Nothing can stop . whose time has come.

Impact Report FY 2022

How do we
measure success?

Success isn’t measured by novelty, personality, or facilitation, but our ability to drive meaningful change — advancing the entrepreneurial spirit and creating equity within our communities. Helping founders and innovators thrive within our region.

As an entrepreneurial organization with an emphasis on the economic and social impact role entrepreneurship plays in Northeast Tennessee, we focus on open dialogue and alignment of vision where our local, regional, and state partners goals can be best achieved, as we create a new launchpad for our entrepreneurs and innovators.

The outcome is always a result of collaboration and a focus on the greater impact. The ecosystem is the enabler for an entrepreneur’s success. At its most effective, the ecosystem provides the right tools and resources at the right time to amplify the founder’s journey and product, while ceding importance along the way.

From partnerships, programs and perseverance, Sync Space has led a vision of building an ecosystem for the region and developed a pipeline of resources for local entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs from around the nation who are considering East Tennessee for the first time. A further look into the efforts of this past year help contextualize the impact of the more than 200 startups and small businesses that continually trust Sync Space throughout their entrepreneurial journey.

The Data.

Support Throughout Northeast TN

Our reach of impact spans much farther than just the Appalachian Highlands. We've recruited companies and partnerships from across the United States, and several partners reach beyond that.

82 Companies
Across 7 Programs

45% Female | 55% Male

24% Minority

41 Mentors & 264 1:1 Mentor Sessions

12 Corporate Partnerships for Founders

40+ Events


A few of the companies that have participated in our programming have gone above and beyond in their accomplishments, innovation, and impact to our region and more.

Over a decade ago, Phil Johnson, CPO, was asked to donate parts for a prosthetic leg to a boy in Guatemala. The boy had lost his leg due to electrocution after Hurricane Mitch. Instead, Phil decided to donate himself, and traveled to the highlands of Guatemala to meet the boy. They arrived after dark to a location with no electricity and swarming with mosquitoes, and Phil decided it would be best to come back in the morning.
The next morning, there were 15 children lined up, all waiting for prosthetic legs, because word had gotten around to the locals that a prosthetic doctor was in town. In that moment, Phil realized that the way we do prosthetics in the U.S. didn’t translate to developing countries, and he set out to invent a low-cost solution that would be available to all. 
Hope to Walk‘s low-cost prosthetic legs and develops prosthetic training programs to teach international communities to help themselves. Hope To Walk’s prosthetic leg costs only $100 to make. The 500+ patients they’ve helped across the world have cost $50,000 in materials – the equivalent of just two commercial prosthetic legs in the USA.
We take great pride in working with companies like this, and to see a young boy receive a prosthetic leg donated in our name is truly touching.
rpl. is a mentorship app designed to connect students and young professionals with mentors. These students and young professionals get a chance to meet mentors in the industries they are interested in to build connections, learn about the careers they want to go into, and in some cases their mentors may provide them with an opportunity to work with them. This app has already been functioning in several universities across the United States and is quickly gaining traction.

We’re proud to share that rpl. has successfully achieved their goal investment budget this past year. One particular partnership that we’re excited to announce is with Sims Venture Capital. We believe that through working together, this team will achieve amazing results that create lasting impact for college students, and recruiters, nationally.

Blue Sky Cyber is a home network cyber security company. Local and veteran-owned, they are committed to developing new technology that protects residents and small business owners from cyber security threats on their own network. This includes all devices connected to their network such as cell phones, smart TV’s, doorbell security systems, and much more.

Sync Space actively connects startups and entrepreneurs to mentors and opportunities that foster growth. With help from our statewide partnerships, Blue Sky Cyber has received expert-level services to refine its branding and messaging across all platforms. We also leveraged our network to aid their secured partnerships, paving the way for their first pilot launch.

The Golden Trailer Awards (GTA) announced their 21st annual awards ceremony will be live-streamed from the Niswonger Performing Arts Center (NPAC) in Greeneville, Tennessee.

The organizers chose the unique location of NPAC in idyllic Greeneville, TN as the location for the 21st GTAs for a multitude of reasons. Said Evelyn Brady-Watters, co-founder of the GTAs, The show must go on, however with Los Angeles still under Covid restrictions, we set our sights on NPAC, a state of the art theatre in Greeneville, TN, a region with a rich cultural heritage, bountiful spirits and a burgeoning new tech sector — we are excited for our show to be live streamed from Distillicon Valley’ this year!”

Sisters Evelyn Brady-Watters and Monica Brady founded the GTAs to recognize the incredibly talented professionals who created the trailers and film marketing; the unsung heroes of the entertainment industry, whose great works fuels the movie and streaming business yet largely remain anonymous. Said Brady-Watters, This year, we are also dedicating GTA21 as a tribute to all the unsung heroes in healthcare, food service, transportation, emergency services, and more who went to work (while we stayed home streaming) and kept us all going. We offer our sincerest gratitude and a night to enjoy a fun night of entertainment.”

