Innov865 Brings Out Entrepreneurial Spirit of East Tennessee

innov865-2016_innov865-week-logo-datesBudding entrepreneurs will have a chance to showcase their talents in Innov865 Week, which will be held September 19–23.

The week includes a series of events highlighting Knoxville as a prime destination for startups and entrepreneurs. Innov865 Week’s signature event, Startup Day, is Thursday, September 22, at the Bijou Theater.

Startups, entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders, and students will take part in a week of educational panels, pitch competitions, investor roundtables, and social events.

“This event is a great way to showcase some of the work being done in East Tennessee and demonstrate some of the reasons this is a great place to start a business,” said UT Research Foundation Marketing Coordinator Melissa Dos Santos.

“Innov865 has quickly become a sought-out spot for entrepreneurs.”

A major highlight is the appearance by Paul Singh and the North American Tech Tour during the event’s first three days.

Singh, a nationally recognized entrepreneur and investor, will meet in person with entrepreneurs to get a feel for their projects and to help him better understand the business landscape in Knoxville and identify opportunities.

To meet with Singh register online.

The event starts on September 19 with the Kauffman Foundation’s Mayors Summit on Entrepreneurship, an invitation-only gathering with Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and civic leaders and entrepreneurs from around East Tennessee.

startup-day-2016_startup-day-2016Startup Day, on Thursday, includes a pitch competition with a $5,000 prize, presented by Three Roots Capital and SouthEast Bank. The UT Federal Credit Union Traction Awards also will be presented on Thursday.

This year’s Startup Day features three UT teams in various competitions—T and T Scientific, TechSmarrt, and FunLPro.

Graham Taylor, a postdoctoral research associate in the Joint Institute for Biological Science heads up T and T Scientific. TechSmarrt is headed by graduate student assistant in the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education Eva Mutunga—while a third UT MBA graduate, Bryan Crosby’s FunLPro, is in the running for the Traction Award.

The full Innov865 schedule is available online.

Innov865 Week is the signature event of the Innov865 Alliance, an organization founded by the UT Research Foundation, the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UT, Knoxville, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Launch Tennessee, the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, and Pershing Yoakley and Associates to develop, support, and promote Knoxville’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

C O N T A C T :

David Goddard (865-974-0683, david.goddard@utk.edu)