Innov865 Week is a week-long series of events, taking place September 18-22, 2017, to celebrate and showcase Knoxville as a great place for entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses. We have partnered with the Innov865 Alliance to bring you stories of innovation born in East Tennessee.
In a recent cover story of Knoxville Mercury, four high-tech startups from Knoxville were featured for their potential of shaking up their respective industry. What’s also of note is that the story was written by Brandon Bruce, co-founder of the Knoxville-based Cirrus Insight, which ranked at no. 41 on Inc. 5000 listing of the country’s fastest-growing companies.
“Knoxville is quickly earning a reputation as one of the best locations in the Southeast for entrepreneurs to start and grow a business,” says Tom Ballard, PYA’s Chief Alliance Officer. PYA certainly paved the way for such reputation to exist now, since PYA itself started 34 years ago in Knoxville and is still thriving.
Others in east Tennessee outside the Knoxville area are also gaining traction, as well. Startup activity is also thriving several hours north on I-81. Johnson City-based BrewFund team not only are committed to building their product, they’ve been hosting pitch competitions for the community.
These startups across east Tennessee again have a chance to be part of the fifth Startup Day pitch competition for a chance to win up to $15,000 in cash prizes. Applications will be accepted from June 16 through July 7, 2017. Six startups will be chosen to participate in Startup Day 2017 on Thursday, September 21, at the U.S. Cellular Stage at The Bijou Theatre.
It’ll be the second time Startup Day will be the signature event of the Innov865 Week, a celebration of Knoxville’s vibrant entrepreneurial community, September 18-22, 2017. The week will kick-off on Monday with Future865, an event that will explore opportunities to help Knoxville leverage its many assets – social, cultural, and technical – to become the destination for entrepreneurs in the Southeast. Other scheduled activities include a technology showcase hosted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee Research Foundation; The Works hosted by the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center; the return of the Maker Summit and Elev865, an exclusive networking event for business leaders and entrepreneurs; and the roll-out of Olli, a self-driving, fully electric vehicle that was created and manufactured by Local Motors, a Knoxville-based company that designs and builds innovative motor vehicles.
Innov865 Week is presented by the Innov865 Alliance, a collaborative effort to celebrate and showcase Knoxville as a great place for entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses and increase access to capital.