StartupTN Resource Network Launched

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Entrepreneur Center: Northern Middle TN accelerator

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Startup Tennessee

Startup Tennessee is a public-private partnership designed to connect and align entrepreneurial efforts across Tennessee. The program was launched in 2011 as part of Governor Haslam's effort to make Tennessee the number-one state in the Southeast in which to start and grow a company. Startup Tennessee was the second state in the nation to join the Startup America Partnership. The program operates as the first-ever, statewide regional accelerator, launching, linking and leveraging nine regional accelerators across the state.

Through the website, the program equips startups and entrepreneurs with the resources they need to launch, grow, and raise capital for high-growth potential companies, with the goal of building businesses that create jobs for Tennessee. In October 2011, StartupTN was selected by the Startup America Partnership to host and train 15 other states on cultivating entrepreneurial ecosystems. Governor Haslam appointed Michael Burcham, serial entrepreneur and CEO of the Entrepreneur Center, to lead Startup Tennessee and entrepreneurship across the state.

"Our research tells us that a significant number of jobs in Tennessee come from people starting new companies. If we can create a system which helps entrepreneurs develop a sustainable business model and grow their company, we can make a significant impact on job growth in our state."

- ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty connects entrepreneurs with training opportunities, mentors, and investors across the state who could potentially provide capital to early-stage companies. Startup Tennessee will regularly convene business accelerators from across the state to share best practices and will provide entrepreneurs with access to free or low-cost resources from companies such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and These latter benefits are possible through Startup Tennessee's partnership with Startup America, a national public-private partnership focused on growing entrepreneurs across the nation.

ECD posted a request-for-information (RFI) on the agency's website in June 2011 to gather feedback on a number of questions including best practices in recruiting and training entrepreneurs, strategies for measuring the success of business accelerators, and strategies for helping business accelerators become financially self-sustaining over time.

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*The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development's mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the number-one location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth.



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Anyone in Tennessee who wants to build, help, or work with startup businesses should join Startup Tennessee at