University of Tennessee Research Foundation
The University of Tennessee Research Foundation is a non-profit organization that promotes the commercialization of UT intellectual property, encourages an entrepreneurial culture, contributes to state and regional economic development, and promotes research and education to benefit the people of Tennessee and beyond.
While the Foundation is a separate entity from UT, it provides assistance and resources to the research activities of faculty, staff and students of the UT system. Select UT inventions and products are aided in the progression from the laboratory to the public. Proceeds from licensing such discoveries are used to enhance additional research at UT.
The Foundation frequently partners with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the State of Tennessee for research and education initiatives.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the U.S. Department of Energy’s largest multiprogram science and energy laboratory, with scientific and technical capabilities spanning the continuum from basic to applied research. These resources enable the lab to tackle an exceptionally wide range of research and development (R&D) assignments, from fundamental nuclear physics to applied R&D on advanced energy systems. In addition, ORNL has a well-deserved reputation for combining insights from fundamental science with an in-depth technical understanding of applied systems to deliver practical solutions to real-world problems.
ORNL aggressively pursues opportunities to put these solutions to work, often collaborating with industry to accelerate their deployment by the private sector.
Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) is a public-private partnership focused on supporting the development of high-growth companies in Tennessee. Its ultimate goal is to make Tennessee the No. 1 place in the Southeast to start and grow a business.
LaunchTN supports entrepreneurship by providing resources, mentorship and connections for entrepreneurs, plus helping entrepreneurs obtain funding and connecting inventors with entrepreneurs and investors. The organization assists entrepreneurs with raising capital and focuses on outreach, hosting events that bring together entrepreneurs, mentors, researchers and investors from across the state and country and serving as the marketing arm for entrepreneurship in Tennessee.
Pershing Yoakley & Associates
Pershing Yoakley & Associates provides timely insight and delivers comprehensive support in accounting, consulting, and management. The company has a proven track record of unsurpassed performance in healthcare, finance and business practice. PYA has been built with an unyielding commitment to integrity at all levels, objective research and reporting, creative problem solving and an attention to clients that starts at the executive level and filters through the entire organization.
PYA launched Teknovation.biz in 2012 as a vehicle to allow East Tennesseans to spotlight and celebrate “all things” related to technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in East Tennessee. It is intended to help create more awareness of our region’s assets and help drive technology, innovation and entrepreneurial job growth.
Tech 2020, a regional venture development organization (VDO), is a Tennessee non-profit corporation established in 1995, initially chartered to assist with the creation of small businesses through technology transfer from the inventions and technologies developed at the Oak Ridge Department of Energy sites. Tech 2020 continues to provide the same incubation services to small businesses as it has for nearly 20 years. Incubation, coaching, and mentoring services will continue to be the support Tech 2020 provides to all viable developing business opportunities. The organization is governed by a volunteer board of directors who all share a common interest: to utilize the unique technology capabilities of East Tennessee to create new businesses, new jobs, and setting the stage for future economic growth.
Knoxville Entrepreneur Center
The Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (KEC) provides access to a regionally recognized company development program, an involved network of dedicated capital sources, successful local mentors, and world-class training. The KEC connects entrepreneurs with mentors and the resources necessary to start their businesses. It inspires, encourages, and enables entrepreneurs by adding value to their business ideas. The KEC is a place where entrepreneurs come daily to move their business ideas to a higher level.
City of Knoxville
The City of Knoxville recognizes the vital role that entrepreneurship plays in our regional economy. As the urban heart of a nine-county metropolitan area of more than 800,000 people, Knoxville is a hub of cultural and commercial innovation. The City of Knoxville is a primary supporter of the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, and the City’s Office of Business Support works closely to help local businesses start, maintain and expand their operations. The City also makes strategic investments in infrastructure and development incentives to provide public support for our vibrant private sector.
Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley
The Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley is the regional economic development partnership managed by the Knoxville Chamber. Innovation Valley is currently implementing Innovation Valley Blueprint 2.0, its second five-year strategic plan for business growth in the Knoxville-Oak Ridge region. Blueprint 2.0 outlines five target recruitment clusters (advanced technology & manufacturing, corporate services, creative media services, energy and transportation) that are based on an analysis of the region’s world-class resources. Innovation Valley consists of eight partner agencies that collaborate on executing Blueprint 2.0 for long-term business success. A private, independent board of directors guides the management of this regional partnership.
The Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee (CROET) is an economic development organization founded to assist the private sector in creating quality jobs in the region by using the underutilized land, facilities, equipment, personnel and technology available at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge complex.
Established in 1995, CROET and its subsidiaries own, develop and manage over 300 acres of former DOE property at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) and the Oak Ridge Science & Technology Park.
