What’s The Big Idea 2024

6 Teams. 6 Ideas. $10,000 Prize. 2024 marks the 16th year of the annual What’s The Big Idea? Pitch Competition, and the competition was as strong as ever. The KEC team received over 40 applications, narrowed it down to around 20 Public Voting companies, then finally selected 6 Finalists to compete in the Big Idea […]

Building Your Business Pitch

What's the Big Idea -

If you’ve been around KEC for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard about our annual pitch competition: What’s the Big Idea? WTBI 2024 is quickly approaching, with applications open until early February. We encourage folks with big, new ideas for businesses to apply! If accepted as a finalist, they’ll  stand before judges to pitch […]

Looking Ahead in 2024 – KEC Events and Resources

Let’s look ahead to Knoxville Entrepreneur Center’s 2024 programming and events! We hope you add some of these dates to your calendar and share with anyone that might be a good fit for the programs! Please take advantage of the resources listed, and let us know if we’re missing anything that would be helpful to […]

KEC’s 2023 Year in Review

2023 has been a BIG year for KEC We kicked off the year with a new team member, Kelsi Walker, who is our new Communications and Marketing Coordinator. We had another great What’s The Big Idea Pitch Competition with six highly engaged and dedicated teams. We celebrated 10 Years of KEC in April with a […]

Growth & Grit 2023

inc 5000 event

Growth & Grit | Celebrating East TN’s Inc. 5000 Listed Companies Southern Railway Station | Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 Event Program Location: Southern Railway Station, 306 W Depot Ave, Knoxville, TN 37917 5:00 PM Event Opens  5:30 PM Opening Remarks & Introduction of Companies 5:45 PM Keynote Speaker: Harry Boston  6:00 PM Round table Discussion […]

Growth & Grit 2022

inc 5000 event

Growth & Grit | Celebrating East TN’s Inc. 5000 Listed Companies Lighthouse Knoxville | Monday, November 14th, 2022 Event Program Location: Lighthouse Knoxville, 6800 Baum Dr, Knoxville, TN 37919 5:00 PM Event Opens  5:30 PM Opening Remarks & Introduction of Companies 5:45 PM Round table Discussion with Companies 7:00 PM Open Networking 7:30 PM Event […]

Made for Knoxville: Grady Vanderhoofven

Investor & Capital Mechanic: Meet Grady Vanderhoofven, Founder & CEO, Three Roots Capital and Meritus Ventures Originally a Yale-educated mechanical engineer, it makes sense that Grady Vanderhoofven sees companies, economies, and communities like ours as engines – powerful machines capable of amazing things when treated well and given the right fuel. When he talks about […]

AgTech Industry Experts Support Up-and-Coming Entrepreneurs

The Tennessee AgTech Mentor Network kicks off with three startups and thirteen mentors The Tennessee AgTech Mentor Network, a partnership between the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, AgLaunch, and Launch Tennessee, is the latest addition to the thriving ecosystem focused on supporting AgTech startups and companies in Tennessee. The goal of the network is to create a […]

Made for Knoxville: Eugenia Almeida

Creator and Visionary: Meet Eugenia Almeida, Founder of A New Hue https://youtu.be/i5enpOULJMo Eugenia Almeida sparks joy. You can feel it when you’re around her, and you can hear it in her voice when she speaks about what it means to build a successful business, life, and community around her craft. Born and raised in Argentina, […]

Made for Knoxville: Dale Mackey

Pie Slinger and Dynamo: Meet Dale Mackey, Founder of Dale’s Fried Pies + Co-Founder of Central Collective https://youtu.be/mesISo9wuzA Dale Mackey set out with the simple goal of having a food truck to share her love of pies with the world. Dale’s Fried Pies began  in Knoxville in 2013, and soon her pies would be delighting […]

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