Entrepreneur center launched
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 12:00 am
“The NTEC is focused on creating a community of and for entrepreneurs. I am very pleased with the turnout today and with the show of support from the northwest Tennessee region,” NTEC executive director Carol Reed said.
“Our goal is to help regional entrepreneurs accelerate the process of creating profitable, growing businesses. In turn, this produces new jobs and economic growth within our nine-county area. Having community support of our efforts is vital to the success of the NTEC,” she added.
The center is located at 206 White St. in Martin and serves the nine-county region of northwest Tennessee, including Benton, Carroll, Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Obion and Weakley counties. The center is a public-private organization that provides mentoring, education and training, strategic and technical support, and assistance identifying sources of capital for entrepreneurs.
The center was created through Gov. Bill Haslam’s INCITE initiative, which is designed to focus on innovation, commercialization, investment, technology and entrepreneurship in Tennessee.
There are nine regional accelerators across Tennessee that support local entrepreneurs.
First State Bank president John Clark is chairman of the NTEC board of directors.
“By connecting promising new entrepreneurs and existing companies to critically needed resources and to available and applicable funding sources, the NTEC greatly improves an entrepreneur’s chance of succeeding,” Clark said.
The center provides a cohort program for entrepreneurs three times a year to help them build investable business plans. The program runs for eight weeks, meeting one night a week and culminating with a final pitch-night to a panel of potential investors.
After entrepreneurs complete the program, the center continues to lend its support to them.
“In addition to working with all types of entrepreneurial enterprises, we are creating a focus toward opportunities within the agricultural industry,” Ms. Reed said. “I am pleased that the board of directors has decided to take advantage of the fact that agriculture is the dominate economic driver across northwest Tennessee by placing a special emphasis on identifying promising agriculture and agri-related opportunities.”
Board member Mike Brundige has created an advisory group of farmers and agri-business leaders, known as Agricultural Ambassadors.
The advisory group is designed to help the accelerator expand the entrepreneurial opportunities within the existing business segment, which is already the largest economic contributor in the northwest Tennessee area.
“I am happy to see agriculture and community development groups working together to bring jobs and new wealth to our northwest Tennessee area,” Brundige said.
The Martin entrepreneur center operates a website at www.ntecconnect.com.