Road to Regionalism and Economic Development

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (June 9, 2020)

Some say the Tri-Cities region is at a disadvantage when it comes to entrepreneurial development.

A Blue Ribbon Task Force on Regionalism, appointed by the mayors of Sullivan and Washington Counties last year, has been looking for ways to change that.
Experts say working together regionally to help local entrepreneurs create jobs is critical, especially for rural areas that may struggle to compete with major cities to recruit outside businesses.

Heath Guinn was interviewed about Sync.Space, the first shared workspace in Kingsport:
“There is an overabundance of services for these small companies but not a lot of communications between the cities and counties,” Guinn said.
To make the Tri-Cities more competitive with other major markets in the state, the task force is proposing funding a permanent staff to coordinate regional resources.

An accelerator program is currently in the works. Guinn said it will formally launch in January.
Guinn said it’s a weeks-long course where entrepreneurs can access mentors and investors … it’s a first-of-its-kind resource in our region that other Tennessee cities already have.

He said they’re looking for companies focused on community health, education, medical devices and software that can engage in the market through pilot programs, prototyping services and research agreements. Click here to read the full article.

“We are excited to be partnering with the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center for the fifth year and new partners Sync Space and Biz Foundry to help develop potential startups,” Pete Nelson, Executive Director of AgLaunch, said. “We’re hoping that this bootcamp will give participating teams the opportunity to gain the resources and support they need to be successful in the agriculture industry, particularly for our farmers in Tennessee.”

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