Inc 5000 Celebration!

A Virtual Conversation with Knoxville’s Inc. 5000 Businesses. RSVP here

About this Event

Bring your beverage of choice and join the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center for a virtual happy hour conversation honoring the Knoxville area’s Inc. 5000 nominated businesses!

There will be time set aside for introductions from each of the businesses, as well as round table discussions led by Brandon Bruce, co-founder of Knoxville Technology Council and Startup Knox. Brandon also co-founded Cirrus Insight, which ranked #41 on the Inc. 500 list in 2016.

Companies from our region that are on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list include:

  • Arsenal Strength
  • Axle Logistics
  • Boston Government Services
  • Four Seasons Inc.
  • ICC International
  • K&P Enterprises
  • Karen Coffey Coaching
  • KaTom Restaurant Supply
  • MAC’s LTC Pharmacy Solutions
  • Ole Smoky Distillery
  • ONE Business Solutions
  • Priority Ambulance
  • RCN Technologies
  • RDI Technologies

KEC Liftoff at Night

Thanks for your interest in getting your idea started here at KEC! The first step is to attend one of our KEC Lift Off which will allow us to find out more about each other, find out how your idea fits into what we do, and how we can help. These sessions last approximately an hour and a half and include an overview of KEC and a mentor panel to answer any questions you may have. RSVP Here!


Common Questions

Should I bring anything?

Nope, just bring yourself and your idea / business. This session is an introduction for all that we offer. There is no need to bring your business plan.

Where is the best place to park?

We suggest the Market Square Garage as it is close to our office and inexpensive.

What if I have to reschedule?

Perfectly fine! We just ask that you cancel your ticket and then RSVP for another date.

KEC Liftoff

Thanks for your interest in getting your idea started here at KEC! The first step is to attend one of our KEC Lift Off which will allow us to find out more about each other, find out how your idea fits into what we do, and how we can help. These sessions last approximately an hour and a half and include an overview of KEC and a mentor panel to answer any questions you may have. RSVP Here!

Common Questions

Should I bring anything?

Nope, just bring yourself and your idea / business. This session is an introduction for all that we offer. There is no need to bring your business plan.

Where is the best place to park?

We suggest the Market Square Garage as it is close to our office and inexpensive.

What if I have to reschedule?

Perfectly fine! We just ask that you cancel your ticket and then RSVP for another date.

KEC Liftoff at Night

Thanks for your interest in getting your idea started here at KEC! The first step is to attend one of our KEC Lift Off which will allow us to find out more about each other, find out how your idea fits into what we do, and how we can help. These sessions last approximately an hour and a half and include an overview of KEC and a mentor panel to answer any questions you may have. RSVP Here!


Common Questions

Should I bring anything?

Nope, just bring yourself and your idea / business. This session is an introduction for all that we offer. There is no need to bring your business plan.

Where is the best place to park?

We suggest the Market Square Garage as it is close to our office and inexpensive.

What if I have to reschedule?

Perfectly fine! We just ask that you cancel your ticket and then RSVP for another date.

Competitors for Innov865 Week’s 2020 Startup Day Pitch Competition Announced

Six local startups will vie for $10,000 in cash prizes

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Some of the pitches shooting for $10,000 at Innov865’s Startup Day this year include predictive software for heart attacks, an untraceable password generator and glowing human cells to deliver medicine, among other ideas.

Those are among six rising stars from Knoxville’s startup scene that the Innov865 Alliance chose for its 2020 Startup Day pitch competition. The annual “Shark Tank”-style pitch competition is the premier event of Innov865 Week, which will be held virtually Sept. 28 – Oct. 2. Startup Day is at 2 p.m. Sept. 29. The event is free and open to the public.

Other pitches judges will hear include converting food into renewable electricity, a way to improve workplace safety through song, and a community-based certification system to champion youth fitness and education.

