Strategic initiative launched by state
Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 7:00 pm
A new five-year strategic initiative has been launched jointly by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation — LaunchTN.
The initiative names TTDC as the lead advocate for the state’s innovation agenda.
As a public-private partnership, TTDC will work with the department to see Tennessee’s potential on the innovation front realized, according to a news release.
The corporation’s board of directors outlined four key areas of focus for LaunchTN:
• Entrepreneurship, to include the oversight of the nine regional accelerators named by the state department in November 2011, and the organization and management of a statewide business plan competition;
• Commercialization, including the creation of a new program to aid businesses with the development of business plans and management teams centered around emerging technologies from the state’s research institutions;
• Capital, including partnering with the nine regional accelerators and existing angel networks to develop and expand angel capital networks across the state, and organizing opportunities for out-of-state venture capital firms to interact with early-stage Tennessee companies seeking funding; and
• Outreach, to include growing the annual Innovation Conference into one of the leading innovation conferences in the Southeast, and hosting sector-specific events to bring together entrepreneurs, mentors, researchers and investors.
In addition, under LaunchTN, the state corporation will develop and begin a new Governor’s Fellows Program, bringing together successful business people with rising entrepreneurs.
The program will identify and recruit three to five individuals to voluntarily work with LaunchTN as mentors.