“We are very excited to have the Golden Trailer Awards hosted in the Appalachian Highlands this year.” stated Heath Guinn, President of Sync Space Entrepreneur Center, “Northeast Tennessee’s prowess in the entertainment industry is one of our best-kept secrets and we’re seeing an incredible surge in our entertainment, production, and digital media entrepreneurs and workforce.”

IncrediMed is a healthcare data architecture company that specializes in the delivery of a physician-designed mobile app that digitally represents a physical care plan for a patient through the use of their mobile phone. The Care Management / Care Coordination planning allows a patient to stay on track with the program assigned by their physician and allows the physician the ability to maintain remote monitoring and wellness tracking. WIth Patient Generated Health Data (PGHD), the aggregation of the patient data also helps IncrediMed drive Population Health analytics. IncrediMed is an EPIC EHR partner and their software is developed in to connect to multiple healthcare wearable device for patients including Apple, Fitbit and others.

Events and Speaking

We attended so many events this year including our own programming, partner events, educational opportunities for the region, and some international travel as well.

LaunchTN’s Innovation Week is a week for and about Tennessee entrepreneurs and the communities that support them across our state. Innovation Week 2022 was the first major gathering of Tennessee’s startups, investors and ecosystem builders since before the pandemic. The event was held in Nashville at the Musicians Hall of Fame in March. All network partners including Sync.Space attended the event, connecting with dozens of startups, entrepreneurs, legislators, investors, and other key individuals in the field.
Sync Space President, Heath Guinn, had the opportunity to speak to discuss The Power of Partners at the Fireside Chat: Trailblazing Collaboration Across East TN, alongside CO.LAB, Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, and The Biz Foundry.
Heath announced his excitement for the future across east TN and beyond with the help of tech and entrepreneurial partnerships and collaborations. “We’ve started seeing recognition from surrounding states. We’ve shifted the narrative that we aren’t just an entrepreneurial powerhouse, but we are on a mission to shift the gravity of innovation from the coasts to our home here in TN.”

With the dramatic increase in global connectivity and game-changing technologies, creators and storytellers, inventors and entrepreneurs are re-defining content creation and audiences at staggering speeds.

The work of the entertainment marketers to discover and deliver audiences has never been more challenging or important than it is today.

World markets, new entertainment properties and platforms all require compelling marketing strategies and creativity for success and with them a new forum for world-wide professional recognition. The World Trailer Awards has been launched to honour outstanding marketing excellence in 32 categories across cinema, television, gaming, podcasting & radio, streaming, and social media.

The World Trailer Awards honors and celebrates the very best entertainment marketing strategies and executions from seven global regions: Africa, Asia, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East & North Africa and North America.

Accompanying the World Trailer Awards and VUniverse team, Evie Brady-Watters and Krislen Sherrill, Sync Space got to view the awards ceremony for the best of the best in global trailer entertainment.

Similar to the TV Show Shark Tank, local entrepreneurs pitch their ideas within 5 minutes for a chance to win cash prizes. If they go over time, they are met with a buzzer and have to immediately stop! This time limit forces the entrepreneurs to take their ideas and explain them in a simple, straightforward way. It’s a great event to watch and you might just get inspired to launch your own startup!

Sync Space was proud to sponsor The Pitch 2022 in partnership with Founders Forge. The event was a great success, and we appreciate everyone that came out to support our local entrepreneurs.
Unicoi Industry Day and Job Fair
2022 Career Quest
LaunchTN Visit
Co.Starters Graduation
Grand Opening of the Kingsport CAAT
Leadership TN NEXT Panel
Relocated Businesses
From New York To Tennessee
With a practically endless number of movies and TV shows available across streaming services, VUniverse was created with one goal in mind: to answer the timeless question, what should I watch?
Scrolling through every streaming service is exhausting. It’s frustrating and a waste of good time. VU’s algorithm works for you to recommend programming and where to find it. VUniverse is a personalized movie and show recommendation platform to browse streaming services in one app—a channel guide for the streaming universe. VUniverse creates a unique profile for every user and serves smart watchlists using mood, genre, and tags based on what you like. Users can also create custom watchlists to stay organized and keep track of what they want to watch.

Ongoing partnerships have been formed with VUniverse as they relocate their offices to Northeast Tennessee, and with it, vast connections to the world of entertainment and Hollywood.

From California To Tennessee
Music Mission Haus was founded by Ollie Gabriel, award-winning singer, producer, and songwriter, and co-founded by Jules Schroeder, Ranked by Inc. Magazine as #1 of the “Top 27 Female Entrepreneurs Changing the World” and one of the “Top 40 Millennials To Follow”. They had two simple goals: To empower the personal and career development of musical change makers AND to use music as a vehicle for charitable fundraising to bring awareness to the most important issues humanity faces. 
MMH believes that music is not only to inspire dance, song, and memories, but a true power is that can shape our ideas, values, and culture. Music is the mirror of our society and what we stand for. MMH is here to shift society in a loving positive direction, by elevating the talented artists who embody that in their music. 
Imagine raising money for causes you care about just by sharing music you love. With our blockchain technology, as the music you love becomes more successful, you can see how much money you’ve raised for a particular cause.
We turn music fans into our partners in making a difference. When our community impact projects, hit different levels of success, Music Mission Haus pays out a Fan Club dividend to a transparent impact fund that fans get to nominate local causes in their city. The areas with more paid fans, get a larger portion of the funds and those fans can nominate local causes to support.
Our eco system is a Win/ Win/ Win. A win for independent music artist who’s music can move the soul. A win for organizations who are trying to make the world a better place. And a win for the music lover who loves discovering new music and also wants to help make the world a better place. 

