Earlier this month, a group of private and public organizations, entrepreneurs, investors and businesses gathered at the Entrepreneur Center in Nashville to launch Startup Tennessee, Tenessee’s statewide initiative to support entrepreneurs and help startups drive job creation. The Entrepreneur Center is the city’s leading accelerator program, providing incubation space, mentors, and various resources to help entrepreneurs turn ideas into investable businesses. Startup Tennessee is the second regional initiative working with the Startup America Partnership, the private sector program celebrating and accelerating entrepreneurs across the country.
“As we develop our entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tennessee, Startup Tennessee will help to better coordinate statewide innovation activities, promote entrepreneurship and enhance Tennessee companies’ access to early-stage capital,” Governor Bill Haslam said at the launch. “My priority is for Tennessee to be the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs.”

This initiative is excellent and unique because, by leveraging the Startup America Partnership’s national network, Tennessee’s entrepreneurs will gain access to business resources throughout the state and country, enabling them to grow faster, be more competitive and create more jobs.

“I’ve been incredibly impressed by the remarkable entrepreneurial leadership here in Tennessee,” said Scott Case, CEO of the Startup America Partnership. “We look forward to working with you all to take the startup ecosystem to the next level and creating the jobs of the future in Tennessee.”

The program already has commitments from a wide range of Tennessee-based companies and organizations to provide assistance to entrepreneurs in the following areas:

Expertise: Connect entrepreneurs with training, mentors, advisors and accelerators
Services: Provide entrepreneurs access to critical services at reduced costs
Talent: Assist entrepreneurs in recruiting and training the people that can help them grow
Customers: Help to scale startups through new and existing markets
Capital: Highlight sources of capital available to entrepreneurs in various regions and sectors
The launch of this program is a great leg up for Tennessee startups – stay tuned to its progress. Also, check out Nooga’s writeup of the event.