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 […]

What’s the Big Idea Pitch Festival 2021

5 BIG IDEAS. 5 BANDS. $10,000 ON THE LINE.  This year’s virtual competition brought together five teams with five big ideas, along with a little help from some of Knoxville’s most loved bands to create a live-streamed experience like none other. Hosted by our own Chris McAdoo (with a few special guests!) via Lunchpool, the […]

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 […]

Made for Knoxville: Tanika Harper

Maker and Change Maker: Meet Tanika Harper, Founder of Harper’s Naturals Tanika created an entire skin care line by hand just to keep her own skin healthy, and in the process realized that she could help others who wanted pure, chemical free, handcrafted products.  But helping others didn’t stop with skin care. Tanika is a […]

Made for Knoxville: Brandon Bruce

Connector and Risk-taker: Meet Brandon Bruce, co-founder of Startup Knox and Cirrus Insight Brandon Bruce’s fascination with entrepreneurship began in high school. His journey has taken him through being an entrepreneur himself, to now acting as a community and ecosystem builder for the next generation. For Brandon, entrepreneurship is an opportunity to do a little […]

Made for Knoxville: Samantha Lane

Balance-seeker and Guide: Meet Samantha Lane, Founder of Origami Day Life is short, and Samantha Lane is determined to make the most of it – but not in the typical “always on” 24/7 culture that people like Steve Jobs made famous. After a life-changing surgery, Samantha Lane made the difficult decision to leave the corporate […]

Made for Knoxville: Marcus Hall

Style Icon and Craftsman: Meet Marcus Hall, Founder of Marc Nelson Denim. KEC is excited to celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth by sharing stories of innovation and inspiration from Black founders in our community, beginning with Marcus Hall. The love of making is woven through Marcus’ history. His family worked at the Levi’s factory on Cherry Street, only […]

Made for Knoxville: Tommy Nguyen

Problem Solver & Shepherd. Meet Tommy Nguyen – Co-founder of StoragePug. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Tommy to chat about his experience as an entrepreneur in Knoxville, and you can watch the full video below. Tommy started StoragePug to give small business owners a fighting chance, and ended up building a community […]