We’ve got a ton of concentrated efforts to help you find your footing at whatever stage you’re in – whether you’re just starting out, experiencing exponential growth, or somewhere in-between.

Explore programs for you if you’re just getting started, looking to scale your business, or have a tech startup in the growth stage.


Open House

We invite those who are curious about how to get involved with our community to our quarterly Open House. This is an opportunity to learn more about KEC communities, upcoming events, and the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Knoxville.

Meet Ups

We understand that growth happens through the connections and opportunity. KEC provides networking opportunities through several community initiatives, including Maker Mingles, KEC Happy Hours, Coffee Meetups, Women in Entrepreneurship and more!

What's the Big Idea?

Have you ever dreamed of being on Shark Tank? Well, this is your opportunity. “What’s the Big Idea” is an annual pitch competition with $10,000 on the line for bright minds who have a concept or a new enterprise in the seed-capital, start-up, or pre-revenue stage.


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Starting Your Business 101

A five-week business development program that helps aspiring entrepreneurs put ideas into action, and turn a passion into a sustainable and thriving small business.

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The Works

12 Weeks. 5 Companies. Endless Opportunities. The Ultimate Startup Accelerator for early-stage software technology and tech-enabled companies ready for scale


100 Knoxville aims to grow minority businesses through the deliberate investment of assistance, capital, corporate engagement, and other resources - with a goal of growing Black-owned businesses in Knoxville by $10,000,000 in 5 years. If you’re a Black business owner in Greater Knoxville, Tennessee, check out the programs offered through 100Knoxville!


Hosted by the Maker City, Make/Learn/Grow is an informal learning series where local makers and experts can come together to share their knowledge and tools to grow their businesses.


The objective of this program is to provide business owners and founders with a deep understanding of the importance of brand planning, and to equip them with the necessary tools and skills to develop a brand plan that will help set their companies up for success. 

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From finance to marketing or operations, you can schedule a one-on-one mentoring session with one of our executives-in-residence, or one of our many subject matter experts.


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A 13-week program designed to help 4 to 6 growth-stage tech companies accelerate their revenue growth. The program includes an intensive planning process, monthly and quarterly sessions with mentors and subject matter experts, and an updated “Local Executive Access Program” (LEAP).

AgTech Mentor Network

AgTech Mentor network is a partnership between the KEC, AgLaunch, and Launch Tennessee, and the latest addition to the thriving ecosystem focused on supporting AgTech startups and companies in TN.

Local Executive Access Program

KEC maintains a large network of executive level contacts in large, local and regional companies. Our goal is to connect organizations that need talent, expertise, or technology with growth stage companies.

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