“Now, more than ever, it’s important to celebrate Knoxville’s vibrant entrepreneurial community,” said Jim Biggs, founding member of the Innov865 Alliance and Executive Director at the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center. “Innov865 Week shines a light on some of the incredible innovations that are happening in our own backyard. Any of these technologies could have an important impact on how we live.”

Hosted by the Innov865 Alliance, Innov865 Week spotlights Knoxville as a great place to start and grow businesses and connects the entrepreneurs planting roots here with support systems to succeed. The week’s events bring together local leaders, investors, entrepreneurs, and the public to support local economic development and celebrate Knoxville’s entrepreneurial spirit. 

The event will be presented virtually using the Knoxville-based technology platform, Lunchpool. Startup Day’s pitch competition will feature six of Knoxville’s most investable startups pitching their businesses in front of a panel of expert judges for a chance to win up to $10,000 in cash prizes. Two prizes are up for grabs: the Innov865 Judges’ Choice prize and the Innov865 Crowd Favorite prize, presented by BB&T and SunTrust Bank, now Truist.

A new addition to the 2020 Startup Day program is the Innov865 Impact Award, presented by Verizon. The Innov865 Impact Award recognizes an inventor who has made a positive impact in the fight against COVID-19. The inaugural Innov865 Impact Award recipient, along with the winners of the Innov865 Judges’ Choice and Innov865 Crowd Favorite prizes, will be announced at an awards ceremony that will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 2. The awards ceremony will also be presented virtually via Lunchpool.

The six startups that will compete in Startup Day’s pitch competition were selected by the Innov865 Alliance for their extraordinary potential and investability. They include:

Electro-Active Technologies Inc. – Electro-Active Technologies Inc. is developing a modular system to convert food waste and renewable electricity into low-cost hydrogen. Their system keeps food waste out of landfills and provides a zero-emission fuel to offset gasoline and diesel use.

Cofounder and CEO: Alex Lewis

490 BioTech – 490 BioTech makes bioluminescent human cells capable of continuously producing a visual light signal that adjusts in real-time to represent changes in cellular health. The company’s glowing cells can be used by pharmaceutical companies in their efforts to develop safer, more effective, and less expensive medicines.

Cofounder and CSO: Dan Close

Quantum Lock – Quantum Lock is developing a smart lock system that is more secure than many current smartphone-based key systems. Quantum Lock’s technology uses quantum physics to generate keys that are random and untraceable.

Cofounder: Erica Grant

Qardian Labs – Qardian Labs develops innovative artificial intelligence-based software solutions for evaluating heart disease risk. The company is dedicated to reducing the occurrence of Sudden Cardiac Arrest by improving screening for people in high stress environments.

Founder: Sofia Tomov

PowerUp Fitness – PowerUp Fitness certifies wellness champions as youth fitness instructors and provides them with the training and support needed to empower youth through fitness, education, and fun in their communities.

Founder and CEO: Stacy Baugues

Songboarding – Songboarding is a subscription-based platform that combines music with safety training, providing employers with a fun and memorable alternative to traditional training methods.

Cofounder: Mike Benn

Learn more about Innov865 Week by visiting https://innov865week.com/. The events calendar will be updated as events are added throughout the week.

ABOUT INNOV865 WEEK AND THE INNOV865 ALLIANCE

Innov865 Week is a weeklong celebration of Knoxville’s entrepreneurial spirit that brings together startups, entrepreneurs, makers, investors, business leaders, students, and community leaders from across East Tennessee for a week of educational panels, pitch competitions, investor roundtables, and social events. It is presented by the Innov865 Alliance, a coalition that develops, supports, and promotes the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Innov865 Alliance’s mission is to make Knoxville a “nationally recognized” hub of innovation and entrepreneurship by leveraging the region’s world-class research, creative, and technological capabilities to build the most connected and diverse startup community in Tennessee. Founding members of the Innov865 Alliance include the University of Tennessee Research Foundation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, PYA, UT’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Three Roots Capital, Tennessee Valley Authority, Launch Tennessee, Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, UT Research Park at Cherokee Farm, and Bunker Labs Knoxville. To learn more, visit www.innov865.com/.

