The Works 2020 Cohort


Knoxville, Tenn– Knoxville Entrepreneur Center launches The Works 2020, a startup accelerator for regionally-based early-stage technology, media and consumer goods companies.  This year marks the seventh iteration of The Works, which was launched by KEC in 2014 as MediaWorks.  The program has graduated over 47 startups, including some of the area’s fastest growing companies such as RDI Technologies, Reviewbox, and Smart RIA; companies that are creating jobs and collectively driving tens of millions of dollars of investment and revenue into East Tennessee. 

The Works is an intensive summer-long program that supports early-stage companies through two highly focused tracks: growth and branding. The goal of the program is to promote and accelerate the success of a burgeoning startup community in East Tennessee by guiding early-stage companies through the business development process, while connecting the teams with potential strategic and financial partners.  During the course of The Works, the participating startups will receive over $50,000 dollars worth of services, consulting, and potential financing. In years past, the program has continued beyond the summer into monthly work sessions across the rest of the year. 

Seven teams have been chosen to participate in the ten-week, fast-paced curriculum, where their ideas will be combined with classes, mentors, industry leaders, workspace, special events, and pitches. Those companies are:

Compass Knox | news, insights and analysis of local government, politics and business

Lunchpool | virtual experiences that feel like the real thing

Lean Smarts | lean manufacturing training solutions

Luxury, LLC | health and beauty products

PowerUp Fitness | youth fitness programming for schools, fitness centers and childcare

SailAway Learning + Academy | online academic and diagnostic assessments, learning academy, homeschool programs, and specialized literacy and learning workshops 

SimpleLife | HIPAA compliant platform that makes work simple for medical Practices and Firms

“We are thrilled that KEC invited us to be a part of ‘The Works’ accelerator program! We participated in their ‘What’s the Big Idea’ start-up competition a few months ago and greatly benefited from the mentorship that we received,” said Stacey Bauges, founder of PowerUp Fitness. 

But, ‘What’s the Big Idea’ was only a 48-hour collaboration with KEC … ‘The Works’ is a full summer of programming, working with an incredible team and with six other amazing companies. As you can imagine, we’re excited to work with KEC in this capacity and the set of possibilities it will bring to improve PowerUp onward.”

Entrepreneur Alex Abell says; “I’m convinced that Knoxville is the collaboration capital of the Southeast. Stumbling into this exceptional innovation ecosystem has been amazing. I’m honored to have been selected into this program.”

The Works summer program began on June 15th and will run through August 17th. 

About Knoxville Entrepreneur Center:  KEC is the front door for entrepreneurs starting a business in East Tennessee. KEC is committed to connecting Entrepreneurs with Mentors, Investors, and the Critical Resources they need to accelerate the launch of startup businesses.

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