The Music Mission Haus initiative is simple: Create a sustainable ecosystem that empowers artists, music fans, and causes to make a profound and lasting impact. With a rich history of music here in TN, we believe this will be a perfect fit.

Awards and Annoucements
Induction into ETSU Distinguished President's Trust
The Distinguished President’s Trust (DPT) is comprised of individuals, organizations and businesses whose cumulative giving to ETSU is in excess of $10,000 each, usually the result of annual giving or combinations of significant major or realized planned gifts. 
Sync Space is a proud supporter of ETSU in the following ways: 
  • STRIVE Veteran’s Entrepreneur Program
  • ETSU Research Corporation Collaborative Supporter
  • Roan Scholar Program Supporter
  • Student Business Leaders Support (PBL)
Visit from TN Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton

Thank you to TN Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton for visiting Sync Space Entrepreneur Center and for your leadership and support for the LaunchTN network. Speaker Sexton met with the Sync Space team to discuss a collaborative vision and the innovative role that entrepreneurship plays in elevating economic growth in Rural Tennessee.

“Had a great visit with Heath Guinn & SyncSpace in Kingsport. Heath & his team do a tremendous job creating partnerships & supporting rural entrepreneurs to help solve unique regional challenges impacting health, education, & economic development in northeast TN.” – Speaker Cameron Sexton

Strive Partnership with Mark Bays

Sync Space continues to partner with ETSU’s College of Management and Marketing to bring the Strive Veteran Entrepreneur Program to our region. Designed to assist Veterans through all stages of their business plan, the 8-week course is free to those who wish to sign up.

Donation of 10K Grant to Phi Beta Lambda

The Johnson City Chamber of Commerce joined together with Sync Space and the ETSU College of Business and Technology through Dr. Jim Harlen to donate a 10K grant to ETSU’s Phi Beta Lambda to continue the growth of our local business students and future leaders.

Juneteenth Sponsorship & Scholarship Announcement

Sync Space sponsored the Tri-Cities Juneteenth celebration. The event was held June 18, 2022 at the Riverview community in Kingsport. Our goal is to bring our communities together to celebrate the emancipation and liberation of our ancestors, to provide historical education about the Juneteenth holiday, and to highlight both African culture and the unique “Affrilachian” culture that makes our region special. Sync Space announced the Diversity in Innovation Scholarship, created specifically to support innovators and entrepreneurs of color in our region.

HD Clean named 2022 SBA Tennessee Inventor of the Year
We’re proud to share that HD Clean has been named as the 2022 Tennessee Inventor of the Year for their dialysis safety device. TJ O’Neil and his team have done an incredible job with their technology which will improve the health and lives of dialysis patients in our region and beyond. And a special shout-out to our amazing partners on the project: KOSBE | The Small Business Connection, ETSU Innovation Lab, U.S. Small Business Administration, & LaunchTN
Sponsor of S.H.O.U.T!® Youth Leadership in Kingsport
S.H.O.U.T.!® stands for Students Helping Others Understand Tomorrow and is for talented high school students who might someday hold positions of leadership in our region. The program offers lively, interactive sessions where students learn leadership skills and important information about our community including volunteer opportunities. Program days consist of topics such as Know Your Peers, Know your Self, Know your Leaders, Know your Community and Know your Ability.
Help Me Stream Research Foundation Computer Dontaion
Sync.Space donated more than a dozen desktop systems to Help Me Stream Research Foundation, a 501(c)3 charity that uses older technology to research innovative streaming solutions for parts of the world with limited or no connectivity. “When we learned about the Help Me Stream mission, which not only reuses old tech gear but also breathes new life into it for a great cause, we realized this was a perfect match to a number of older desktop systems at Sync.Space,” said Sync.Space president Heath Guinn. Help Me Stream leverages the knowledge of a number of global streaming media experts to rethink ways that streaming might be delivered in disaster areas and emerging economies.
Sponsored Exterior Banners for Boys & Girls Club of Kingsport

Sync Space worked with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kingsport to design and donate 4 exterior banners. The banners showcase children learning, playing, and having fun. This coincides with the overall renovation updates, bringing new life and vibrant colors to the space.

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Our Locations

Kingsport Entrepreneur Center

227 E Sullivan St, Kingsport, TN 37660

Inventor Center

118 Shelby St, Kingsport, TN 37660

Create Appalachia Digital Media Centers

225 W. Center St., Suite 115, Kingsport, TN 37660

714 W Walnut Street
Johnson City, TN 37604

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