KEC Liftoff

Thanks for your interest in getting your idea started here at KEC! The first step is to attend one of our KEC Lift Off which will allow us to find out more about each other, find out how your idea fits into what we do, and how we can help. These sessions last approximately an hour and a half and include an overview of KEC and a mentor panel to answer any questions you may have. RSVP Here!

Common Questions

Should I bring anything?

Nope, just bring yourself and your idea / business. This session is an introduction for all that we offer. There is no need to bring your business plan.

Where is the best place to park?

We suggest the Market Square Garage as it is close to our office and inexpensive.

What if I have to reschedule?

Perfectly fine! We just ask that you cancel your ticket and then RSVP for another date.

KEC Liftoff at Night

Thanks for your interest in getting your idea started here at KEC! The first step is to attend one of our KEC Lift Off which will allow us to find out more about each other, find out how your idea fits into what we do, and how we can help. These sessions last approximately an hour and a half and include an overview of KEC and a mentor panel to answer any questions you may have. RSVP Here!


Common Questions

Should I bring anything?

Nope, just bring yourself and your idea / business. This session is an introduction for all that we offer. There is no need to bring your business plan.

Where is the best place to park?

We suggest the Market Square Garage as it is close to our office and inexpensive.

What if I have to reschedule?

Perfectly fine! We just ask that you cancel your ticket and then RSVP for another date.

KEC Liftoff

Thanks for your interest in getting your idea started here at KEC! The first step is to attend one of our KEC Lift Off which will allow us to find out more about each other, find out how your idea fits into what we do, and how we can help. These sessions last approximately an hour and a half and include an overview of KEC and a mentor panel to answer any questions you may have. RSVP Here!

Common Questions

Should I bring anything?

Nope, just bring yourself and your idea / business. This session is an introduction for all that we offer. There is no need to bring your business plan.

Where is the best place to park?

We suggest the Market Square Garage as it is close to our office and inexpensive.

What if I have to reschedule?

Perfectly fine! We just ask that you cancel your ticket and then RSVP for another date.

What’s the Big Idea? Finale + Pitch Competition

What’s the Big Idea 48 Hour Launch is a weekend-long business start-up summit designed to inspire entrepreneurial action. The competition will bring together bright minds March 1-3 to participate in an intensive period of prototyping, community building, planning, incubation, and launching.

The teams participating will be announced mid-February.

On Sunday, March 1st, the teams will participate in a public pitch competition at Scruffy City Hall. RSVP HERE!

The winning idea will be advanced to the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center’s CO.STARTER Program and will be eligible for up to $10,000 in business-launch reimbursement costs after completing the program.

Come on out on Sunday, March 1st to witness the growth of these teams over the weekend as they pitch their big ideas!

Applications close for What’s the Big Idea? 48-Hour Pitch Competition

Applications will close today for KEC’s annual weekend-long accelerator!

Ever dreamed of being on Shark Tank? Know you’ve got the next big thing? 

What’s The Big Idea is the event for you! Compete to win up to $10,000 in expense reimbursement in a 48-hour weekend business pitch competition.

Work side-by-side with local business mentors to craft the perfect pitch for your new business startup or idea. We have mentors that can help with your business plan from start to finish.

Apply Here!

Who should apply? 

– Applicants with a concept or new enterprise in the seed-capital, start-up, or pre-revenue stage

– Applicants who are at least 18 years old

– Applicants with a concept that could lead to potential growth and job creation in the Knoxville, TN area*

* Defined as being located in Knox County or a contiguous county including: Anderson, Blount, Jefferson, Grainger, Loudon, Roane, Sevier, and Union counties. More info about who should and shouldn’t apply

Important Dates:

  • 1/15 Applications Open
  • 2/3 Applications Close
  • 2/10 Selections Made + Finalists Announced
  • 2/28-3/1 Competition Weekend
  • 3/1 Finale + Pitch Competition

More Information!