CROET’s award-winning program to revitalize former DOE properties in Oak Ridge has resulted in the creation of hundreds of jobs & millions of dollars in capital investment.
Southeastern Technology Consultants
Southeastern Technology Consultants specializes in staffing Information Technology professionals in two skill-set areas: application development and infrastructure. With a focus on providing premium talent to organizations, Southeastern Technology Consultants has a proven hiring strategy that identifies, recruits, and facilitates a process to enable organizations to hire top talent. Its winning placement strategy really centers on delivering value for its clients. Clear communication, deep networks, and recruiters with information technology backgrounds are some of the firm’s characteristics that enable Southeastern Technology Consultants to maintain its reputation in the marketplace.
Knoxvillian John Sharpe is President of ARG Executive Search and ARG Financial Staffing, StaffSource Employee Solutions and Southeastern Technology Consultants. He won the 2014 Pinnacle Award for Young Entrepreneur held by the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce.
UT Federal Credit Union
UT Federal Credit Union (UTFCU) was chartered in 1969 and founded on the philosophy that a credit union is a financial cooperative owned by members who share a common interest. UTFCU has been supportive of a number of entrepreneurial activities such as the “Vol Court” event hosted by UTK’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Media Works Demo Day hosted by the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center.
Earlier this year, UTFCU created Line12Fund, a learning and lending program for entrepreneurs. Line12Fund is modeled on the TV show “Shark Tank” and based on Chief Lending Officer and Senior VP Jonathan Patrick’s own successful entrepreneurial efforts.
For more than 125 years, Baker Donelson has built a reputation for achieving results for its clients on a wide range of legal matters. As the 68th largest law firm in the country, Baker Donelson gives clients access to a team of more than 650 attorneys and public policy advisors representing more than 30 practice areas, all seamlessly connected across 20 offices to serve virtually any legal need.
Baker Donelson’s Emerging Companies lawyers are a multidisciplinary group, focused on representing the unique interests of high-potential start-up companies and other emerging businesses. The company offers fixed-fee legal services and educational programs to provide affordable legal services for early-stage companies.
The Firm provides a variety of services to startups, including formation, contracts, capital consulting, technology law, intellectual property rights, employment, compliance, and mergers and acquisitions.
Pilot Flying J
eGovernment Solutions is a Tennessee-based company with offices in both Nashville and Knoxville, providing software and online services to county clerks, county trustees, county court clerks, sheriff’s offices and city governments.
eGov now offers more online services than any other vendor in the state, including titling and registration for county clerks, online car tag renewals, credit card merchant services, e-commerce portals, payment gateways and web sites for government entities.
Knoxville native Mark Padgett founded eGov after having a “light bulb moment” as an executive assistant to Governor Phil Bredesen, working to streamline the state’s internal Web processes.
Entrepreneurs of Knoxville
Entrepreneurs of Knoxville (EOK) is a diverse group of successful business owners and entrepreneurs and those working to achieve their goal of becoming an entrepreneur. The organization believes that its members all learn something from each other – whether you’re on your first startup or your one-hundred and first. EOK is focused on helping each member build successful startups through peer education and support.
EOK holds weekly tech talks published via YouTube, Ustream and iTunes, monthly Lunch and Learn events, and scheduled crowd-sources via peer groups and pub nights.
Piper Communications was started in 2008 at the height of the recession. The firm specializes in strategic communications consulting by providing expertise in media relations and message development, marketing, community outreach, coalition building and business development to the private and public sectors. Specialty areas include energy and technology.
Piper Communications is founded and owned by Knoxville resident and former Lady Vol swimmer, Cortney Piper.
Aside Project Studio
Aside Project Studio is an independently operated design studio & consultancy, specializing in highly efficient, user-friendly graphic design for the Web and other interactive media, as well as printed collateral and identities for a broad range of businesses and organizations.
Aside Project Studio is owned and operated by Knoxvillian and native East Tennessean George Middlebrooks.
All Occasions Party Rentals
With more than 30 years of event experience, All Occasions Party Rentals provides unmatched service, quality and products at a fair market price. From tents and chairs to catering and cooking equipment, All Occasions has everything you need to host a successful corporate event, festival, party or wedding.
East Tennessee native Terry Turner is president of All Occasions Party Rentals. Late last year, Terry began the process of expanding with the start-up of a new sister company called All Convention and Expo Services (ACES) which is the in-house preferred contractor for decorator and trade show services at the Knoxville Convention Center. In 2012, Terry’s company was awarded the prestigious Small Business Excellence award by the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce at the Pinnacle Awards.