Earlier this year, the Innov865 Alliance held its ninth annual Innov865 week in a collaborative effort to celebrate and showcase the East Tennessee region as a great place for entrepreneurs to start and grow business and increase access to capital.   

The week boasted a range of festivities including Startup Day, a “Shark Tank” style pitch competition, and an Innovation Crossroads Showcase, a unique event that connects the nation’s top innovators with experts, mentors, and networks in technology-related fields. This year, the Innov865 Alliance brought together business leaders, entrepreneurs, higher education partners, investors and the East Tennessee community to explore the development of our region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

“East Tennessee has made significant strides in building new organizations and energizing economic development,” said Cortney Piper, Innov865 Alliance member and President of Piper Communications. “The Innov865 Alliance has seen exponential growth in entrepreneurship in recent years and believes our region is among one of the top locations in the country for conducting business.” 

With a variety of economic powerhouses nestled in the East Tennessee mountains, an abundance of assets and resources are at startup’s fingertips, including TAEBC (Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council), ETEC (East Tennessee Economic Council), The University of Tennessee’s Spark Innovation Center and the emerging Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator are also in place to identify and develop startups specific to East Tennessee.  

To learn more about Innov865 Week, click here.   

About Innov865 & 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. 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 Chamber, Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, UT Research Park at Cherokee Farm, the City of Knoxville and Bunker Labs Knoxville. To learn more, visit innov865.com.  


Hannah Whitson 
(423) 408-4203