over 360 events. In Chattanooga, Over 1,000 entrepreneurs are part of Chattanooga’s Co.Lab network, which has directly accelerated over 100 businesses and raised over $120 million in capital. The Knoxville Entrepreneurship Center offers physical space and ongoing events to provide a collaborative environment for entrepreneurship, networking, and collaboration.